It's cold and icy around the farm. Even the sheep, with their formidable winter coats, are hanging out inside the barn, and even the dog, with four legs, has been slipping on the ice. But it sure is scenic.
After many years of hard duty, the wooden floor of the ox barn is ready to be replaced. Farmer Rob and Intern Virginia have been measuring and cutting, using lumber harvested and cut on the farm.
The first snowstorm of the winter left Howell Farm with a blanket of white.
After the holidays, the next farm event to look forward to is the ice harvest on January 25. Farmer Pete, after an unsuccessful prognostication last year, says he's no longer in the business of predicting how thick the ice will be come harvest time, but I think it's going to be a cold winter.
The farmers continue to express astonishment at the quality of the corn crop this year -- the field is filled with big healthy ears, like bars of gold wrapped in husky paper. Farmer Pete says he believes this is the best corn harvest in the history of Howell Farm. All told, between all the fields of feed corn, popcorn and sweet corn, he figures that nearly 100,000 ears of corn were handpicked by Howell Farm's staff and many many volunteers.
At long last, the harvest is almost complete. Today a group of volunteers helped handpick most of the remaining stragglers.
Today, in the Howell Farm Visitors Center, Santa's sleigh is getting a fresh coat of linseed oil and volunteers are adorning the Christmas tree with ornaments. Though Christmas is still some weeks away, Christmas on the farm with be celebrated Saturday December 7.
The Howell Farm Gift Shop (70 Woodens Lane, Lambertville) will be open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 am to 4 pm December 10 to December 20th. We have Howell Farm honey, maple syrup, corn flour, whole wheat flour, popcorn and handmade Pleasant Valley Stitchers items for sale.
The Furrow is the online newsletter of The Friends of Howell Living History Farm. We will be updating this site about once a week with crop reports and other insights into life on a horse-drawn living history farm.
|THE FURROW: The online newsletter of Howell Living History Farm