A chicken will do most anything, it seems, to avoid walking in the snow. At least our chickens. They let themselves out of their coop, and into the closed garage, where they will happily spend the day brrrrak-braaaaking and pooping on things and eating Styrofoam-- YES, really. There are Styrofoam blocks in there from the packaging that came with our new tub, and the chickens are steadily pecking them into nothing. I have no idea why. They also peck at the Styrofoam panels on the foundation of our house, even when surrounded by a world of green grass and glory.
Yesterday I made vegetable stock. The chickens' rapture, especially in winter, in my vegetable stock-making. After the carrots and potatoes and celery have given up their ghost to the steaming stock-pot, I cart them out, still hot from the kettle, and let the chickens have at 'em. Even a pile of steaming, heaven-scented potato chunks couldn't lure those biddies out into the snow.
In the garden, things are still going strong. Strong, at least, for January. I harvested kale, spinach, mizuna, beets and parsley during the big thaw we had a few weeks ago, and even got a cold frame planted with more spinach, mâche, and arugula.
This is all a grand experiment. I have never planted a cold frame in any month earlier than March, which, thaw or no thaw is still a far cry from January. Eliot Coleman says I can get a few weeks head-start on the beginning of early spring greens season this way, so, we'll see. He lives in Maine, so I'm inclined to trust him.
The seeds are here and ready to go, the garden map has been drawn and filled in. We still have a long way to go before spring, so I'm trying to stay engaged in sewing projects and house-y projects, but starting to feel a little bit of longing, too.