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fire woodThe first chance of snow is forecasted for Sunday.  It’s due to come with a mix of rain, and so it’s doubtful anything will stick for long, but the winter is whistling in, and we still have preparations to make.

Today we’ll harvest the last of the parsley and make one more round of pesto.  My goals is 15 more 8-ounce containers worth.  (Yes, we have nearly 40 already, enough for the CSA, but we need some of that green to get our own family through the winter, too).  Our late season pesto is more creative than the classic basil.  It’s base is parsley, plus the last of the basil in the greenhouse, and perhaps some cilantro, too, and then, for a little twist we add kale, giving the pesto a deep green color.

Of course, there is still firewood to chop and stack, and a hole under the sink that needs to be fixed, but right now my mind is first on food preservation, pulling what can still be pulled from the field and transforming it into pesto, or sauerkraut, or a salt-vegetable preserve we use as a soup starter.  The bulk of preservation is already complete, but as nearby farmer said to me the other day, “This time of year people get serious about eating.”

It’s true.  I feel an urge to squirrel away all that I can for the coming cold months, and suddenly everything is precious.  Winter has a way of putting things in perspective, and though there is a flurry of action to get ready for it, there is something grounding about all these preparations–food preservation, chopping and stacking wood, tightening up the yurt, cleaning up the farm fields and tucking in the remaining crops with remay and plastic.  All of this work grounds me to the ancient rhythm of seasonal transition; it brings me to the base of life’s work, which beyond staying warm and sheltered, is feeding oneself.

So today: harvest the parsley and kale.  Chop and stack more wood.  And of course, explore outside and read books with Waylon.  After all, we need to teach our little ones the transition of seasons, too.

What are your winter preparations?