Here at Wild Child Farms, the winter is our rest period. We only have the egg layers and Paddington to care for. The gardens are put to bed, jams and jellies are stocked, and firewood is stacked and ready. The days may be shorter and colder but that is also a blessing in disguise as it discourages us from working extra hard or adding in any extra chores or projects. Now there are still chores to be done, especially when we get snowfalls, but for the most part it is a time of relative relaxation.
We are able to wake up a little later in the morning and if we feel like it, we can go to bed a little earlier. The biggest stress at this time of year is the Holidays. We love making large meals for the various celebrations so that adds some stress so we can ensure we make all the favorites and everyone gets enough to eat on those days.
This time of year one thing that we do is to take a quick weekend retreat. The last two years we have gone to the Iron Amethyst Inn in Mazomanie, WI. We usually hit some of the local shops in the Driftless region and usually are just lazy and carefree for those days. Luckily we have a neighbor that can take care of the birds for us, but we also have the systems set up that the birds can be ok for two days without us around.
Right around the time between Christmas and New Years we also plan out our production for the next year. We look at what we sold, what’s still in the freezers and plan out what we’re going to do. We also get our birds on order and schedule our processing dates so we can get the best selection possible. This early planning is what allows us to have the fresh birds available for Thanksgiving instead of dealing with frozen birds.
We also look at what we need to do for the gardens and orchard. We look back on any disease issues we had and if the new varieties we tried did well or if a previous variety did better. This year we will be putting more focus on getting the orchard into full production, and expanding our berry patch so we can make even more jellies for everyone.
The hardest chore we do at this time of year is bucking the wood for next years winter. This year we lost six trees so we’re a little ahead because of the cleanup required for those but we still have around three trees left to do. We’ll also mark out any trees or areas that need trimming or cleanup to enhance the pasture.
Overall it’s a nice time of year that we use to recharge and get back on our A game for the spring to bring everyone the best products that we can. Thank you all for your support this past year and we look forward to another productive year in 2022.