Are you a cold or hot weather person? I prefer cooler rather than hot, but I’m not a fan of snow. But there’s certainly plenty that’s special in winter to make you appreciate it.
For farmers they’re even less keen on winter. Going out day in day out in the wet and cold, having to move animals into barns and a busy time with the start of calving and then leading into lambing as Spring approaches. So I wanted to share what makes winter different in the countryside. What are the little quirks we have.
Winter in the countryside
The utility room or porch is always full of about 15 pairs of boots and wellies, including old ones that don’t fit, but are kept just in case visitors need them.
The washing machine is always full of filthy overalls and waterproofs compared with summer when overalls aren’t worn (it does mean the jeans don’t need washing as frequently though).
There’s usually a visit from the hunt master or secretary, bringing a bottle of something to request which land they can ride over, or to apologise for going where they shouldn’t.
Sleeping on the sofa becomes the norm because there’s always a cow ready to calve at some point overnight.
Shooting season means the OH actually leaves the farm to go to other people’s shoots.
It also means once a fortnight I get to cook what I want when I want without worrying what the others in the house will or won’t eat, because they’re at the pub for shoot dinners.
The men are grouchy when it’s cold because they spend their days trying to defrost water pipes and tanks for the animals.
When it snows, farmers become the most popular people around. They’re able to clear out school and doctors surgery car parks to help them stay open. The alternative is people leaving their cars at the top of hills so they can get out of the village.
They also spend time pulling cars out of ditches when people have crashed in the snow…usually with no thanks afterwards.
The kitchen is the place to be because it’s the warmest place with the aga.
When it snows there’s enough space for everyone to have their own chance to walk over virgin snow.
Children will wear whatever shooting clothing they are given even if it’s 2 sizes too big (it’ll last a long time at least).
If you want a Christmas tree, there’ll always be signs up advertising them for sale at various farms.
Just before Christmas, there’s a sudden influx of people to the farm, visiting to pick up their turkeys.
Every day is still a working day on the farm, including bank holidays.
Your child will always volunteer a hay bale for the Christmas nativity play.
So there’s a whistle stop tour of winter in the countryside for farmers. How does it differ for you?