Sunday, February 3:
It is beginning to snow again.
I can’t see the flakes, but they brush against my face in a fine dust as I climb the hill from the garden. Sweeping snow off the tunnels that protect our winter-hardy vegetables is a job that has to be done when it has to be done; and sometimes it has to be done at midnight, or two a.m. Whenever there is an accumulation of more than two or three inches of snow on the tunnels someone has to go down with a broom and sweep the tunnels clean. Otherwise we could have another disaster like the one that had us all in the garden on the afternoon of December 26, tearing down and rebuilding tunnels which had collapsed when four inches of snow and ice fell in about two hours time. Five of us were pulled off tasks which had kept us more or less under cover during the ice storm to spend the afternoon repairing the damage: sweeping snow from the collapsed tunnels; pulling out lengths of PVC that had snapped off under the weight of all that ice; cutting the wires that held sections of stock panel to the T-posts that had anchored the thirty-foot long high tunnel firmly to the ground, while keen winds and freezing rain chilled us through.
No one is anxious to do the job over again.
For what do we labor? The best food in the world, maybe; or maybe the security of knowing where it comes from, and that, barring accident, it will be there when we need it.