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Hello [name]. Winter finally found southeastern Pennsylvania last weekend, blanketing fields that have been visible for months with more than a foot of snow. Pent-up desire to plow, scrape, salt, and blow snow meant that by Monday morning, very few kids in rural school around here even got a day off.

Has your “slow time” on the farm arrived yet – the off-season for crops people and graziers when you planned to take stock of your production, marketing and management? If not, make a date with yourself when you promise to push away from your email, turn off the tv, unplug the landline, hide your cell phone, skip a morning at the coffee shop, and postpone reading your ”Must Read Now” pile.

If you haven’t had blizzard-induced downtime or the discipline to do this yet, spend a half hour with as much quiet as you can stand to sketch in the big-picture plans for your farm for the coming year. If that’s not enough, figure out how to carve out the time you need before the demands of the season suck you back into ruts you’d rather not be in.

Maybe we can help your reflections with our story from Virginia on how a 1,000-acre plantation keeps up with development, a Pennsylvania farmer shares his business skills for building a better farmers’ market, goats are big news in Kentucky, a new farmer finds success in Michigan and a special Maryland farm teaches a grad student life lessons.

There’s fresh classifieds and answers to reader questions and more…much more.

Read. Reflect. And snooze at least once more by the woodstove before things really break open this spring.

Read on!
Greg Bowman
Online Editor

p.s. In your time of deep thought, please log your story requests for the year so our writing keeps pace with your future.

     

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