Happy New Year, everyone, and may 2018 be your best year yet! The second day of the new year finds Tasha and me taking it easy after what seems like a non-stop three weeks.

Around the middle of December, we began preparing for our pig slaughter and all that entails - getting together suppies, unpacking tools and equipment, checking our friends’ availability to help with the slaughter, processing, etc.

I’m planning on posting a series on the pig slaughter in its entirety later, but suffice it to say we had a couple good days of weather, the help of a few amazing friends, and the better part of a week’s worth of solid work processing well over a thousand pounds of pork (live weight).

The following weekend was Christmas, which kept us busy as usual for the next few days with family events and visits. It was a wonderful holiday and a great time to be together with family, several of whom traveled to North Carolina to spend the holiday at my parents’ house.

Between Christmas and New Year’s, we hosted two very gracious cousins from South Carolina, who were interested in touring our farm and discussing sustainable agriculture with us.

After that, we spent most of a day helping some good friends in Virginia with their final chicken slaughter of the year, as the cold wave that has been menacing the eastern third of the US since shortly after Christmas intensified.

We spent much of the afternoon on New Year’s Eve preparing to host a few friends for a small New Year’s party, which went off very well. Tasha and I were thrilled to celebrate the New Year with a great group of friends, some of whom we haven’t seen in many months.

Kyle and Nicole, who are also neighbors and who run nearby York Farm, announced the upcoming release of the film,“Somewhere in Beulah Land,” by filmmaker Andrew Brown that will document a year of life on their farm. Tasha and I are thrilled for them and can’t wait to catch the premiere in Winston-Salem next month.

After making it to dawn and then sleeping for a few hours, we spent much of New Year’s Day with our good friends Matthew and Jenna, who are likely moving back to the west coast in a few weeks. We’ll really miss them!

Finally, we rounded out the day with dinner at my folks’ house: black-eyed peas and collard greens.

With what feels like almost three weeks of non-stop excitement and activity coming to an end, it feels good to spend some time catching up on sleep, reading, and just generally enjoying a few days of rest before diving into a long list of projects for the new year. It’s too cold to do much outside now anyway!