It’s winter and the wolf is at the door.
Where things were growing, now there is snow.
Except inside the two large greenhouses at the garden store in Greenland, NH. There was a winter farmers market at Rolling Green Nursery yesterday. Look for it on the first and third Saturdays, January through March.
We bought dill pickles. And habanero jelly. And freshly made guacamole. Also, bacon and corn chowder from The Soup Guy and a scone from a table full of baked goods.
There were potatoes, cabbages, beets, carrots, turnips, onions, kohlrabi, celeriac, scallions, fresh eggs, fresh meat, fresh cheese, fresh milk and rabbits for sale as pets or dinner.
“All men are hungry. They always have been. They must eat, and when they deny themselves the pleasures of carrying out that need, they are cutting off part of their possible fullness, their natural realization of life, whether they are rich or poor.” – M.F.K. Fisher, How to Cook a Wolf
A Great Fall of Snow:
(From an old Portsmouth paper)
In February, 1717, occurred the greatest fall of snow recorded in the annals of New England — almost burying under the frozen mass the small log cabins of the new plantations. So effectually were even the most traveled roads blocked that the magistrates and ministers of Boston, who had come out of the town on the first day of the storm to attend the funeral of the Rev. Mr. Brattle of Cambridge, were unable to return for some days. The storm began on the 20th and ended on the 24th of February. Old Indians, of a hundred years, said that their fathers had never told them of such a snow.
It was six feet deep in the streets of Boston, ten feet at Dunstable, twelve at Deerfield on the Connecticut. At Exeter and Dover cottages and cabins of one story were entirely buried, so that people dug pathways from one house to another under the snow. Many farmers lost their sheep, and in some instances sheep and swine which were saved lived from one to two weeks without food. One man had some hens buried near his barn which were dug out alive eleven days after.
During the snow a great number of deer came from the woods for food and were followed by the wolves which killed many. Others were shot by the people. It is related that some deer fled to Nahant, and chased by the wolves leaped into the sea and were drowned. Great damage was done to the fruit trees in the latter part of the storm, by the freezing of the damp snow to the branches which were broken by the weight.
The mail from Boston was ten days in reaching Portsmouth and seven in returning. Hon. John Winthrop said in an account of the storm:
“We lost at the island and farms 1100 sheep beside some horses and cattle. It was very strange that 28 days after the storm, the people of Fisher’s Island in digging out the remains of 100 sheep found two of them alive, which had kept themselves alive by feeding upon the wool of others.”
For forty years after, the old people dated events as so many years after or before the great snow.”
The last of the original wolves was killed in New Hampshire in 1887. But wolves, and other large predators, are coming back.
And so the mystery of the mountain lion continues. But the wolf — the wolf is at the door. And if either species officially gets back to New Hampshire, well, moose and deer are officially on notice, as both animals would make moose and deer regular menu items, as they would rabbits and beaver.