Missing winter: Notes from the farm

As I was driving the few miles to our neighbor's farm to buy some of their organic pork and eggs, I passed through a mini-snowstorm. The whole sky was heavy and gray, except for one patch of blue in the north. And it was there, under a summery blue sky, that snowflakes were coming down almost horizontally. The sun shone so brightly through that driving snow that I thought I might see a snowbow. I wished for at least enough snow to blanket the bare soil.

But the snowbow never materialized, and none of the snow stuck. In fact, all the country roads have been completely passable this winter, a situation appreciated by most drivers and praised by cities and towns that haven't had to spend on snow removal.

But while others are relieved by this warm winter, my brother Henry is worried. A warm winter means that the eggs and larvae of insects will not be winter-killed, but will emerge ravenous this spring, right when our farm's tender transplants go into the ground.