Well, with the arrival of the sub- freezing temperatures, the frozen mud, and the “What the heck am I going to do?” we have lots to think about. Let us be proactive. Last year was a mess. This year will, with some thought, effort, and a certain degree of amnesia, be much better. So…lets focus on those simple winter hacks that will prevent further frustration and highlight some of the brighter days to come. One of the most frustrating aspects of winter is the freezing of pipes and hoses. The solution is quite simple. For those that may be new to water sources in outbuildings, simply allowing your faucets or spigots to dribble may prevent a freeze. ALWAYS disconnect and drain your hoses from every outlet. Wrapping pipes and insulating all exposed components will certainly help, as well as ensuring that your water is not too “hard.” A water softening system that introduces a trace amount of salt and other minerals will do wonders for water quality and frozen pipes. When it is time to look out of the windows, and to evaluate your fields, lawns, pastures, gardens and flowerbeds, note that NOW is the time to start shopping. It is not too early to begin pricing seed, fertilizer, compost, bulbs (yes, you can still plant them for spring), veggies, and even equipment. Many retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers will offer early incentives depending on the monetary commitment. Also, do not forget to reach out to contractors that can help you implement your plans. We love to book as early as possible. Your investment should be placed in the best hands possible, next to your own. The ever-changing “seasons within our seasons” present a continual challenge in how we condition our environment, animals, and ultimately, ourselves. I hope that you and those that you love (both human and animal) stay warm, safe, and well-fed in the coming months. Let us look forward to bright blossoms, green grass, sprouting gardens, and kind gestures.