Version: 1.0 | Last Updated: February 1, 2016
And so it moves forward, winter, the fourth and longest season in temperate climates. January becomes February and February becomes Mars, and for the farmer of old not one day passes without thinking of spring. The farmer longs for the day he or she goes out to the field and sees that ground frost has left the soil.
Here are some of the things self-reliant people of days past used to do in February in temperate (four season) climates:
In the fields and forest
- February was the time to move out all the dung and fertilizer and put it in piles on the field that was to be fertilized.
- The melt water from the snow should be diverted to prevent it from staying on the fields.
- You continue to bring out timber from the forest, as you did in January. In the old days clubs were made to crush the dung “cakes” on the field.
In the cattle shed
Cattle should be kept warm and in scarce times close attention should be paid to the amount of feed they get. In temperate climates we’ve still got half of winter left, and the feed needs to last until summer, so it has to be divided up to last through a long spring.
In the hen house
At the end of February the houses for hens, geese, ducks, turkeys and doves were cleared out and cleaned. The hens should be kept warm and well fed, while the gees should be fed sparingly because otherwise they get too fat which will have a negative effect on the egg laying in spring.
At the fisheries
Now is a good time of year to create fishing nets and other fishing equipment.
In the garden
One can prepare the garden beds so one can get off to an early start and plant cabbage and tobacco.
In the home
For women this was a time of spinning wool. In the early mornings they started spinning, and continued during free moments all throughout the day and evening in the cabin. This was family moments where the whole family gathered in one room, and the only light they had was what they got from the open fire. The women sat closest to the fire while the men, who were carrying out other handicraft, sat further away in the cabin. When carding wool you mixed it with rye flour because that made the wool easier to clean.