Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Tough Winter

Winter started late again this year and has turned into a monster. Morning temps are evidenced by the above picture are lately the norm. Boy, am I glad I dug out the wood piles and refilled the wood stacks in the garage before we started getting the non-stop storms. Having a fire in the wood stove sure is nice.

Snow storms have been coming non-stop. It takes Tom and I about three days to shovel everything out -- just in time for the next storm. Keeping up with the snow is hard. He is ready to move and I say he can go if he wants. I'm not going anywhere. Moving the snow is hard work, but I am grateful for the opportunity to exercise my muscles, solve problems like where to put the snow and how to take care of the chickens in extreme weather, and test my critical thinking skills regarding "what would I do if . . .". I can't do any of that living in some shitty little condo back in the city. I believe in being self-sufficient and getting older simply presents me with an exercise in adaptive living.

The chickens are doing remarkably well. No frost bite to deal with and I haven't lost any of them yet. When we had the -50F nights I spread a couple of bales of hay in the coop, and just doing that noticeably helped warm the coop. Still, about half the eggs I get I have to toss because they freeze. Those little barred cochin bantams I bought last year are real talkers. I get the biggest kick out of them and can't wait till it warms up so I can clean the coop out well and set up the broody box for them. With their feathered feet the snow doesn't seem to bother them.

I've started a bunch of seeds in the basement and some of them are already starting to come up. I bought a wood stove and may set it up in the greenhouse (which miraculously has not collapsed with the ice and snow) to keep seedlings warm overnight.  Australian Brown and Newburg onions, New Brunswick and red cabbages, rainbow chard, Champion collards, Tuscan kale, and lots of perennial flowers. I'll wait till May to start the squashes and cucumbers. Supposedly it will be a cool and wet summer. We'll just have to wait and see.

Here are some pics of the snow around the house. We had three more inches after I took these pics and we are expecting another 5"-8" again this weekend.  By the way, I'd like to thank whoever the good person was who moved the big snow banks at the front of our driveway. Our snow plow couldn't move the snow back any farther than we had it so your act of kindness has given us some place to put the incoming snow.  Thank you!

Tom may be right saying that we'll still have snow in June. As far as making maple syrup this year, well, that's up in the air for now. I'm glad Dad is in the nursing home; it would be really hard worrying about him if he was at the farm house and dealing with our issues, too. Thinking positively, when the sun does shine the days are beautiful, and Spring IS on the way!