Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday Walkabout 1-5-14

A New Year
Well, it’s time for our weekly virtual farm tour.  …and amazingly, we are in the midst of a “warm spell” (it was a balmy 35* at morning chores---yesterday it was only 12)…and it’s dry! (for the first Sunday in a month!) Don’t worry---January is coming back with a vengeance later today or tomorrow.  There are penguins in the forecast on my phone.  PENGUINS! Just what does it mean when there are penguins in the forecast anyway?
the more reliable weather site shows -3* as the low
and 7* as a HIGH
(but, it doesn't have penguins)

The penguins indicate cold…Cold…COLD!  The coldest air mass since January of 1985 is set to overtake the region tomorrow.  I remember that cold snap.  The Boss and I were newlyweds living in a townhouse. (yes, us, in a townhouse…what were we thinking?) Anyway, it was so cold that the pipes froze.  The Boss had to take the day off from work to fix the mess.  I couldn’t go to work because the furnace at the office picked that day to go on the fritz. So, we sat at home with our frozen pipes and watched Ronald Reagan take the Oath of Office in an indoor ceremony. (an historical moment)  So, I’m wondering what history will be made during this cold snap.  ?

While our predicted cold is nothing compared to the brutal temperatures being endured by the Upper Midwest, we have had to make some preparations in hopes of keeping the animals somewhat comfortable.  …and their care and comfort will keep us on the move throughout the duration of frigid temperatures. (I’m working on a piece about Winter on the Farm…look for it later in the week)

The Boss did a little work on the henhouse.  While the henhouse has the possibility of being mobile, it sits in one place throughout the winter season, thus protecting the grass for the summertime.  If you haven’t toured the henhouse, read this post.  It’s pretty cool.  The floor is wire to allow the excrement to fall through (otherwise it would get beyond GROSS in there) however, the wire also allows airflow…lots of airflow when it’s cold and windy.  The Boss put up plywood skirting around the house, blocking the breeze but still keeping the house somewhat clean.  Once the hens go inside for the night, the door shuts (it’s on timer) and they all stay relatively warm, even when the night is frigid.

The first lamb arrived this past Monday with very little fanfare…as a matter of fact, he was a bit of a surprise.  Proving once more that nature is indeed superior to my math skills and predictions.  As a single ram lamb, he promises to finish out as one of the largest lambs ever and the Boss has taken to calling him “Moose”. Some little barn-mates should be arriving about mid-week.

Since the sheep carry their woolly coats at all times, we don’t need to go to any special preparations for them. (as long as they have hay, shelter and water)
Do you see the lamb in this photo?

However, lambs are due to arrive soon, and they are easily chilled (possibly leading to death), so prompt newborn care becomes a concern. That means regular checks at the barn.  Which reminds me of a funny post from a couple of years ago. Read/watch this. 
born on Monday
"Moose" is already out in the paddock with the big sheep

Things are looking a little bleak and forlorn around here right now.

Even though most of the snowfall has stayed to our North, Winter has settled in here on the hill.

The Boss keeps weeding
even when it's cold
The crops in the hoophouses have been frozen solid a number of times and it’s easy to get discouraged at first glance.
I admit...this Chinese cabbage does look doomed

However, a little sunshine will cause a sudden resurrection and it will be easy to imagine that spring is just around the corner.

Just 73 days...
check out the new widget on the sidebar!

…and I will never get tired of the sight of baby lettuce plants (particularly knowing how cold it is outside)

Thanks for visiting!

Hope you’re warm and cozy and enjoying a Happy Sunday!

Y’all come on back, now…ya hear?

(I take the dry Sunday part back.  The steady rain has started again and the temperature is falling...HELLO Winter.)


  1. I like the spring countdown thingy! How do I get one?!

  2. Isn't the springy-thingy cool? Here's the link.
    You can find all sorts of others at You can even design your own for special events.