Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Walkabout 11-30

no one enters without the secret password
or cookies
Welcome to the “off-season”! 

With the end of the Market season comes a great abundance of FREE time. We just do anything we want…or nothing at all.  Uh, no.  Not by a long shot.  (but, I’ll get to that one in another post)
just chillin'
waitin' to see if it will snow

Thanksgiving preparations were supposed to be the focus of the week. 

that's us
right under the pointer

However, a snowstorm was looming…and that dictated that I check on the weather at least 11 million times, seriously slowing down my preparations.  Now, we weren’t expecting anything monumental (I keep thinking about all those folks in New York State that are STILL feeling the effects of SEVEN feet of snow) but, measurable snowfall this time of year is pretty unusual, and had the potential of playing havoc on my T’giving plans.

sunset before the snow

when the moon is kinda hazy...

Since there’s nothing you can do about the weather, we just made our preparations and waited. (and I checked the weather again and again) Among other things, the Boss worked on the henhouse...again.
In hopes of eliminating the nightly "hen-round-up", he added roosts to provide more sleeping area. With more room, surely they'd go in at night...?
nightly hen round-up
another henhouse modification
adding roosts

they're starting to figure it out far, the round-up continues. (hens are apparently very slow learners)

When the snow finally started, Gus was the only one that seemed excited about it.
But, then Gus is the only one who shows real excitement over a lot of things. And, then it snowed and it snowed and it snowed.

Big, fluffy flakes that piled up quickly. By the time it was over, the “NWS trained weather spotter” in Mbrk reported 10 inches. (and it’s still here)
view from kitchen window
still snowing

photog in the snow
(with dogs)

backyard branches
Thankfully, we didn’t lose power. (that was my biggest fear) Have you ever tried to make Tgiving dinner with no power?  Me, either. And I certainly didn’t want to try!  Although the lights blinked approximately 49 times throughout the day, making me more than a little nervous, all that tree trimming the power company did earlier this year paid off. Although, with each power blink, all the clocks got wonky and needed to be re-set.  I finally gave up worrying over the clocks, since that, too, was interfering with my prep work.

The sheep and chickens were not at all impressed with the white stuff.  The ewes trudged out into the snow, looking for something to eat. (because apparently the hay I had given them wasn’t good enough)  When the wet, heavy snow began to fall off the tree branches, a few of the more nervous ewes ran DOWN the hill (unbeknownst to me the fence had been flattened by the snow) So, my preparations were once more disrupted as I chased and herded sheep through the snow.  At that point, they were restricted to the barnlot where they were given plenty of hay to eat. (and helped themselves to some more) 

looking for food

Yikes! Run!

YAY! Hay!

The hens, on the other hand, just stood around (first on one little foot and then the other) complaining about the weather.
she's got one foot tucked up to keep it warm

the pullets were totally unaffected
still, they didn't want their pic taken

Happily, my preparations were finally completed, the Boss plowed paths so we could feed the animals without getting snow in our boots and our neighbor cleared the lane. So, the kids were able to make it over the creek and up the hill “to grandmother’s house”…they didn’t even need their four-wheel drive! And, we had some fun family time and way too much food.

gotta love the crazy family

do ya wanna build a snowman?

he had too much fun
messing with the guys' tv from his phone in another room 

good food
forgot to take pics of dessert!

The girls and I spent Black Friday shopping, since the fellas had to work.  Don’t let all those awful stories on the news give you the wrong impression.  We didn’t see any bad behavior, and aside from some dicey driving moments, the day was fairly uneventful.  The girls even found some really good deals.  Although, I must say…Personally, I am NOT cut out to be a shopper.  The whole “life in the big city” deal is more than a little overwhelming.  I was REALLY glad to get back to my real (somewhat predictable and boring) life here on the hill!

But, with no Saturday Market (or Winter sales) to dictate my schedule, I am genuinely confused as to what day of the week it is.  It feels like the week has had three Saturdays and two Sundays….or was that two Saturdays and three Sundays?  Winter sales will start this upcoming week, so my confusion will be short-lived. (thankfully) This afternoon I will start work on our new email campaign for Winter.  I’m just a little excited to be updating our look and layout after 6 years! (if I can figure out the technical aspects)

Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and we will be able to have some greens for our customers. We’d really like to offer more than meat and eggs and storage vegetables.  But, it’s hard to get re-growth in the hoophouses when the sides are covered with snow and the temperatures remain below freezing. I don’t think most folks realize that just because the hoophouses protect the crops, the un-heated structures are not always conducive to great winter time production.  (and adding heat would be more than a little costly…and create a new set of problems) There is a real reason for the importation of fresh produce from warmer climes in the cold, dark winter months here in the Valley. (and it’s not because someone wants to make a buck, either) The demand (and need) for fresh produce is astounding, far more than we (and a huge band of growers) could ever supply, and then there’s the weather. Although, I must say, it was encouraging to peek under the frost blankets. There is some pretty stuff growing!

cold weather is not conducive to growth

see the snow on the sides?

oh, yum

With a few warm days, the snow will melt and the hoophouse crops will rebound nicely. But, for right now, it looks like February here on the hill…even though it’s November. And it’s more than a little depressing and disconcerting. I really hope it doesn’t stay like this!

Think Spring, y’all!

This is the last day of the Ag blogging challenge.  Did you read along with any of the other bloggers?   I found some very interesting things to read this month.  In case you missed it, here’s the original link to the challenge and all the other blogs.

Since I didn’t get around to posting on Friday (too busy shopping and recovering from shopping) I will finish up tomorrow. I realized that there are far more than 30 days of “Lessons from the Farm”, so I will be certain to revisit the theme in the upcoming days and weeks. Thank you for reading along with me!  I hope you’ll let me know if you were hoping to read about something I didn’t cover.

Can you believe that tomorrow is the first of December?

It is officially the “off-season” from the Market. But, this doesn’t mean we’ll be sitting around waiting until the Market opens the first weekend of April.  This week we are beginning our big home repair job of re-flooring the downstairs. I must admit, I am facing this one with fair amount of trepidation. But, first, I’m off to help Blondie re-paint her kitchen. That I know I can do!  Painting is SO fun.

The first of the seed catalogs arrived this week, so once the flooring job is finished, the Boss and I will start focusing on the crops of 2015.  There are also chicks to order and processing dates to schedule. Yesterday I ordered some replacement heatlamps since it’s only about 6 weeks until lambing season. We’re always looking toward the future. Farming is definitely a walk of faith!

you need to think about tomatoes and such
when it looks like this outside

I hope you’re having a Happy Sunday!

Thanks for visiting!  Come see us again soon!

November 30 sunrise

Lessons Learned:
Sometimes the weatherman IS right.
Things work out in the end.
My family is awesome.
...and chickens...ain't so bright. 


  1. My friend's hens stood out in the rain looking very miserable. I commented on this, saying that nothing in the world looked as sad as hens in the rain. She replied that donkeys were worse as they stood with their ears down - even if there was a nice, warm stable available.
    Your Thanksgiving dinner with your family looked marvellous - glad you had a lovely time.
    Here in the UK, where the Black Friday tradition is just beginning, it was apparently terrible, with people getting knocked over and injured (shots on the TV showed this). Shopping and me don't mix I'm afraid.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks SO much for reading...and commenting, Carol!