Holding Back the Cold!


This morning started off at -9, with a windchill somewhere around -35, which means that farmer faces feel like they are going to freeze off between the house and the hen house. (It also means that the water in the bucket I carried out to the hens had already started freezing to the sides of the bucket during the 200 yard hike out to the chickens!) Fortunately, structures and animals seem to be holding on through this challenging weather. We added a water heater to the henhouse this fall, which has been able to keep their water thawed so far this winter (including last night, surprisingly), and we added a small milkhouse heater this past week to try and keep the temperature up a few more degrees in the hen house. Poor chickens have these beautiful combs which help them stay cool in the summertime, but are at risk for frostbite in the winter. Between the heat lamp, the heater, vast quantities of extra cracked corn and sunflowers, and their body heat, the hens are forging on through this cold spell, but are getting tired of being cooped up (it's been too cold to let them out the past 3 days--they will be happy on Tuesday when we reach a balmy 18 degrees and can start letting them roam free again!)

Chicken Entertainment

The high tunnel is also holding up to the snow and wind--the rye cover crop is green and alive, but hasn't started regrowing like we anticipated this week (this week is when the days start getting long enough for tunnel crops to wake up from their deep winter sleep), likely due to the cold. It's been fairly epic keeping the sides snow-blowed clear this past month, but thankfully today's winds are helping us out by removing most of the snow piled along the sides! If we get some warming weather in a couple weeks, we will try to start seeding a quick batch of salad greens by early March.

rye and peas growing in high tunnel

Around the hours of shoveling and snow blowing, it can also be quite beautiful...

Woods in Winter Sun

Winter Sparkly Sunrise


Winter MoonRise