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Music to My Ears

December 12, 2013
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The rain has finally arrived with some warm air.  I think the inversion is still in place in points lower than here and keeping those temps low enough for freezing rain, but for now I am enjoying the sound of rain on the roof.  Here’s some miscellaneous pics from today before the rain.

Chicken hoophouse

Chicken hoophouse

These guys never cared a whit about the cold – deep bedding, some solar gain during the day and they didn’t miss a beat on egg laying.  I did water them twice a day though during the coldest weather.

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January King is holding up pretty good.  We’ll see how it really looks in a few days though after the thaw is finally finished.

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Ruby Ball not quite so pretty, but this is my go-to winter cabbage, I suspect it is in good shape under those layers of frostbite.

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No surprise with Lacinato Rainbow, this kale beats all the other varieties we grow in the cold game.

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Ouch Winterbor – you look kind of peaked.  This one will survive too, it just won’t be quite as pretty.

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At 22°F this morning the cows broke their own ice with the stick.  This is how it looked when we fed this morning.

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The stockpiled grass has done okay, considering we had no snow cover to speak of during the 5°F cold spell.  Those kind of low temps are pretty rare around here, and I am glad of that.  Now back to rain gear.

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2013 4:28 pm

    My pasture pipes finally thawed yesterday. I’ll confess I have enjoyed wearing my hiking boots instead of my muck boots for the past week or so! But since the farm wasn’t ready for winter I toted a lot of buckets during the coldest time. When it rains, no frozen pasture pipes.

    What do you use to feed minerals when it rains, on pasture?

    • December 12, 2013 4:58 pm

      Yeah for thawed pipes! Gotta save those shoulders and arms!

      If we have a huge rainy spell I don’t give the minerals, but if we’re going to have few hours of dry I put them out. The key is putting out what they will eat in a few hours. Not a big supply like if they are in the barn.

  2. Chris permalink
    December 12, 2013 4:44 pm

    🙂 Is the cow in the last photo pg or just pleasingly plump?

    • December 12, 2013 4:54 pm

      He’s full of hay, that’s their heater 🙂 That’s the whole digestive system you’re seeing. Pregnant cows don’t really look pregnant until the very end.

  3. quilterj3 permalink
    December 12, 2013 4:46 pm

    I enjoyed your story about the dishes and today’s pictures but I am puzzled by the cows using a stick to break ice in the tub, really?

    • December 12, 2013 5:09 pm

      The stick usually has an opening around it, making it easier for me to break the ice. But the cows have figured out that when they push on that stick to get at the water, it will break the ice and make a bigger hole. Cows are easy to train to use drink cups, so this is kind of the hillbilly way for out in the pasture 🙂

      • December 12, 2013 5:41 pm

        Thanks for explanation, I will now send it on to my northern son and his 30 head of beef cows and their young.

        • December 12, 2013 9:19 pm

          QJ3, depending on how north he is, the stick may not work, below 10F and I’m back to chopping ice 😦

        • December 13, 2013 9:11 am

          Doesn’t work here.

        • December 13, 2013 10:15 am

          I post stuff like this because it does work here, sometimes cold weather stuff can be simple, folks in colder areas always go to extremes because they have to. It does no good to tell me that 5F isn’t cold, because it is cold for here. If I wanted to live where it was cold all winter I would move or spend lots of money and go skiing on Mt Hood. I can get cold and slip around for free here just as easy 😉 I’m noticing in my “old age” that the baling wire and screws holding me together get cold at 20F now, 15F used to be the magic number 😦

        • December 13, 2013 3:52 pm

          I wasn’t meaning to correct you in any way. Just sayin, doesn’t work here…and should have specified North of St. Louis. I put enough water in the trough each day that the cows drink most of it, not so much that I have a block of ice in there the next morning.

  4. December 12, 2013 5:39 pm

    Your cows and everything look great!

  5. December 12, 2013 6:16 pm

    I am the Grandma who loves your blogs as they make me feel like I am there with you still in the family food production in a big way. I have had to slow down in my later years, but I still have 2 chickens and my grandson and his wife raised a flock for me so I go down and enjoy them next door and can have eggs too. And my son next door has taken over the cows for my husband and me, but I am thinking maybe to start back milking when the next little one comes. HIs outside work doesn’t permit his milking and I love to make our own cheese. Mostly I want my grandchildren to know the skills of providing their own food. I really enjoyed your blog on your quilting in the folk festival too. I do more of that now that I need to sit down more. Thanks for your blog. I look forward to it so much as it brings back happy memories of my past gardens, etc. I am glad to get the variety of kale that’s good for the cold…Lacinato Rainbow. Mine is doing pretty good in this cold we are having down here in Alabama, but I want to try this other one next year. Again thanks for all the inspiration and God bless you all!

  6. December 13, 2013 12:18 am

    Yay! Our cold snap seems to have broken down here near Bandon, too. Last night it was 27ºF just past midnight. Tonight it’s 42ºF and we’ve had a hint of rain – still not enough of that though.

    • December 13, 2013 5:50 am

      It feels pretty good to wake up to a warmish house and no fires to stoke! I’m going to clean my stovepipes today. Loving hearing the rain on the roof this morning 🙂

    • December 13, 2013 6:12 pm

      Gunta – we should meet! I’m near Bandon too!

      • December 14, 2013 1:49 am

        Drop me an email through my “contact me” page at my blog http://gusgus64.wordpress.com/ (Lots of pics of Bandon there!) 🙂

        • December 14, 2013 12:26 pm

          This blog is providing quite a few different contacts isn’t it 🙂

        • December 14, 2013 1:15 pm

          @Joanna… yes, it certainly is!!! Ain’t it wonderful?

  7. Elizabeth permalink
    December 13, 2013 3:55 am

    -20 degrees without snow pretty much wiped out the little bit of kale and B. sprouts we still had out in our garden. This weather is extremely cold and early this year. Makes me wonder what’s in store for the true deep winter!

    • December 13, 2013 5:49 am

      Elizabeth, I am so glad I don’t live in such a cold area! I wonder too about winter, our coldest weather usually comes mid-January 😦

      • Elizabeth permalink
        December 14, 2013 9:51 pm

        But it can always be worse. My husband works in AK up by the Arctic Ocean and he said that tonight the ambient temperature was -35 with a -60 wind chill. Yikes!

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