Monday, January 30, 2012

Around the Homestead

It's been a surprisingly mild winter this year. The weather hasn't been "normal" since we arrived. It was an exceptionally wet spring that delayed normal planting times, summer was dryer than usual with a very hot spell in the middle, the autumn went on and on and the snowfall has been pretty inconsequential. So although there have been some times of winter cold, we've had reprieves between storms and the cold when the critters have actually been able to enjoy some grazing and get out a bit. Here are the hens picking over some grass. Tomorrow it's supposed to reach 50, I believe.

Having said that, I don't know if I can rightly judge how our temporary "root cellar" has worked out. That is to say, it's working great but it hasn't really been put to the test of extended deep freeze scenarios. Our cellar is far too warm to be a root cellar so I packed turnips

and carrots in totes with damp sand. A layer of root veggies, a layer of damp sand, repeat until the tote is full and weighs far too much to move. I hope you placed it right where you wanted it before you began. I was glad I did! I snugged them right up against the foundation of the house behind the windbreak of the woodpile. Then we piled bales of hay around and on the totes and put a tarp over the whole shebang. Anyone for some crisp, sweet carrots? (Yeah, they do look a bit muddy at present).

And the pigs have grown a lot. So much so that they pretty much knocked their original shelter apart. It would seem that pigs really like to scratch their itches on the nearest wall. They are not delicate creatures. I don't know why the phrase "bull in a china shop" wasn't coined as "pig in a china shop". So Kent redesigned their shed. And since he is moving the pigs around to let them till up our garden expansions, he found the shed a might difficult to move at times.

His redesign included putting the whole thing on wheels with a rope on either end to tow it. He rolled this right past the front porch while I was standing there with a camera. I didn't even compelled to offer to help. Pretty slick!

And even though it hasn't been terribly cold, certain someones around here like to be dramatic. Here Socks models the brioche knit scarf with ear warmers.

And sometimes they just pile into their custom cat bed with knit mattress cover and terry canopy, snuggling together to keep warm. I remain unconvinced even though they go to great lengths to appear pathetic.

So it's business as usual here with livestock living the good life, pets living a pretty darn good life, and us living a great life. The work is rewarding and satisfying. Sometimes it seems hard to believe we are actually here and other times we can hardly remember being anywhere else.

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