From the dirt to our plate; the trials and realities of first-time farm ownership

Week 32: In Like A Lion

WEEK 32

On the heels of last week’s blizzard the winter lion fluffed his mane and ushered in a second round of snow and wind.  Blizzard conditions were once again at the forefront of our week and all I can say is, “WOW”!  When Mother Nature decides the ground needs moisture she doesn’t hold back.  With more than 2 feet of snow over the course of two weeks I know I for one am thankful for all the hard work we put into cutting firewood this fall.  It’s nice to be warm!

As a result of the storm, my son hasn’t been able to get home all week as roads and highways continue to be drifted in with blowing snow.  Luckily, my husband made it home through blizzard conditions on Monday evening.  Since that time we’ve both been isolated and snow bound on our 25 acre farmstead.  Highways both to the north and south of us were closed, so even if we could have gotten out of our driveway and down the road, there was nowhere to go.

During the days where winds gusted up to 50 miles per hour and snow kept falling we stayed busy inside where it was warm.  Ironically, we now had the time to work on the kitchen island which we completed and installed.  It turned out much the way I envisioned it and I love having the additional work space and storeage in our kitchen.


Knowing we had to keep up on the snow my husband battled brutal winds plowing the drive with the 4-wheeler as well as clearing paths to the chicken coop , firewood pile and quonset with the snow blower.  It was manageable but not pleasant.


Even as I type this blog, a neighbor in the area is using a tractor mounted snow blower to clear the road as county plows have been known to take 3-4 days before clearing this area.  The guilt my husband has been feeling over not being able to get to work has left him feeling unsettled.  Perhaps Mother Nature knew he needed a little break?


In any case, with more snow in the forecast for the weekend there will never be a dull moment living this far out in the country.  Being prepared is key and as my husband said earlier in the week, “…its a bit like living in a cabin out in the middle of nowhere.”  We must always be ready for what could happen.

The chickens and ducks too have been quarantined to their little cottage coop.  Once the snow and the winds stopped we were faced with shockingly low freezing temperatures.  As the thermometer struggled to climb above -1 degree Fahrenheit, the nighttime temps plummeted even further.  With a high of -18 degrees last night (without windchill) I was relieved the coop was now insulated and hovered at 18 degrees above zero.


With all this cold projected to last into next week, the ducks and chickens have not been allowed outside the coop and covered pen.  While not being thrilled by their small space I try to keep them happy with warm oats each morning, plenty of fresh straw and ice-free water.  Admittedly, it’s hard to keep myself from turning on a heater for them but I know in the long run it will be best they rely on their feathers to stay warm.

Inside the house, the dogs and cat stay close to the wood stove for warmth.  My husband is quick to whip up a mug of steaming apple cider from the Keurig as I wait my turn to brew up some hot cocoa.  The winter is officially underway and I think for Christmas we both wish Santa would bring us a nice tractor with a bucket scoop, sans the red bow.

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