Thursday, February 11, 2016

Serious Cold Coming

A very serious cold front is coming through along with high winds. These are the kind of weekends that turn this farm into a fort. The driest wood is stacked inside around the stove like pillars. The faucets are all running at a fast drip to discourage freezing pipes. The animals get thicker bedding, extra calories, and attention. The dogs all pile into bed with me at night and the cats keep being cats - moody and distant. We'll be okay.

When people read about homesteading they imagine weekends like this as cozy little fireside times. They are, but there is also an element of fear and wariness. Bad cold like this can kill, and I'm not talking about the livestock. I know all the animals are prepared with thick coats, good shelter, and savvy skils. What dies is morale. Because weekends like this are exactly the kind of times that trial us the most. The next three days will be a full-time, round the clock, job of keeping fires burning and the home safe.

I regular farm news my truck is in the shop being repaired. To earn the money for repairs I am running lots of logo sales, meat shares, workshop and season pass sales, and other ideas to help out with the resources and skills I have now. The last few weeks have seen a real slow down in sales of any kind but I am not discouraged. It's just after the holidays and people are tired of spending money. I am hoping with the warming temperatures folks will start bringing up ideas around the breakfast table like keeping chickens or starting to consider dairy goats and be more interested in the classes here. I am planning a summer archery day for new archers and a fiddle day in the fall. Is anyone interested in a weekend fiddle camp this fall? If so, let me know!

I'm off to check on the animals and bring in more firewood. Brick, the ewe with the bad lip, seems to be healing nicely and I picked up a new bottle of CDT shots and some syringes and needles yesterday at the feed store. Lambs are expected in about a month and I want all those meds in their systems well before so the lambs are born with the benefits as well. One lamb is already sold to a friend from the brewery! Encouraging for sure!

In other animal news, I am on the lookout for turkey hens. If anyone local wants to trade for them, you know how to reach me. Lucas and Brian need some company.

I hope all of you are staying safe and warm this weekend.


Blogger Ohiofarmgirl said...

Can confirm. my morale is dead. my hate for the winter is strong. i could be going somewhere off farm today but there are too many little lives here at stake. i'll be keeping the fires going here and making very-long-baking food. come on, spring!

February 11, 2016 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Mel Baker said...

Stay safe and warm, Jenna.

February 11, 2016 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

I hope you and your animals will be safe.

February 11, 2016 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Hope you're able to stay safe & warm! We're expecting a lot of cold here in northwestern Pennsylvania this weekend too, and we're just wrapping up a lake effect snow storm. So I feel your pain! I've felt bad milking my goat with such cold hands in the morning! :( Brrr!

- Amanda (

February 11, 2016 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

Yup were in for a cold snap here, negative overnight
.....furnace is wonky (a switch $150 service call...not) and for some reason the pellet stove is being finicky.

And I just stopped at the feed store to get .....two more of stupid poultry waterers.....two inside ready to go to replace the two that are freezing outside.


Oh, I forgot to mention. I...R....A...."farmer". I can't have much here, but I pursued a craigslist rabbit cage, thinking quail, and not only ended up with that for potential meat rabbits but also

10 quail with a cage included $20.

I did chores this morning.


(Ok so its not quite "real", but experience building)

February 11, 2016 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger mlmnttlkr said...

Cold is soul sucking. Tax returns may help sales :)

February 11, 2016 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Chris Hughes said...

Stay warm, Jenna!

February 11, 2016 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

Have you considered crowdsourcing ideas from your readers? You said that you didn't make enough money with your full time job to support your farm, but you also are struggling with your many part time jobs. Now that you are writing about your finances again, it might be a good time to get reader suggestions. Maybe something you hadn't thought of. Ways to earn money and cut expenses. You can take what you like and leave the rest. You have a lot of supporters and it would make an interesting discussion.

February 11, 2016 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Goose Goose said...

I love the winter weather which causes us to still around the abode. Makes me so happy and a careful rabbit mama.

February 11, 2016 at 6:45 PM  

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