We have been snowed in for two days now! Schools have been closed, as well as many businesses. It may be a normal winter for people up North, but we are in east Texas! Come to think of it, our whole winter so far has been fairly frigid.
Cold weather on our farm is both good and bad. It is good for the fruit trees. It helps them to set fruit for the spring. It is also good to help cut down on our pest problems. Living in the woods of east Texas comes with a whole lot of summer insects such as mosquitoes, June bugs, stinkbugs, and a whole bunch of other pests that just make a terrible nuisance of themselves. This cold weather helps us keep those numbers under control.
I reckon one of the best things about cold weather is that it offers more time to sit and contemplate. With less chores to do in the winter, we have more time to plan what has got to be done through the upcoming year. We are planning what fruit trees need to be added to the orchard, what vines need to be replaced in the vineyard, and what herbs and vegetables need to be planted this spring. We have also had spare time to start a good couple of books, mainly books about farming.
One of the so called “bad” things about cold weather is that sometimes there is no avoiding it. There are daily chores that involve being outside in the cold, such as collecting firewood and feeding livestock. Also a cold snap signals the time to slaughter animals to fill the freezer.
We have been laying on the feed to keep the livestock warm through this frigid time. Thank goodness our cow numbers are low to help us save on how much hay we are having to go through. Our cow numbers are lower because last week we sold two yearlings at the livestock auction and butchered one to fill the freezer for the year.
We also have taken to collecting eggs as soon as we possibly can after the hens lay them to keep them from freezing. Unbelievably, the hens have not slowed production because of the cold. They have been troopers to keep us supplied with eggs for breakfast and enough to sell to our community.
We are suppose to start thawing out tomorrow. Well enough chit chatting. I’ve got to put some more wood in the stove and start supper. Stay warm my friends!
Photo by Getty Images/AmyKerk