So far, forty seven inches of snow has fallen here this winter, with 95% of that being in the last 2-3 weeks. It's pretty white out there. Our driveway is long and while we do have a snow blower attachment for our tractor, it's one of those machines that always seems to need repair each time you try and start it up. Its specialty is actually *not* starting up. It's really good at that.
I've been trying to give some extra love to our chickens, poor girls are bored out of their tiny chicken minds. They won't touch snow so they haven't left their pen in nearly a month. Earlier I roasted an acorn squash for their morning treat. It's the little things that keep them going right now. Winter is the time that I'm reminded of just how far we've placed them from the house. About 125 feet to be exact. It's quite a path to shovel!
Adam covered their pen sides with a combo of materials we had on hand (plexiglass and heavy duty clear plastic) and it has made all the difference in keeping the pen snow-free, as well as protecting them from bitter wind. There are a couple of small gaps for air flow, and snow does sneak in there, but it's nothing a quick spreading of fresh straw can't fix. All that snow banked up against the sides would be in their pen if there was no side coverage, it's worked out really well!
Chickens and snow... both occupying a good amount of headspace these days. I'm going to start some seeds this weekend - tomatoes, peppers, onion, lettuce, kale. Today I'll order our seed potatoes and I think we'll significantly expand our potato beds this year, so that should be a big order. Our plan for the 2015 garden is actually to focus on less variety, but more substantial amounts of the crops we do grow. At the moment I'm saying we'll skip all winter squash varieties and most of summer squash varieties. Instead, we'll use that space for more potatoes, carrots, beets, tomatoes, beans, greens, calendula, basil, cabbage, and peas (in the early spring my garden is expected to look like one giant patch of peas - can't wait!). I'm sure there will be more selections, but not much. Our reason for focusing less on variety and more on crops that attract the least pests and provide the best storage, is simply that we aren't sure how much time we'll be able to devote to the garden this summer. Our family has some plans for the summer months this year that will take our attention away from the garden rows quite a bit. Part of me thought we should skip the garden altogether, but I quickly realized that's just crazy talk. We've got to plant something!
It's been awhile since I've written anything substantial here, and this post is not going to remedy that, but I hope to find my blogging legs soon. After a photo series, after the completion of an incredibly sweet workshop... it's time to find my way here again. To be honest, I'm feeling rusty. I'm in that place of what on earth do I have to share that is worth dedicating a few paragraphs to? It's happened before and it will happen again. So I just keep pushing forward because sometimes taking note of an ordinary day, a snowy winter, or a feast of squash for breakfast, is enough. I'll add a photo or two to what I've written, hit publish, then wash up the dishes in the sink and go about the rest of my day. Who knows, maybe there will be a buffet of steamed kale later on... I have a few chicken friends who would find that very exciting.