Replaced old blue tarp with one that actually stops the rain
Replaced old blue tarp with one that actually stops the rain


Boy, did we ever learn that truth the hard way this past weekend.

The weather had been gorgeous all summer long.  Dry and hot but still, gorgeous.  We were all lured into a false sense of security, a false sense of endless time to prepare for the winter.

Boy, were we wrong.

Two inches of rain on Saturday with fifty mile per hour winds….that was the reality we woke up to.  Just when you think you’ve got Mother Nature figured out, she sharpens her claws and scratches the hell out of you.


We have two aviaries where the quail and rabbits live.  I’ve been meaning to nail a big tarp over the biggest aviary because last year the quail got soaked during heavy rains, but as of this last weekend I had not done that yet….endless time, right? No hurry, right?

I woke up Sunday feeling like a horrible failure to my animals.  Again the quail were soaked and it was a muddy mess in their aviary.  So Sunday was not a day of rest for Bev and I. We spent the day winterizing our little farm.  Lesson learned.


New grape arbor needed
New grape arbor needed

Here it is….jot it down….the work never ends!

We are close to the end of the harvest. We picked fifteen quarts of green beans yesterday and grabbed up some zucchini.   The kale still needs to be harvested.  After the last of the harvesting is done, we’ll turn over the soil and plant cover crops for winter.  We have several we’ll be laying down to help provide nutrients to the soil during the winter months.  Clover is probably going to be our favorite because the rabbits and quail seem to love clover, so we’ll get several benefits from that.

Let’s see, what else do we need to do?  The woodpile needs to be consolidated and re-stacked, and I need to get busy splitting some of it.  I also want to tear down the current tool shed and build a new one.  We have to move the frame for next year’s greenhouse fifty feet to its new location.  I also need a new storage area for hay and straw, and that means building a structure for that.  Happily I have some spare wooden pallets for the job.


More work waiting for me
More work waiting for me

Then we need to turn our attention to the front yard.  Our goal is to have an edible garden in the front filled with berries, grapes and fruit trees.  That means preparation and planning.  I want to dig out the walking path this fall, and I need to dig some planting beds and an build an arbor for the grapes.  I should be able to get that done by the end of September.

After all that is done I’ll take one more walk around the property and make sure everything is ready for winter.  Can it stay dry in the rains? Can it withstand the weight of a heavy snow?  Is everything going to drain properly?  Are all the animals protected should things get really nasty?  Do I have access to electricity in all areas in case heat lamps have to be hung in brutally cold weather?

We have about one month to get it all done.

No more procrastinating!


13 thoughts on “Getting Ready for Winter

  1. Hi Billy,
    I love this blog of yours. Can I call it a blog?
    Funny how life down on the urban farm can be so fascinating even for a mortal like me. It’s like taking a sneak peek into the lives of another family, which is just what it is. Amazing how you two manage to get so much done in what must be a very busy calendar.
    Hope this coming weekend is easier than the last one.
    Best wishes,


    1. Sally, how nice of you to visit. Thank you for your kind words, and I’m happy you like this blog. A mortal like you? LOL We get a lot done around here because we love what we do. If we didn’t love it you would have a hard time forcing me outdoors when it’s raining hard. 🙂


  2. I have been telling Matthew for months!!! Winter is coming!!! He just laughs and says, “Okay Lady Stark!”

    But look, it’s September and the air is crisp and the ground is soggy. I can already see where we have some muddy issues to take care of. I feel it in my bones, this winter is going to be a hard one.


    1. Rachel, what a surprise. Welcome! I don’t know if it will be a hard one or not, but I think it is right around the corner. We don’t have that many dry days remaining and I think you are right in prodding Matt along a bit. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.


  3. Loving your blog more and more that I read it! Could also be that I grew up on a farm haying and raising cattle…and now at 42 have returned to starting a farm of our own…with 10 acres…not 400 like growing up. Just a little family farm on a lake in Tenino! So not far from you. 1 cat that caught a bat tonight…yikes….one dog, 6 goats, 16 hens and 2 roosters…think we really need to get rid of one of them.
    Feel your pain with winter coming and thinking wait what happened to our normal sunny September?
    Can’t wait to hear when you decide to order more lemon/goat shirts!


  4. You might want to let that kale get nipped by frost. It makes it better and you could continue eating from your garden longer! 🙂 Farming on any scale is continuous work. I also have found this to be true. Thanks for reminding me to go out and pick my green beans! Begonia


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