winter in my little slice of heaven 017Look at me, posting twice in December.  A trend?  I doubt it, but hope springs eternal.

So, we had our first snow. We don’t get much snow here in Olympia. In fact, we haven’t had any for two years, so this morning’s dusting was kind of unexpected.  Of course, an urban farmer’s first concern with snow is always the welfare of the farm critters.  Ours were fine this morning, but we do have some cold temperatures coming, so I’ll have to make sure the water bowls stay free of ice for the next few days.

RACCOONS

Hey, I can’t get mad at raccoons. They’re animals too, and they’re just doing what they do naturally, which is look for food as the weather turns nasty and winter settles in.  They got a good meal from our three chickens last week, but that will be quite enough of my generosity.  There were three in our yard last night and I greeted them warmly with my BB gun and some colorful phrases.

QUAIL

We butchered eighteen of them last week.  Actually Bev did, but I’ve done it before and I can say, without hesitation, it’s not enjoyable.  Anyway, eighteen butchered, and fourteen scheduled to be purchased this week, so we are getting our numbers down to a manageable level as winter arrives.  We’ll probably sell off twenty more and then when February arrives we’ll hatch some eggs and build the flock back up in time for egg-laying season in April.

WORMS

Several of you have asked me about this worm-raising venture, so let me give you the highlights on how easy it is.  Mind you, right now we are just starting out, but the way worms grow in number, we should have quite a few of them in two months.  After I get comfortable doing this I’ll turn my attention to raising meal worms as well as the red wigglers.  All of them can be sold, and the red worm tea and worm castings are easily sold to gardeners.

So, how to raise red wigglers?

Follow this link to the WSU Extension and they can tell you just how easy it is.

If you’re looking for a great natural fertilizer, look no further than worm tea or worm castings. Great stuff, right up there with rabbit pellets.

COLD WEATHER

Sheez, how about 19 degrees last night?  Here’s the thing about having critters during the winter: they rely on you, the owner, to provide for them.  Water freezes at 19 degrees.  I know, right? Shocker alert!  So that means hopping out of bed in the morning and braving those temperatures to get your animals some water that isn’t frozen solid.  That’s what I did this morning, and it was cold as hell, and the animals loved me for it.

Sure I could buy those heating pads that keep water from freezing over the winter, but I’m of the opinion that those pads are for wimps and hey, Daddy didn’t raise no wimp.  J

Bottom line message to you all: take care of your animals in the cold weather.  Make sure their water is not frozen, and spread some hay in their enclosure so they can burrow down into it and stay warmer.

THAT’S ALL FOR NOW

I’ve got things to do in preparation of today’s snow, so I have to go. Have a great weekend and I’ll catch you down the road of life.

Bill

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4 thoughts on “Winterizing Your Urban Farm

  1. I totally remember the snow in Washington. My brothers and I use to go to the pond behind our house and ice skate as soon as the pond was frozen. There was also a hill nearby that we would enjoy sledding with our little round trash bin-looking sleds. Oh, what wonderful memories. Stay warm, friend. I will be thinking of you as I reside in sunny California.

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  2. Thank you Marlene! We had about four inches last night, but now it’s melting. It was beautiful while it lasted, but now back to normal. Great childhood memories. My parents had to drag me inside when I was young, so busy I was playing in the snow with friends.

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  3. Always excellent read and more to learn. Given credit to raccoons, nicely phrased. A quail’s soup mm,- best of home made and a beautiful in color. Most of all an unforgettable quot “it was cold as hell,’ never heard before, actually just the opposite is being said that the hell is quite too hot. ( At least a conforming hope for the sinners planing to spend eternity in it. Sighing.) Finally if the weather prediction proove to be true, upcomming winter would be one of the coldest shocker as a proof of ‘clime change’ ( what do I know ?!).
    Be of good cheer my friend we will survive even colder that that..

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  4. Michael my friend, your comments always bring a smile to my face. Thank you for that gift. Yes, cold for sure, colder to come. Surround ourselves with the heat of love and we will be fine.

    blessings always

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