Saturday, February 05, 2011

feb 5 blizzard

And yet another blizzard to contend with. Outside the wind is wailing. Through the window I see the snow speeding across the fields. The cows are miserable. The roads are miserable. I am miserable.

Actually, I am not entirely. The house is indeed toasty warm with a gentle fire rolling in the stove. A little glass of rum and ice is a luxury beside me on the desk as I type. Things could be worse.

I did have to experience the wind and blowing snow first hand while watering the cows and repairing fence earlier tonight. That whole process, on a night like tonight, simply reinforces my ideas about the price of isn't high enough!

Thankfully, I receive little opposition to my pricing of our farm products. I try my best to keep things fair and so far my customers are extremely educated on the subject...they get it. They get that it is a tremendous amount of work to do things right, the hard way. The small-scale way, without chemicals and poisons, and unsustainable borrowing practices. I suspect that they appreciate that work and devotion and I appreciate them.

So, with ears and nose stinging with cold, I continue to do what it takes. To haul the grain, water the cows and mill the flour in order to make our little farm work and provide good quality, locally grown, organic food to as many people as I can.

Dreaming of spring.


  1. Hey John, sorry to hear you're getting more snow. We're in the same bucket here, had to shovel off the machine shed the other day since many are going down in our area under snow weight... sigh.

    Anyway just wondering how your passive solar water trough is working out for you?

  2. Not sure if you got my message, but could you send me a mailing address again? somehow lost in the digital world...operator error I suspect.

    The water trough is not working at all. The major issue is that it is pretty much buried in snow. Half of the window is blocked and it has slowly frozen more and more. The cows keep unplugging the heater too and the cords are frozen in drifts so hard that I cannot release them to better secure the connection. We'll have to figure out another system for next winter...I am thinking wood fired. What are you guys using?

  3. Wood would be great! My in laws used a wood burning trough for many years until power was available at pasture. They would simply light the fire once a day to let the cows have a drink, it only took 2 or 3 sticks of birch to get the trough thawed enough to let the cows drink.

    Our system isnt the greatest as it was meant to be temporary (2 years ago). However, this year we 'upgraded' to a black plastic trough (150gal) surrounded by square straw bales. I have half tank covered and split with a peice of a plywood. Inside the covered section I have a stock water deicer, the sinking kind its attached via 100ft extension cord partially buried. It keeps it unthawed just fine, our only issue is dragging out 100ft of garden hose every 3rd day... not pleasant in -40.

    Hoping to have a automatic water bowl before next fall. Neighbor has great success with a simple 60watt bulb inside the units to keep from freezing.