The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Deep freeze

IciclesWe've been operating under deep freeze conditions all week.  Friday night, the snow started falling, and by the end of the weekend we had about four inches.  Then the temperatures dropped way down, with days below freezing and nights in the teens and single digits.  For the sake of comparison, December's average high is 48 and our average low is 26 --- waking up to ice in my water bottle inside the trailer is highly unusual, but that's what Thursday morning was like.

Even though our water line is buried to within four feet of the house, we didn't finish it up because of a kink in the plan.  Usually, a frozen water line isn't a big deal --- you fill up a few pots with wash water and a few jugs with drinking water, and the line thaws out in the afternoon a day or two later.  Not this week.  Instead, it stayed so cold that the snow sat on the ground and the line stayed frozen solid until Mark busted some ice out of the thousand gallon tank to carry wash water to the house.
Mustard greens in the snow
The positive part of this deep freeze is that it's been a real test of our other winter projects.  Mark's homemade heated chicken waterer was still operating on a 9 degree Fahrenheit morning, which is just about as cold as it ever gets around here.  And when the snow finally melted enough that I could pull back the row covers in the mule garden, I was able to pick fresh, beautiful mustard greens for our lunch.

Treat your chickens to fresh, clean water this holiday season with our homemade chicken waterer.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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