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

First real cold spell of the winter

Cold farm

We've enjoyed such a nice, gentle fall...but all good things must come to an end. When I woke to a low of 12 Saturday morning, I realized that I'd forgotten some of the winter tasks that I should probably have been more on top of. Yep, our water line had frozen (as it generally does in extreme cold weather...especially if I forget to put insulation back around the summer access points), and I hadn't filled up any backup water sources. So I had to steal half of the contents of Huckleberry's water bucket for the goats, which prompted our grumpy cat to stalk outside in a snit and then bring a junco back to lay across the kitchen floor. I picked up the bird, thinking it was dead, opened the back door to toss the critter out...and Huckleberry's prey lifted off from my hands and flew away, stunned but unharmed by our cat's attention-getting move.

Warm fire

So winter is here at last! Happily, I realized that twelve doesn't really feel all that cold when you've gotten used to mid-fifties inside the trailer. And now maybe those last few leaves will drop off our baby apple trees so I can enjoy one of my favorite seasons --- fall perennial planting! After the ground thaws, of course.

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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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Hi Anna - I was wondering whether this feels like it might be a longer winter than normal and if the woodshed was full enough to make it through to the warmer weather of spring? In our two years having a woodstove at our cabin, we are still learning just how much wood we will need to keep us warm during the cold months.

Also - I was curious if you have to deal with mice in the trailer? Our cabin was invaded recently and I was looking for more good ideas to make them less inclined to visit.

Comment by Karen B Sun Nov 16 08:43:43 2014

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