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

Why is it so cold?

The barn and chicken tractor in the snow
I read a bunch of homestead blogs, and we all seemed to be united last week --- it was just too cold to do much outdoors work!  Between having snow on the ground for over three weeks running and soil that's frozen so hard that it hurts to kneel on it, I feel like I've moved to New England.  Or maybe Canada.

I felt like such a wimp complaining, but it turns out that this weather really is out of the ordinary.  There's a high pressure zone sitting on Greenland that's deflecting cold air into the U.S., a situation that hasn't been this extreme since 1950.  But all's not lost --- Dr. Walter Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data Center wants us to know that “pretty much all of the Arctic is above normal."  There, don't you feel better now?

Cheer yourself up --- check out our automatic chicken waterers that brighten your hens' day!
Thick ice and a tulip-tree seed pod in the snow

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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 Guys, Sorry to hear you are having some cold weather. I am in Canada and today it was 50 F. outside and sunny. Can't beat that. It's really not that cold up here. :) Do you know that in some parts of Canada they can grow palm trees? That would be BC on the coast. I'm east of the Rockies in Alberta where it gets really cold but we have these wonderful things called "Chinooks" and that's why today it was 50. I have seen days in February in the 60-70s. T-shirt weather for sure. On the other hand, it can get to -40 (C or F) but that's not too often. Where I am, we get the most winter sun in all of Canada. BC is mild but in the winter it clouds over. The sun makes you feel pretty happy, even if it is cold outside and it sure warms you up. Hope you are both doing well.


Comment by Heather Sun Jan 10 20:54:52 2010
I never thought I'd be jealous of weather in Canada! (Palm trees?!?!)
Comment by anna Mon Jan 11 08:26:03 2010
On the positive side, I think this deep freeze will be good for ridding the woods and pastures of parasites and ticks for next spring and summer. :-) Or am I just hoping for too much there?
Comment by Everett Mon Jan 11 11:17:48 2010
I think that might be wishful thinking, but if we're lucky it might get cold enough at high elevations to slow down the hemlock woolly adelgid!
Comment by anna Mon Jan 11 11:48:51 2010

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