Foust Family Farms

  (Whitsett, North Carolina)
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Baby, it's cold outside

Brrr....what else is there to say. It's cold outside - and inside [for that matter].. My wood-fired water furnace isn't working right, so I've had to fall back to using propane. Just two months ago the price of propane was $2.56 gal. I bought some yesterday and it had gone up to $3.56 gal. Until my water furnace [heatmaster] went on the fritz, I hadn't needed to heat w/propane for the last four years. 

Then my toilets decided to stop flowing. I was afraid that the lines to the septic tank were frozen. And it doesn't help that a tree grows 10 feet to the side. Four days of "goin' to potty"  the old-fashioned way, a la the good old days...some memories are best left forgotten. i only wish i could get my body to get the urge [to go] during daytime, when it's close to being above freezing.

On the other-hand, my chickens are faring much better than i could have hoped. The roosters got a touch of frostbite on their combs. But the boys are a tough bunch. I'd built a platform two feet off the ground in the coop, but they prefer the a couple bales of old hay was put in. May throw in some fresh manure / bedding for a little added warmth.

Chick-chick [my sole hen]...I took her out of the rabbit hutch and let her run "free range"  just the other day when it was, what? 60F?  Yet, the day after, the high was only 28F?. North Carolina weather sure can be fickle.  The plastic roofing I put on the side of the hutch (facing the sun) lets in enough sunlight to keep her toasty...and except for yesterday - her water hasn't froze. I gotta take fresh water to the boys each day. 

 My cats seem unfazed by the cold. There are just so many places around the farm where they can find a warm place to hole up in. Though, more often then not, I'll spy them sitting out on the porch mat against the kitchen door. I'm guessing there's a little heat seeping out under the door.

I am thankful that only 2 inches of snow dropped. And that my bees are still alive. Two of my hives didn't fill the super I'd placed above the queen excluder. I'd filled those w/plastic frames. Apparently, the honeybees don't favor plastic. I took advantage of the 60F day to put sugar in the tops of each hive. One of the gals hitched a ride on me when I wasn't looking   and - almost stung me after I came into the house.

The wind was blowing so much that I had trouble pouring sugar in one hive and so several bees managed to focus on me [wan't wearing my bee wear]. That hive will have to get  more sugar in a week. I'm hoping for warmer temps that day. Bees can get quite "ornery" when it's cold out.

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