Bare Naked Honey Farm

  (Weston, Wisconsin)
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Baseball Bats and Porridge

December 15, 2010

 Another Wisconsin winter is decidedly upon us!  Over a foot of snow in one day and drifts several feet high.  Luckily, Uber Hubby  plowed, blew, and shoveled all day so that I would have paths to the barn, bees, and animals. 

My winter coveralls (hand me downs from hubby) are draped over a stool in the mudroom where they dry in front of the furnace register between my trips outside.  Boots, mittens, and ugly, but warm cap are hung there too.  I finally found a solution to my cold feet...  I buy tall rubber boots a size too large, then put in an extra insole and  pull on heavy wool socks that I can tuck jeans legs into.  The trick is to keep some air space around your toes.

This morning I'll carry out one of the baseball sized zucchini that we saved in the cold cellar.  The pigs and goats love them in winter and they provide some much needed variety to their winter diet of hay and grains. They love pumpkins as well.   I've also brought a two gallon can of hot water which I'll use to mix up the pig's "porridge".  I always make it extra soupy because they don't like to leave their warm tunnels in the hay to visit the water bucket so they have to drink the watery porridge before they can get to the grain on the bottom of their bowls.

Feeding the barnyard ducks and geese is proving to be a challenge as they have decided not to leave the open water in the big pond.  So I struggle out there with the bucket of grain and pellets.  Should have worn snow shoes because the drifts are thigh high.  Normally, I would have shoveled a path for them across the ice, but the pond is not yet frozen deeply enough to make that a safe chore.  I'll also have to put some sort of shelter out there for them as the night temperatures are dipping well below zero.

Pulling off all of the layers that are stiff with ice and covered in snow is a bit more challenging that getting it all on was...  I really need one of those boot pullers... and that hat gives me perpetually flat hair!   But a hot cup of hyssop tea with honey and feet in dry socks propped up by the wood stove...  priceless!


 


 


 
 

Winter Day in Wisconsin

December 28, 2009

A crisp, cold, bright sunny day!  The wind is gusting... sending sheets of snowflakes off the boughs of the balsam firs and into my hair and face.  The air smells so clean and fresh in this cold, and the snowflakes on the ground are reflecting the sun like so many diamonds...

As I approach the barn, Peter Tosh, a male llama, starts pronking with joy - his hay is coming!!!  Have you seen a llama pronk?  It's quite a sight...  they prance and kick up their heels and jump as though they have springs under their feet, defying gravity. 

The chickens are making contented cluckings and mutterings in their winter greenhouse coop.  I come in and check their water, top off the feeder, and scatter a handful of fresh cranberries on the straw.  They scurry over to eat them and one hen plays "keep-away" with her cranberry as others give chase.  The red rooster announces that there is new food to eat, but the hens have already discovered it and consumed most, leaving him a solitary berry for his trouble.

I'd love to open one of the hives and say hello to my bees, but it is too cold to do so today, and I know that I would find them in a large humming cluster, with activity going on within, and bees coming and going from the center, where the most heat is being generated.

All in all, a great day to be alive.

 
 
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