Monday, February 6, 2012


I just wrote a little piece for Dig In Manitoba about what farmers are doing in February.  Some of us are already growing our seedlings.  Almost all of us, whether we grow veggies on twenty acres, raise dairy cows or beef, or sow miles and miles of grain - we're all planning....and worrying.  Worrying goes hand-in-hand with farming it seems.

The picture at right was taken today.  We should have at least a couple of feet of snow.  The ground should be white as far as the eye can see.  Now, this winter has been very mild and quite enjoyable.  It's soooo much nicer to have chickens and goats when there is little risk of them freezing to death over night!  We and the dogs have gotten more walks this winter, we've been able to re-stock our firewood quite easily and our electricity bills are quite reasonable without our baseboard heaters running full tilt!

However, all this nice, mild weather is a worry.  To the right of the picture, if the field of view was extended, is our dug-out (a deep pond, essentially).  We use the dug-out to water our vegetables all summer long.  The land is graded so that the spring run off goes directly to the pond.  No spring run off, no water in the dug-out!  We're also wondering about perennial vegetables like asparagus and fall-planted bulbs like garlic.  Snow is a great layer of insulation in really cold weather so some of those items may have suffered some damage during our cold snap.

Hard to believe that last year was 'the flood of the century' around here and this year forecasters are already taking drought!  What will happen?  Well, we could still get a big snowstorm or two - not that convenient.  We could be really rainy in April and May.  The soil moisture, after last years' super high level, may be enough.  Nobody knows for sure, but it's a little something to worry about in our spare time!


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