Final Preparations for Winter on the Farm

1021151442Things are quieting down and bundling up for winter here on the farm. The prairie is tall and brown, with the dry seed heads rattling together as they shake in the wind. When the winter snows come, they will begin to topple against each other and fall into mounds of soggy brush, but today they are still standing proud in their old age.

My husband spent all week raking and hoeing the weeds and withered flower stems out of the beds around the house. We don’t have many leaves out here on the prairie and that is a nice change after years of living under oak trees. I hope I never have to rake leaves again! I miss the shade that comes with it, but you can’t 1106151408have everything. We tried to develop a thick patch of myrtle under our little dogwood tree, but the grass kept growing into it and I did not relish fighting with it the rest of my life. Been there, done that. Joe decided to rip it all out and be done with it. We’ll try to come up with an alternative next year that crowds out the blades of grass without our having to battle it.

1106151404Speaking of weed-fighting strategies, Joe tried a new one for keeping his vegetable garden in ship shape. He planted annual rye in his raised beds and tucked them all in with a blanket of straw. The rye grew quickly and will prevent the weeds from taking hold, and the aisles are deep with straw for the same purpose. It looks pretty, and when we turn the rye under in the spring it will provide the “green manure” nutrition that will help the garden along.

I’ve got the chickens ready for winter as well. They are still using their “chicken nipple” watering system but when it gets cold enough to freeze that up, they have the backup of a heated water dispenser in their coop. The heat lamp comes on at 5:00 am, and we put in bales of straw to keep the wind down in their run. They are excited to have something new to flap up onto and see things from a different vantage point. The northwest wind was blowing their feathers up over their heads to hint at what was to come.1106151406a

Now, all that is left to do is wait for the cold and snow to begin. It is supposed to drop to freezing overnight, so maybe we are on our way.

 

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About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.
This entry was posted in Farm, Farm Animals, Gardening. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Final Preparations for Winter on the Farm

  1. Ann Coleman says:

    I love reading about your farm on the prairie!

  2. Reblogged this on Vector Charley and commented:
    This says it all about the coming of winter to southwest Michigan. Enjoy.

  3. Lydia Noyes says:

    Fun read! Have you done much with leaf mulch before? My husband and i are homesteading in Appalachia this year and are trying to utilize as many leaves as possible for our chicken coop and garden. I’m curious about your thoughts. http://livingechoblog.com/using-fall-leaves-effectively/

    • bluestempond says:

      Thanks for reading! We’ve never mulched leaves because oak leaves are so acidic and were overly plentiful at our previous home. I think it comes down to what kind you have and how many. This isn’t really my expertise, so I’d be looking it up on the magical internet. 🙂

  4. Beth Donovan says:

    I love your chicken coop! It’s beautiful.

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