Saturday, January 23, 2016
The Deep Cold
I woke this morning to the hush of a deeply cold Winters night. The house is cool but not terribly so. Having my lovely husband at home means the bed is nice and warm. And the peaceful sounds of children and pets lightly snoring while the fire in the wood stove crackles reminds me almost of a spell being woven about the house to ward off the cold. I don't know if we will have another night this cold this year but we'll see. It's -17 Celsius as I type this. That's cold. Given the damp of the Maritimes it feels like -40 does on the prairies.
This very cold air is what's fuelling the development of snow along the eastern states that has practically ground things to a halt. They're really getting hammered but I suspect it will clear soon enough. Their temperatures and ours will rise over the next couple of days and in the States things will melt.
In the news the stories of high food prices and empty store shelves are a reminder that we need to be prepared for things like this by having water, food, candles and blankets tucked away. In our case we have food we can cook on top of the wood stove plus firewood. The kids will tell you that the first things we do when bad weather is forecast is fill our water jugs and all the animals waterers and food dishes and then top up the two wood bins we have inside the house. It means we are good for at least a day without having to go out in a blizzard to get more wood and that's good for everyone involved.
We do still check on the animals during severe weather and if we know bad weather is on its way we prepare by putting down lots of dry bedding and filling up all the feeders with feed and some extra soybean meal for protein. Keeping drafts down to a minimum is really important too while making sure the ventilation means there's not a buildup of moisture in the barn. It's a balancing act for sure.
Well I should get up and put wood in the stove. Our wood stove is a good size for our small house so that a good fire can burn without having to be constantly damped down and sooting up the chimney but is small enough that it doesn't keep a fire going all night. Getting any coals banked and the fire rekindled is my job. I'm sure the kids think the fire fairies do it sometimes and that the fire just magically refills itself but for the most part having the wood stove and feeding it just fits into the rhythm of daily farm life that measures out our days.
Stay warm my friends. Spring is coming and we are busy making plans. In the meantime I'm going to the Dr to get my horrible cough seen to and I'm getting my seed orders together. The food prices hopefully won't affect us so much and right now we're eating a lot of stored root vegetables and beans so we don't notice the price increases as much as others.