We didn’t have much of a Winter in SW Colorado this year. 6″ of snowfall in one storm was the most we got here at the ranch. Compared to last year when we got 2 feet in one storm, it’s been pretty mild. We’ve gone through maybe a cord of wood this entire Winter season, whereas last year we went through about 2. And now we’re into late March, and we probably only have a few more weeks of nightly fires in the woodstove. Last night the low was 41! Warm.
As far as the garden is concerned, we’ll be starting some seeds indoors this weekend: tomatoes and peppers in particular. I might start a few herbs too. Last year we jumped the gun and planted some stuff way too early outside, and went to all the trouble of covering it at night and uncovering it in the morning, only to have a freeze in April and everything stunted or died. We learned our lesson.
We also will be re-vamping our watering system this year, but we’re waiting to save some money to get the proper things we need for it. Hauling water in the back of the truck did some major wear-and-tear on Maximus, causing us some semi-expensive repairs 6 weeks or so ago. So we’ll be saving up for a small trailer and a bigger cistern to haul water on said trailer. Until we get that all together, our garden will be on a smaller scale than we’ve had the last two Summers. And that’s not even our big project this year. Our main, big, number one priority project this year is moving the cabin. Which, obviously, is a whole thing. We’d like to accomplish that this Summer, but it’s looking like Fall is probably when that’ll happen. Since we also want to pay off our truck, maybe get a storage shed, build another greenhouse… homestead off-grid life is never a dull moment!
The flock has been doing wonderful. They’ve been taking turns molting, and for the most part have been laying pretty consistently. The ducks don’t get annoyed at much as far as inclement weather is concerned; they love mud and rain. It took some time for them to get used to snow, but they soon discovered that it’s fun to eat and they enjoy throwing ice chunks around. It’s pretty hilarious actually. The chickens on the other hand, are vocal about their annoyance when it’s not sunny and warm outside. It’s raining outside right now and I’m sure they are not thrilled about it. They make a pretty funny annoyed noise and look at me all sideways when the weather isn’t just right. We get so much entertainment and joy from having those girls around. Our favorite post-work afternoon activity is sitting outside with a couple of beers, giving the ducks a big bowl of fresh water, and letting them run wild. The chickens will dig around in our currently-empty garden beds and dust-bathe and throw dirt around, while the ducks make a racket and make mud out of everything. It’s great.
For the most part, when the weather has been crappy outside (which, honestly, hasn’t happened a lot this Winter), we hang out inside and read and cook and organize our tiny house. I’ve been getting rid of more of our useless stuff around here, downsizing even more. We’ve also been cleaning up our diets, eating more and more fresh organic veggies, fruits, meats, and whole grains, and less processed and packaged food. More tea, less coffee, lots of fresh eggs, that sort of thing. We’ve been feeling pretty good, and the birds get all the leftover scraps. Even Loki gets the occasional egg. Nutrition for the whole family!
So right now I’m snuggling with Loki in front of the fire while it rain/hails outside! Doesn’t get much better than this. Tumultuous Springtime is here!