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Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: weather

Last week’s storm #1 of Winter 2013 was wet and got extremely windy, but by the time the temperature dropped below freezing the precipitation stopped. Better to be safe with extra weather-proofing!

The ponies were out early in the morning, even though the sleet had already started

The ponies were out early this morning, even though the sleet had already started

Hard to see start of the storm sleet building on the ground

The hard to see start of the storm sleet build-up on the ground

This week’s storm came in icy. It has been running below 32 degrees at night this week, so at least it did not start off warm & wet with that potentially fatal drop in temperature that quickly becomes wet & flash frozen.

Rocky - Still out in the weather

Rocky – Still out in the weather

He thinks I am funny for calling him in

He thinks I am funny for calling him in

Our Shetland pony “Rocky” is made for this type of weather, but I still tempted him into the shelter with snacks (“Bigs” had already given up on standing out in the ice storm).

They will do anything for treats

They will do anything for treats

In the morning, one of the ponies had apparently made their way through the iced surface to the water. The troughs and chicken drinkers sometimes have to have hot water poured on/in on days like this. If need be for your area of the country, you can get special water heaters to use during cold spells.


Ice forming a shiny coating on items like branches and roofs always looks interesting. I took the rare opportunity to take a few quick pics before escaping back inside.


Icicles in Southern, North Carolina

Icicles in Southern, North Carolina

If the ice gets heavy on the electrical lines we could lose power. I do not mind losing TV or electronics, but our heating and well water runs off of it, so I hope it stays on.

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For a few weeks now, as dusk falls, it has been cooler. We live at the Southern, nearly-middle, point of North Carolina. Our lowered night temperature is in the 40’s – not freezing yet. It is mid-October and the leaves are starting in on their colored dance from tree foliage to ground cover.

Our two ponies now rely on hay instead of the sweet Summer grass they prefer.

A big round field bale actually fits in the back of our little truck.

Big Man hangs out in the run-in a bit more (but still not a lot) since the weather changed.

Some of the flowers, like Black-eyed Susan (Perennial Daisies) are dying off. Goldenrod is just now coming into bloom.

Summer Black-eyed Susan

Fall Goldenrod

We raise bantam (mini) chickens, but we do have one BIG rooster. I had taken him in as a youngster thinking he was a hen and not wanting to turn down an egg-layer. Since he roosts 6 feet off the ground and is mild-mannered, he has become our lone free-ranger. His job is to clean up the spillage grain from all of our poultry pens. He is enjoying the crisper Fall air while I wander around taking pictures.

Our “Big” Roo

The pic below shows some of our up and coming Spring breeding bantam chickens. They are nicely feathered out and can handle the impending coldness. This long coop was re-structured (after the initial re-build from nesting box to pen) to keep them extra dry, since WET + cold = DEAD.

Our miniature roses love the lower temperatures and are gladly gracing us with their blossoms.

Indian corn is an item that I grew up with. It doesn’t really seem like Autumn until it is hanging on our front door. We usually try to throw a Halloween skeleton or two into the mix of decor too.

Lastly is the main Fall display. Our son and I met another home-school group at Maple Springs Farm to welcome the season and pick out some pumpkins.

I am hoping that a few of these big vegetables will still be edible when November begins – contributing to the Harvest season’s celebration.

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I have two vertebrae smashed together in my neck. This has debilitated me quite a bit this past year. A wonderful chiropractic/physical therapy combination office has allowed me to bypass surgery and avoid pain pills. Having finally found the right direction to go in order to address this issue, I can function enough to do some of the activities that I really enjoy. Gardening is one of the great loves of my life.

After deciding to move the garden, we only had digging to look forward to and therefore procrastinated. This is positively not the fun part. We finally set up to start working this past weekend and the weather decided to mimic a sauna.

So, the area was staged and a sprinkler set up to soften that area. Then it rained the next day. Yesterday, I tested the waters (thick red clay soil) and was absolutely amazed at how easy it was to dig when moist.

Starting the Garden

The surge of my home office graphics work is over for now, so I’ll take advantage of this morning and work outside. The tiller gets too clogged if you try to start with that, so digging and de-weeding is the first thing to do.

This was not the best idea. I am still making a mental list of the parts to my favorite activities I must ban. One third of the garden is dug and now void of plant life, but the digging part is too much for my neck. I must have my husband do that part before I de-weed.

1/3 long garden turned

Lettuce, spinach and other cool weather vegetables (Spring crop) will have to be skipped, but there is plenty of growing time left. Our summer choices for the garden will be covered in our next blog.

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