Monday, November 29, 2010

Brrrr! It's Getting Cold Outside!

Winter is coming, and here on the farm we are just starting to "winterize". We are very late in doing this - most of these things should have been done back in the late fall, about the time of the first real frost. Time and work gets away from us all sometimes, and we are just now starting to do the things that are critical.

A little over a year ago, we installed water lines from the house to the barn. Then last spring, we put in water lines from the house to the gardens, and while we did get most of them covered, there was still a hydrant and a little line left that was not completed. With the weather getting really cold in the last few days, we were reminded that we'd better get that done!

Cliff laying out water lines to the barn in November 2009
The new hydrant finally
 finished in November 2010!

Another thing we intend to look into is buying a vent free propane heater. These are great for when the electricity goes out during a storm. Even if you heat with a wood furnace, as we do, the fan that circulates the het through the house depends on electricity. So while the area where the stove sits will be warm with or without power, the rest of the hose stays cold. A vent free gas heater would solve that problem. It would also be nice to have one in the workshop and one in the pantry, where the water pipes come into the house - an area that has been known to freeze on really, really cold days.

What do you need to do to prepare for winter? Do you need a cover for your strawberries? Mulch on the garden? Insulation in some of the animal housing? Drain pipes or hoses? How about antifreeze in your vehicles? Oh, yes, and don't forget to store a few jugs of drinking water, candles and alternative forms of poers for the winter storms!

It's not to late to get settled in for the winter, but don't wait too much longer! You don't want to be one of those poor souls looking for water or heat during a blizzard! In Virginia, we started getting snow in early December last year, so be prepared!