Before we get to the farm update – we want to take a quick second to thank everyone who follows along with us each week!  Yesterday, we reached a milestone  – our 2,500th follower to the blog!   Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!

So with that said and Winter knocking on the door – weatherproofing became the theme of the week at the farm.

Chickens are actually pretty winter hardy – you just need to keep them dry and draft free.

We started with the Chicken Coop.  Chickens are really good at handling the cold if you follow two simple rules – keep them dry and keep drafts out of the coop. We attached a sheet of plexiglass over each of the two windows to prevent the cold winter winds from whipping through the coop.  We also added about 8 to 10″ of straw to the floor to give them extra protection against the winter cold.  I long ago gave up trying to put it where I think they need it – because within 10 minutes – they are busy at work scratching and moving the straw to where it best suits them.  Once the cold weather sets in – we practice whats called the “deep litter” method in the coop – adding straw every few weeks through the winter months to keep it clean and dry –  but not removing any to keep it warm.  It works well, and helped our chickens keep laying all through the winter months last year.

Next up was shutting down the farm’s rainwater collection system for winter.  We opened up the taps and emptied the remaining water from the barns two (2)  275 gallon rainwater collection totes.  The plastic totes would crack  from freezing if we left them filled with water –  so emptying them is a must.   We brought the tanks into the barn, and attached a 20 foot section of drain tile to the downspout to let the water run off for winter. We’ll set them up again in early March to fill up quickly with the spring rains.

The watering system kept our garden green through the summers drought

The rainwater system was an absolute miracle to have on the farm this year with all of the hot and dry summer conditions.  It easily provided over 2000 gallons of water for our garden, trees and plants.  We came close this year a couple of times  to running out during those dry spells – so we are planning to add in one more 275 gallon holding tank to see us through any more drought conditions.

As for other happenings around the farm…

The Trestle Desk Project

The Silo still sits quietly on its side in the barn – on hold while we wait for the metal panels to arrive to put on its framework.  They are supposed to finally come in this Tuesday – I can’t wait to get them on and get it up!

Finally, for about the last year we have wanted to build a trestle desk  out of lumber scraps for the space we use as our home office.  With the Silo project still on hold – we got around to it this week.  It will be Tuesday’s “How To” DIY feature.  But for now – here is a sneak peek of the desk as it dries from another coat of urethane out in the driveway.

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