Friday, December 06, 2013

Friday Farm Photo: Have a Warm & Cozy Weekend.

Farmyard snow scene -

We're snowed in! We have 10 inches of snow (over a layer of ice) on the ground, and it looks like it's going to be here for a while. Tonight it will probably dip down below zero (F), and the highs for the next several days are the usual lows. It's cold but beautiful.

Thankfully we had plenty of advance warning about this big storm, and except for a collapsed mini greenhouse full of baby spinach in the garden and the already frozen freezeless hydrant at the barn (which means lots of water hauling from the spring 200 feet away) things are, knock on wool, so far going smoothly.

Everyone has food, water, and shelter (not that most of them are using it), and we are tucked in for the night, binge watching 24 and basking in the heat of the glorious wood furnace, which is such a change from the little old pot bellied stove in the uninsulated Shack.

We have hot homemade pizza, cold champagne and potato chips, and a reassuring stockpile of chocolate. I
nbetween feeding treats and breaking ice tomorrow I plan to slow cook a couple of lamb shoulder roasts for hours in the dutch oven and create a new sourdough starter.

Life is good.

©, where the occasional big snowstorm is hard work but fun—and a reminder that this former California girl would probably never survive on a farm in Minnesota (which is where our way-too-much-for-us furnace was made).


  1. Your situation sounds wonderful! (With the exception of having to haul water. That is NOT so wonderful.)

  2. Well snow is better than ice...the ice is coming my way! Not looking forward to it!! I'll take snow any day over ice! Have a great weekend "snowed in"!!

  3. 'Just to the south of you in Arkansas... We have a layer of snow covering a layer of ice. We've been keeping the fire burning! It sure is pretty out there! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  4. Whee! I guess Winter is really, finally here. Glad you all are tucked in and warm. Susan, I made a sourdough started a couple weeks ago (my first in a looooong time), following Simply Eats Sourdough Starter plan and it bubbled a bit, but it kind of petered out by the 10-day launch date. I think my kitchen was too cool. Will try again. I didn't remember you mentioning sourdough here at FarmgirlFare before. Must search your site. Warm hugs!

    1. Hey Cary,
      I haven't written too much about sourdough, though I do mention it a little in my Ten Tips on How To Bake Better Artisan Breads at Home:

      And back in 2007 (!) I shared a recipe for fresh tomato and basil whole wheat sourdough bread which is really good - and interesting in that you don't use any water, just the juice from the chopped fresh tomatoes:

      Wow, ten days to make a sourdough starter? That seems like a lot of time for things to go wrong. :) I really like the levain starter in Daniel Leader's Bread Alone, which only takes three days to make. And his pain au levain is fantastic!

  5. Just wanted to let you know that the prairies in Canada are experiencing a big deep freeze. Here in Alberta this morning it is -37 C and with a wind chill of -46 C. Mighty nasty. sandra

  6. Melodie Bennett12/07/2013 11:50 AM

    I live vicariously through your posts, all the while thanking the Almighty that I live in North Carolina now. I spent 13 years in SW MO, raising my boys on a little 5 acre"hobby farm". There was no hobby about it! I cherish the memories,(except the 5 days without water or power after a big ice storm) but love my adopted Southern state.

  7. It's been pretty cold in Denver this week. The high on TU was 57 and then on WE it was 11 and we've been in single digits since them. I think this morning is the first morning that it hasn't been below zero! The dogs have been hanging out inside, and the ladies haven't left their coop in days. Every one is hunkered down and layered up!

  8. We had lots of snow here in central Italy, on the mountains. But for the last two days it has been sunny and wonderful, though it will not last for long; we are going to have lots of snow for Christmas, according to weather forecasts, and I am not looking forward to it at all. It is hard enough when working and dealing with farm work alone and to add to that snow!

    1. Hi Cyrene,
      It's always so nice to hear from you. I bet the snow on the mountains is beautiful. I'm so behind replying to comments, but a while ago you'd mentioned milking donkeys. I've never heard of that! Interesting. I can only imagine they don't give a whole lot of milk - unlike cows, sheep, etc., their udders look so small from the outside that when our first baby donkey was born, I thought there was something wrong. And I definitely didn't think she was ready to give birth! :)

  9. ...and I would love to see a photo of your furnace :)

  10. And that sounds just about perfect. Even the water hauling? Yeah. Maybe even that. Gives you a reason to warm back up and refill those champagne glasses :)

  11. Well you sound pretty well stocked up there, champagne and chocolate will cover most emergencies I think. Here in upstate NY we have a foot of snow, but for two days are going to have a freak 50-60 degree thaw before the regular cold returns. We heat with a wood burning Jotul wood stove (oh yes that is me hauling wood from the shed on a little kids sled in my jammies and parka in the morning). What is a wood furnace exactly? Is it indoors or outdoors??? Is it more efficient??? Just curious.

    1. Hey, I've been meaning to email you for ages. Yep, we definitely have our winter storm priorities. ;) Your snow then heat wave sounds like our weather. The snow stayed for over two weeks and then it warmed up so much it disappeared in a day.

      Ha, we could use a kid's sled for hauling firewood in the snow - I'm sure it beats a wheelbarrow!

      You (and Cyrene) asked about our wood furnace. It's different than a woodstove - a big monster that lives in the shop/garage attached to the house (it's all one big 30x60 metal building), though most people put them in basements. Ours is a Charmaster ( and while not much to look at, it does a heck of a job heating the house. We definitely could have gone with the smaller model but didn't realize until too late that the people in MN who built it define 'mild autumn weather' as 15 degrees F, lol.

      It's extremely efficient. We actually use much less firewood to (over)heat the new house than we burned in the little pot-bellied stove that barely heated the shack (think thin layer of ice on your water glass next to the bed in the morning), but then again the shack is a falling down old building with literally no insulation. :)

  12. Hi Everybody,
    Thanks so much for all the fun comments!


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