The Farm and Garden Report: How I Prepared for this Year’s Winter

Well well well, winter decided to come early this year! Anyone else still have leaves on the ground under all the snow? Me too…didn’t even have a chance to mulch them into the ground before the snow flew.

I barely got my gardens cleared out before the snow. It took me forever, considering seasonal depression reared its ugly head nice and early, too. There are still a few things here and there I need to take down, like decorations, but all the plants are in a compost pile. It’s always so hard at the end of the year taking everything down. You spend so much time putting it up, making it grow, keeping it healthy, only to tear it down in the fall. Thankfully, it was fun and delicious while it lasted.

In my vegetable garden, I took down everything but my perennial herbs like rosemary and cilantro. I took all the plants off my front porch I was using for decorations, and put all the many planters and baskets in storage. I probably could have pulled weeds, but this snow happened so fast I didn’t have time. Holy moly did the snow come fast!

Now that everything is torn down and in the compost pile, what is there to do? Well, I pulled some plants in from outside and I’m going to see if I can keep them alive over the winter. I have catnip (for my kinny girl), sage, two types of lavender, green onions (I’ve had them for three years, thanks Gia!), and a forget-me-not. Now I just need to find places to put them. Oh my! Another fun challenge. I’m excited to see how these plants do over the winter. Hopefully they last and I can use them outside again next year! If they start to look sad, I’ll take the sage and lavender and make them into wraps to be burned for their scent.

Considering the weather and the fact that I’ve taken all my plants and gardens down for the year, you’re probably wondering about the chickens and ducks. Oh my, that’s right, the chickens and ducks! Not to worry, we’ve gotten them taken care of, too.

Last year, we did not have a good setup for our chickens and ducks. They ended up getting frost bite, and during the polar vortex we had no other choice but to bring them inside. So into the spare room of the basement they went with ALL the shavings. Yes you read that right. We brought our chickens and duck inside!

This year, we decided against that. We were prepared. We cleaned out a small portion of our garage and used what we had laying around to make an indoor coop to keep our flock warm at night. Most farmers and backyard chicken farmers don’t do much for their chickens and ducks. We, on the other hand, spoil ours. Their coop is in the garage protected from the winter winds that whip and cause frostbite. There are two heat lamps we turn on in the evening and we hand place them, one by one, into their coop each night. We’ve been doing this for a few days now and they seem to like it. We keep them in the coop over night and let them out to wander during the day. Although, they mostly sit out in our back coop eating food and keeping warm. The snow is a little much for their sweet baby feet.

Seems like we’re pretty ready and hunkered down for winter over here. It feels good to have the stress of taking down the gardens and keeping my backyard birds warm. I can’t tell you how worried I was about all my little babes.

What do you do to get your farm and garden ready for winter? How do you prepare for next year? If you don’t have a farm and/or garden, do you do anything special around the house to get ready for winter?

I hope you stay warm out there in this early winter weather. Excuse me while I go hibernate 😉

Light and love,

Kay 💜

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