It’s raining

It’s really, seriously raining. I cannot believe it. It’s torrential – like the kind of rain we usually see in the depths of spring or autmn, not winter. It’s a bit spooky. I know people keep saying how glad they are to have the snow wash away but people, consider this – first – the water table relies on snowpack accumulated over the winter. We’re way below average and losing what we did get. That could mean problems -not just shortages but also fires because of drier than average ground. Also, we live in an agricultural area. I’ve been reading a lot about growing grains – something we’re considering doing. Most winter grains produce very well and early – as long as they are protected through the winter. Winter grain crops can serve as a forage crop in early autumn as well as a human food crop the following spring. Finally – also relating to agriculture. The roots of our fruit trees and tender plants – especially ones like peaches – need the protection of the snow to get through extremely cold temps. If we lose all of our snow and then have another cold snap, we could have record deaths of plants and trees. Again. Not good.

One really cool thing – I was talking to a friend who has recently been forced to simplify her life. She was saying how she admired us for our simple lifestyle and push to simplify further. It’s a funny thing because I don’t think we’re all that great at it and could do so much better. It’s nice to know it looks good from the outside!

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4 responses to “It’s raining

  1. Raining? Wow. I suppose if it soaks in, it won’t be too bad, but the ground’ll be frozen underneath, so it’s most likely to run off. Not good.

    It’s above zero here this week too, but we have lots of snow cover yet. Been melting the last few days though, which is odd – I hadn’t thought about the tree roots. Maybe it’s time to start mulching the trees with straw in the fall – don’t know how much that’ll help, but I suppose it can’t hurt. I hope to put in a few fruit trees … I have straw … so that’s something to consider.

    Your simple life DOES look good from the outside. 🙂 It’s hard, I think, for those of us trying to simplify, to remember what it is like in ‘normal households’ – the grocery store every few days, the prepackaged foods, the shopping-as-entertainment, the constant TV and radio. So much of the ‘simplifying’ isn’t really all that hard – once you get the hang of it, anyway – but most people have a mindset that says “oh, gracious, I haven’t got time to bake bread every day” or “I could never be bothered with a garden”.

    If they just shut off their TV, they’d be amazed how much extra time they have … and they might discover that baking bread or gardening makes them happy … they just haven’t had a chance to try it.

    Once we are accustomed to those things, we ‘raise the bar’ to the next thing … and that’s how we gradually get to where we wanna be.

    Hmm. Something to ponder some more, I think.

  2. I’m sure you do have straw – you could probably make a killing selling pumpkins you know. I know an Icelandic Shepherd in the US who had no pumpkin luck until he tossed a bunch of half done pumpkins into one of the manure piles. And the next year, they were overrun with pumpkins. IIRC, sheep manure in straw can go right on the tree roots…

    We have enough snow cover that the ground is still frozen but the snow is going fast so yep – run off and melting with a deep freeze expected at the end. If we have exposed ground I’ll add mulch – we have lots down on anything even slightly vulnerable.

    Fruits trees in your future? You know about DNA nurseries, right?

    I think you’re right. When you’re living the “simple” life – and we’re certainly in progress, I’m no Helen Nearing- you’re just so busy doing it, it’s hard to sit back and look at it. I think it looks romantic to a lot of people – they have no idea how much work it is. I do have friends who get it – they have fruit trees. Holy toledo – that’s a lot of work. I have one friend who’s cherry tree alone keeps both us busy for most of August. Add to that all of the other fruit that is coming and sheesh!

    I think you’re right too – it is simpler once you get the hang of it. You learn tricks and what you can let go and when. The TV can pretty much just go – but, in spite of our chores etc. we still have veg out time. That’s when I do a lot of knitting/spinning. We watched BSG through lambing season last year. I figured if I had to be up anyway… Superlamb very nearly had a BSG related name because of it!

    We’re considering raising the bar to cows. Milk is the biggie here. I’d love sheep – and maybe I could have a couple with a cow or two – but milk is our big one. We go through it like crazy. And not just milk, we’re a very dairy family. I’m buying organic, hoping it’s less bad but at $8 for 4L, it’s not a cheap thing. And, I’m still relying on the commercial food system. I can’t trust that what I think organic means and what it really means are the same thing.

    Speaking of which – have you seen Food Inc?

    I’m going to comb through your blog for Sasha related posts, and read some. I’m hesitant about a cow but I like what you did – lamb at her side. Uh – that’s calf… am I sheep oriented or what?

  3. tamarasheehan

    Raining? Really? At this time of year I thought we’d be the only ones getting soaked!

  4. Oh, cows are great. Scary at first, but once tame, they are awesome. Sasha lets me scratch her head and move her around by shoving her or twisting her tail to make her move. Working on halter training this spring.

    Dexters are the ideal cow for small farms like ours, IMHO. Were I home enough to milk (or didn’t have to leave so ridiculously early in the mornings) I’d still be milking her. I’ll probably start up again in earnest after the next calf, but yeah, with shared milking, every other day, or when you get around to it works (doesn’t keep the fridge full, but you know what I mean).

    You should come visit and give it a try. 🙂

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