Staying Power

We planted beets right before our big family vacation last June, and they straggled and struggled along all summer. I never got around to using them in the fall, and actively began ignoring them come winter. They survived some significant week-long freezes, and a couple good snows to boot.

I finally decided to pull them up and see if there was anything worth saving, and it turns out that beets are pretty darn tough in the ground. We cooked up a batch of golden beets for a salad a few weeks ago, and today I pulled out the fancy candy-cane striped Chioggos to roast for Robbie’s 3rd birthday party. After paring off the gnarly skin from the tops, they look as good as new.


Artichokes Saved from the Deep Freeze

Last year we had a really cold stretch of weather, and the only thing that survived was our Tuscan Kale. Included in things that did die was our artichoke plant, which was just getting ready to be harvested. Instead it froze solid and wilted to the ground. When the snow started today, I leapt into action and saved our artichokes, even though only one of them was a respectable size.

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Snow Falling On Chickens

Frozen Chicken

Frozen Chicken

We got snow in Seattle last night, in the usual on-again off-again, is-it-going-to-stick-or-is-it-just-going-to-tease-us fashion. It was looking pretty slushy when we went to bed, but I woke up early in the morning and peeked out the window, just like I used to do when I was a kid, to discover a decent snowfall had stuck around, and even covered the road. But this post isn’t just about the snow, it is about chickens in the snow.

I was really curious how they would do in freezing cold weather. When I was researching heat lamps for them online, I read about people in Indiana and other ridiculously cold winter climates who didn’t feel the need to heat their coops, so I backed off my initial plans of supplying the ladies with a warm red light on all night for them. Anyway, they all snuggle together to sleep, and they can also puff up their feathers to make a nice downy layer of insulation.

This morning when I let them out of their coop they ran right through the snow to their bowl of food, but that didn’t last long. A half an hour later I looked out and they were nowhere in sight — they were back in the chicken house where it was, if not warm, at least not freezing cold on their toes (feet? talons? claws?) I didn’t see them outside all day, even after the snow melted back a little bit. So today the chickens and the humans ended up sticking to the same plan — hang out in the house and wait for things to get back to normal outside.

Written by dan in: Chickens,Weather | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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