Winter on the Farm
Updated: Mar 29, 2019
It's been pretty chilly around here, and we're sooo ready for spring. But first, what is Baken Creek Farm like in winter?
Ahh winter...a time of rest, hibernation, and hot chocolate...and hauling water. While our chickens and ducks are able to happily pick through the grassy fields and splash in our pond for three seasons of the year, we move them into our barn for the winter. We still open up the barn doors on nice days and allow them to range around the barn. They never wander too far though. We have a convenient watering system in our barn, but we have to shut it off in the winter to prevent the water lines from freezing. Which means Gray (like a champ!) hauls buckets of fresh water everyday up the hill to our barns.
Our two barn cats keep the poultry company in the barn too. Our two boys were trapped (they were feral) and neutered by a local rescue group before being relocated to the farm to live out their lives sleeping in the sun, catching mice, and trying desperately to trip us as we walk around doing other chores.
We've also been busy researching and preparing to get sheep this summer. Our pastures have been hayed for many years without grazing to allow animals to recycle the nutrients back to the soil. This results in declining soil health over time. We want to incorporate grazing animals back into our system, allowing us to mimic nature through rotational grazing. We're excited to start with sheep as our first large animal on the farm! Eventually, lamb/mutton will be another meat offering from Baken Creek Farm.
We have such big plans for the garden this year. BIG plans. The previous owner of our house left us about 4000 square feet of unmaintained (read: weed infested) vegetable garden to work with. We moved in too late to get a garden established last year, but this year, we are expanding the gardens to about 8,000 square feet. Winter is a great time for planning and pouring over seed catalogs.
Another big undertaking for us in 2019 is our farm store. Our home was built in the 1850s by the Dr. Louis Ellerman family. His two room doctor's office was built next to the house around the same time, but has since fallen into disrepair. We have been working on turning this space into a farm store, where we can sell our produce, flowers, eggs,and crafts. We are looking forward to having it ready for primetime in June, so please follow us and come check us out when we open!
Winter gives us some time to rest and regroup before the growing season ramps up. How have you been spending your winter months? Are you ready for spring? Let us know in the comments!