Winter in Baltimore is always interesting to say the least. Five years ago we had something crazy like 50+ inches of snow. Three years ago it was so warm I could have continued to garden all winter. Most years we have a nice mix of warm days (50’s) and cold days (20 is the low). This year we have temps that are all over the place. Tomorrow the high is going to 4 degrees F. I don’t mind the cold, but it does make taking care of the “farm” a little more difficult. I am so glad that we do not have to deal with this for months at a time. To all my family in the mid-west, I just can’t hang, I am an east coast girl.
Our poor chickens. Year round we have problems with hawks, so our chicken yard has bird netting over it. I have to say, I personally HATE bird netting. It comes un-stapled and falls down and then on mornings when I go out there before my coffee I get clothes lined by the sagging bird netting. The bird netting is horrible. This last snow finally defeated the dreadful bird netting. The problem is that the netting was put up in such a way that I can not clean it up by myself. There is way to many supporting ropes and boards that we used to try and hold this horrible stuff up. It took the chickens all of 3 minutes to get tangled up in it. Very frustrating… So I let the chickens out the roam the yard. Our whole backyard is fenced in with privacy fence, and if it was not for the hawks I would let them roam everyday. Today the danger of the netting was worse than the danger of the hawks. Well, at least at the time I thought so. Their feet were turning white from the wet ground and the cold temps. I ended up locking them up in their covered area, which is not very big. They are some mad hens. I hope that when my husband gets home we can remove the netting so that tomorrow they stay in the chicken yard, where there is not as much standing water.
I need to get one more cold weather chicken frustration off my chest, I HATE our heated waterer… this thing in horrible. My advice is to buy a heated disk that you can set a metal waterer on top of, DO NOT buy the plastic white and red heated waterer. The base never stays on, the chickens trip over the cord and unplug it. When you fill it water gets spilled everywhere and you end up cold, wet and pissed off. I would love to save everyone that frustration. That is just my two cents, I would love to hear what you use in freezing temps. OK rant over!
As unprepared as we were with the chickens and cold weather, the bunnies are doing fantastic. The bunny barn is insulated and has heat lamps over the baby kits on nights when it is below freezing. The waterers are not freezing and everyone seems happy and warm.
I enjoy having the four seasons in Baltimore. It is nice to look at the snow from the window, while sitting in front of the fire place crocheting. But I really enjoy being in the garden in the spring, summer and early fall. I enjoy my chores and harvesting the veggies. I do not mind the heat and I love being in the garden in the still of the morning as the sun first comes up. Now that we have taken control of the mosquito problem it is even more enjoyable. I do not like doing chores in the freezing rain and really cold temps.
As winter continues I will continue to dream of warmer days and plan out my garden. Some days I just sit and look at my seeds, it makes me all warm inside. The nice thing about living in Baltimore is I know winter is only for a season. Some places have a much longer winter or constant winter, no thank you hon, I will keep my crazy Baltimore weather, it is not predictable, but I know it is always changing.