Thursday, April 7, 2016

Unity Farm Journal - Second Week of April 2016

I’ve returned to Unity Farm after another round of international travel - this week was 48 hours in the UK.   It seems that every time I travel, the weather turns cold and Kathy is left to keep the animals safe and warm.    A few hours before I boarded the plane, 4 inches of wet heavy snow covered the farm in a thick paste.   Tree branches fell and the blueberry netting collapsed under the weight of the ice that collected unexpectedly on the nylon fibers.

I did my best to shake the ice free and stack the netting in a protected corner of the orchard but I ran out of time.    I left the farm in the most stable state possible and readied the animals for cold days ahead.

While I was in London, the pigs, birds, and alpaca had to bear with 16F,  a record 100 year low for mid April.    This winter we had temperatures as low as -17F, but the variation was from a baseline near 0F.   In April, we had 78F temps, so 16F was a shock to the system.    The animals had their heaters, fresh hay/water, and blankets, but the apple trees/blueberries had their buds exposed to the unseasonable cold.    We may have reduced fruit crops this Summer.    The pigs never came out of their warm winter palace during the storm.

This weekend we're brewing Honey Lager, cutting up the tree branches that fell in the recent storm, and hopefully planting our hops.    It's time for the snow to be over!

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