The rush to winter

Last year, we experienced the “polar vortex” with temperatures in the -40 range and winds of over 35 mph. Over 4.5 ft of snow covered our pastures and the cows eventually refused to slog through it to get to the brook to drink. Dave and I had to haul water every day, and break ice (that formed on the water trough) every morning. Ugg.
Now, we’re all wondering what this season will bring, what with January temperatures having arrived in November.
Right now, fat flakes are swirling across the fields. I brushed them off my face and coat when I came in 10 minutes ago. The air had been clear when I started out about noon. I’d heard snow was in the forecast, so I pulled on snow pants and woolen hat to insulate myself against the rising wind long enough to move two big round bales of hay out to the moos. The cows still had remnants of a couple of bales out there, but I wanted to make sure they could get their fill if temperatures began to drop.

Moving hay in the snow

Moving hay in the snow

It’s funny, the cows immediately began walking up to the barn when they heard me fire up my John Deere. They knew fresh alfalfa-and-grass hay was on the way. It was fun to watch them approach – they’ve become so furry for the winter season. These BueLingo beef cattle were designed for the Upper Midwest; they just don’t pay much attention to the cold.
Well, they’ve got their hay, and I’m going to warm up some tea and make a grilled ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Then we’ll all sit for a bit and watch the snow.

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About Sylvia Burgos Toftness

A kid from the tenements of the South Bronx, I'm now raising 100% grass-fed beef in west central Wisconsin. My husband Dave and I believe more people will choose to farm and eat healthful foods if we know the connections between what we eat and how it's grown. That's why we invite you to walk the fields with us; hear from experts on my Saturday morning show, Deep Roots Radio; share our adventures on my blog, From the Bronx to the Barn; and buy our sustainably grown beef.

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