An End to Mud Season


| 12/13/2017 2:47:00 PM


Tags: Wisconsin, Laura Berlage, homestead humor, livestock care, winter homesteading,

woolly sheep in barn

I don’t think that Mother Nature was listening when I made my rant about the omnipresent condition of the mud this year.  She turned a deaf ear, continued on with the rainy, cloudy, dreary schedule, threw in some snow just for fun, and simply wouldn’t let up. 

The mud continued through the rush for winterizing the farm—cleaning coops, moving hay bales, mulching carrots, picking Brussels sprouts, gathering fallen apples for the pigs.  Sometimes I’d have to wash my chore overalls every night, there’d be so much mud caked on the cuffs and knees.  No wonder walking became laborious—there was a lot of extra weight on board!

For two days, we dug up all the rest of the potatoes, kneeling in the mud with soggy gloves, piling the buried treasure in cardboard boxes and hauling them down to the farmhouse root cellar before conditions grew too cold.  Volunteers joined in, bringing their clean, new potato forks and work gloves.  Well, they weren’t so clean and new looking by the time we called it a day!

Kara hauled loads and loads with the skid-steer of soppy, muddy manure pack to pile up for compost beside the garden.  By springtime, it will be ready for spreading and turning into the sandy soils for growing next summer’s cucumbers and broccoli.  The mound made an earthen berm, just north of the duck pen.  It blocked the wind, which the ducks rather enjoyed during their last days by the garden.

And then, well, Mother Nature decided she would try on her winter wardrobe, liked the fit, and just didn’t put it away in the closet again.  Just when I thought that surely the pigs would simply disappear into the muck or that the golf cart was no longer going to be able to make it up the small hill to the barnyard, slipping and sliding in the greasy soil beneath the wetted grass, nature’s costume change arrived.




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