Photos: A Snowy Farm Morning   7 comments

This morning I woke up to the farm covered in maybe half an inch of crunchy, icy snow. It provided just enough blanketing white to turn the gardens and the surrounding forest into a winter wonderland. We rarely get snow here, but when it does fall this is one of the most beautiful places to be. Since I recently stumbled upon my camera’s lost battery charger, I figured I would fire up the camera and take a few pictures. It’s been a long time since I posted any photos here on the blog.

I also am hoping to get a post proper up later today, or perhaps tomorrow. I should have enough free time to get something written. Now on to the pictures.

Brian's Japanese house peeking through the snow-covered trees.

Brian's Japanese house tucked in the snow-covered trees, with the chicken run in the foreground. The house is really a beautiful, amazing home.


Blue sky peeking through the clouds, above the snow-covered trees.

Blue sky peeking through the clouds, above the snow-covered trees. In the foreground are some snowy beds. This side of the farm, however, is going to be put into perennials this year.


My little yurt, otherwise known as home. I love living here. It's about 12 feet diameter and nestled in the second section of the farm's upper gardens. Sadly, I'll be moving on in a few weeks. It'll be pretty easy packing, at least.


Posted March 1, 2012 by Joel Caris in Farm Life, Photos

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7 responses to “Photos: A Snowy Farm Morning

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  1. Hi Joel,

    Enjoyed the photos, what a beautiful place. Are the large posts and fencing to keep deer out of the vegie beds?

    So far well over 100mm (about 4 inches) of rain has fallen here with more predicted for tonight and tomorrow (probably another 1 to 2 inches). Spent an hour yesterday fixing some damage. Not too bad. Apparently the oceans to the north of the continent have heated up, increasing evaporation and pushing tropical moisture south (which would be north from your perspective). Not good for the solar power as the batteries are now down to 60% and there’ll be not enough sun until probably Monday…



    • That is indeed what the large posts and fencing is for. We have tons of deer here, including a few that are quite tame (good for them no collapse has happened yet—they’d be gone right quick!) so they would devour the beds pretty quick without some fencing to keep them out. Now, if only we had fencing that would keep the slugs out! The chicken run does stretch around the perimeter of the gardens so they help snag bugs as they migrate in from the forest, but slugs are still an ever-present problem here—as you might imagine, with the rain we get.

      Speaking of which, it sounds like you’re getting quite the storm down there. Glad you haven’t had too much damage and hope the batteries get recharged in due time. Do you run entirely off solar? I can’t remember if you’ve told me that or not.

      Is the ocean heating believed to be an effect of climate change, or is something else going on?

      • I’m certainly no expert, but it sounds to me like a typical La Nina…

        What I’d like to know is, Joel, are you packing the yurt?

        • Not yet, John! I keep thinking perhaps I should do that, but really, it’ll be a quick process.

          Unless you’re talking about packing up the yurt and taking it with me. If that’s the case, the answer is no—it’s not mine. It sure would be tempting though.

  2. Hi Joel,

    Your deer sound difficult. The problem is you’ve turned the land into a supermarket for the local wildlife! hehe! It was interesting to see how high you needed to fence to keep the deer out. As a comparison, kangaroos and wallabies only require about 1.8m (6ft) fencing at an absolute maximum. Wombats are like armoured tanks and can push through any fencing, but they only eat herbage and leave the trees alone, so they’re OK. They don’t like rain, like at the moment, so they live down in their burrows and wait until it stops raining. They can wait for about 3 days and then they have to emerge.

    Slugs sound bad. I use tiger slugs (not sure if this is the technical name) in the worm farm, but they seem to stay there. There are a lot of birds – large and small – around here that eat worms, snails, slugs and frogs so they don’t get much of a chance in the vegie patch. Do you have many birds up your way? Something must eat the slugs eventually, you’d think?

    Portugese millipedes are another problem altogether. They are all over the shop and aren’t eaten because they release an acid which is toxic to most of the birds and animals. I think Claire, the light sussex chook ate one the other day because she became ill, but then got better. A sick chook is often a dead chook unfortunately.

    Yeah, I have no connection at all to the electricity grid, so get a bit nervous when the batteries fall below 50%. Hopefully the sun will shine sooner or later?

    Yeah, it is a La Nina event. Good pickup. The top end of Australia has had consistently heavier than average rain over the past decade or so regardless as to whether it is a La Nina or El Nino. What is really interesting is that the tropical moisture is getting pushed further south which makes for some unusual summers. Agriculture is kind of hard here because you never know what kind of season you are going to get. About a year or so ago I put my vegies into raised beds which has mostly served them well in the heavy rains.



    • Yes! It is indeed quite the supermarket for local wildlife, but I suppose that’s one of those tricky realities of farming. Much as we humans tend to enjoy what we cultivate, so too do the local animals. The fencing works well, though, at least for the deer. We really don’t have too much trouble with them. Luckily, as well, there is plenty else around for them to eat, so they’re not desperate. Discouraging them seems to be good enough since they have other options.

      We have tons of birds bopping around on the farm and I’m sure they get their share of the slugs, but they continue to be a problem. There are just so many of them, at least at certain times of the year, and they can make a real mess of a bed of greens. We use sluggo (iron phosphate) as well and that seems to help keep them under control. But in the early spring, when it’s wet and cold almost every day, they can be a real nuisance. They come out of the wood work (forest, to be more exact) and particularly like the young, tender greens—and those greens are growing so slowly during the less than ideal weather, they can be eaten up pretty quick. Aside from chickens, ducks, wild birds and sluggo, we use knives, scissors and a good, hearty squeeze between two fingers. Not the most pleasant of work, but sometimes you have to go back to basics. That was one of our primary approaches when we had an outbreak of caterpillars last fall, as well.

      Right now, the ducks are roaming one side of the gardens, so hopefully they’ll pick off many of the slugs that are out there now and help reduce the population for when the crops start going in.

      I am glad your tiger slugs aren’t a problem here. I’ve heard of poisonous slugs—I believe one of our WWOOFers from Hawaii mentioned they had them there—and so I’m glad we don’t have to worry about that. We just have a nice, nonpoisonous variety. No sick chooks for us, at least from that angle. (I’m glad your chook perked back up.)

      Yes, raised beds seem to work nicely to help mitigate heavy rains. Glad that’s panning out for you. The last few years have not been particularly good growing seasons here, even under our modest expectations. 2009 was a great growing season—hopefully we’ll get another one like that sooner or later. The winter was quite mild here, though, with far more sun than normal, and we’re all a bit worried that nature’s going to wreak her revenge in the spring and summer. So far, it’s proving a cold and fairly miserable spring. We’ll see what happens.

      Hope you get some sun soon!

  3. Pingback: Making It Work « Of The Hands

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