A Winter Storm Watch in the first days of a midwest Spring.  The old people keep telling me anything can happen in March and it happens they are right! swamp-006

Nothing as bad as what is happening back East Coast with their four storms this month so we will not complain.  The good news is that the storm will break this North East pattern of weather that we have been experiencing for the last few weeks and the winds will swing back to the South-west and we will begin to warm up.


Yesterday Our John opened two more acres of corn field. Clawed back  from the grip of commercial mono culture. He tilled it, to fold in the corn husks and stalks and even it out a little, a corn year leaves the field very bumpy.  and very soon we will sow it in a grass and oat mixture. Just as soon as it warms up.  Later in the summer when the oats are long, I will take one cut of hay  – then when there is rain in the forecast he will top sow into the grass with the alfalfa and leave it to grow until next year. We have sown in stages like this before and it has worked very well.


I am also working on another initiative. I want to talk Jake into letting me grow a few pigs over in his big commercial vegetable garden.  This way instead of me having to drive the truck over there to collect all the discarded weeds and vegetables during the season,  he and his gardener Marty,  can throw them straight into the pigs enclosure.  And in return the pigs will open up next years vegetable beds for them. And I get the use of another field. swamp-020

It makes perfect sense to me and Marty so let’s hope Jake agrees and we can being work on that initiative shortly.

I will take the old stock trailer over there as their house! They could sleep either in it or under it. And if there is an emergency or really terrible weather coming – we can shut the door and lock them up inside out of the elements.  I think the old Black Mariah will be ok for short trips – fingers crossed.

Most importantly we need to build a VERY sturdy big pig enclosure over there – It would be horrific if the pigs got loose and into his garden!


But I could raise four more hogs with the addition of his backfield.  And all within our existing circle of goodness.


The ducks, when they are old enough, will spend the summers being strip grazed across the home hayfield, which is in desperate need of fertilising, behind electric poultry fence.  They will be given a really large area to roam in – poultry manure is harsh on forage if in a concentrated area so their field will be big. (Collecting eggs will be interesting as I hear that ducks have no system for laying eggs so I need clean grass and hay to get clean eggs).  Maybe I can find a small old stock trailer for them too. One that is no longer road worthy.  The trailer could be cleaned out straight into the field and moved with the ducks.


I hope you have a lovely day.  The sun is here for the morning so I am off out to work in it.  I wonder what this storm will bring. We will shut the doors and get ready for it anyway.

Love celi

WEATHER: All seasons in one day.  (Already that is singing through my head on an earworm loop).

Friday 03/23 0% / 0 in
Mostly sunny skies this morning will become overcast during the afternoon. High 48F. Winds E at 10 to 15 mph.

Friday Night 03/23 60% / 1-3 in
Rain showers early with precipitation turning to a mixture of rain and snow overnight. Some sleet may mix in. Low 32F. Winds E at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precip 60%. 1 to 3 inches of snow expected.

6:51 am 7:08 pm

Waxing Crescent, 37% visible 10:58 am 12:48 am


51 Comments on “SPRING STORM

  1. OH what a beautiful bird! I absolutely love seeing chickens. Interesting about using stock trailers as housing. Fingers cross Jake likes the idea too.

    • Jake is young and clever and onto it – if he does not like the idea he will have a very good reason – not that I want to hear that reason of course! It would be a bit more work for all involved so we will see.

    • I am not sure what you mean chimoney but if you mean you would like to have the picture of the rooster – then yes – anyone can take images anytime from these pages – as long as you tell everyone where you got it – no problem – have a good one!

  2. Like Pat, I think the stock trailer idea as a home for both bigs and birds is a great one! Why not? Especially if the trailers can be gently moved around to new grazing areas and such. And with Our John being a “Jack of all trades” he can fix up any weak spots and keep the trailers useable.
    Sounds like a win-win!!! Also, I do hope the plan works about with the plonkers going to Jake’s! Tossing all the fresh weeds and veggies right over the fence to them is a great idea. We do that as well, and our pigs are delighted! 🙂

  3. I think if it makes such clear sense to you, Jake will get it too; he seems very clear-headed and sensible. But I could understand if he was cautious about having pigs on site; I’d be nervous too in his shoes.
    Your chooks are gorgeously glossy and colourful, the picture of good health…

  4. I love the fact that feeding the animals is also feeding the earth that will feed the animals. It’s so satisfying and right, somehow.
    I hope all your plans happen and are fruitful.

  5. Winter Storms & Brain Storms, Anything goes. And I hope all goes Well & March goes out like a Lamb this year.

      • Well, our March came in as a lion. I recall thinking at the time that it hopefully meant it would go out as a lamb — lol. You have loads of plans that sound fruitful — hope they all work out. And your chickens look quite beautiful. Hope you have a great day too, as you batten down the hatches. — Mame 🙃

  6. Good luck with the storm. I love reading about your plans. I hope this all works. I’m glad you are taking back another corn field-I love the thought of oats. Much prettier field! I remember reading once about your joy at finding worms in a reclaimed field you had taken through a similar process. I think of that often.

    • Oh I remember that – yes – it took FOUR years if I remember rightly. Those fields just keep getting better every year. This year should be a god one for them with the extra cattle (read manure) on them. c

  7. Lots of exciting ideas. And yes, the old folk are generally right! We’re driving to Spain next week with a few days stop over in France over Easter for a holiday…but I think we’ll be “enjoying” the next cold snap that is heading our way for pretty much the entire trip 😓

  8. I so enjoy hearing your strategic planning as you creatively consider efficiencies! Your ideas involving moving the pigs over to Jake’s sounds excellent to me–for what that’s worth. LOL! 🙂

  9. Great ideas here, Celi. Moving the pigs, repurposing the trailer, and I love that you’re bringing back ducks. Save a few of their eggs for pasta. 😋
    Doesn’t look like the storm will track this far north. At most, there’ll be a dusting over south Chicago, so say the forecasters. And they’re never wrong.

  10. I hear you when you talk about MidWest crazy March weather! Even in our area we are expecting 6”-12” snow betwneen tonight and tomorrow afternoon… and I can’t wait for real spring to come! At least your nice pictures and writing warmed my heart!

    • March is so inclement. I just never know what to expect – i am just glad Poppy might hold on until it warms up 6 – 12 – they give themselves a wide margin don’t they? I hope your snow is on the lower end of that scale – here it is all blue sky – i just can’t believe there is a storm coming and on the radar it really does look like it will miss us – fingers crossed – i don’t mind some rain though but what you and I really want is WARMTH! yes? c

  11. We are just surfacing from 3 days of Continuous rain and storms, seems we caught the Beast from the East too. Flooding and huge mess everywhere, and so we head into winter, autumn bypassing us this year. I am thrilled to hear you have reclaimed some more GM fields, great news 🙂 I do hope John will get the quad going again for your daily farm checks, oh and more fencing …. sigh. It all looks good on paper, hoping it will all work out as planned. Laura

  12. Again, I thank you, Miss C, for bringing us rain and snow with your last visit to California! It started a storm cycle that hasn’t let up, and we needed the precipitation in ANY form to attempt to avoid another drought year. Mmmm – that rooster is as pretty as a picture! Chuckle! Love your creative ideas and do thank Our John for helping you implement them!

  13. Good afternoon, c. I hope all these marvellous ideas hatching in your head don’t keep you awake at night.

  14. Sounds like you have some great and plausible ideas..if you need any help call me! I’ll be up your way all next week.

  15. initiative is your middle name. Or is it “Initiative, thy name is Cecilia”…something like that. Love the constant churning of ideas…

  16. I’m going to be anxious to read tomorrow’s post to see if the storm let you be and went around and whether Jake likes your ideas. A person has to be very smart to be a good farmer. That you are.

  17. I’m not that far north of you and we’re now predicted just a chance of snow with no accumulation and a small warm up after with rain for a couple days. I’d rather rain, with the blasted hill, snow is dangerous. We did have a bit of a surprise, the city came and patched the common drive (which means the city considers it and alley and they are responsible for it – eventually). Have a lovely evening.

    • I am so pleased they fixed your alley – that was a terrible icy trap – chg john said they were looking at a trace – so I hope it goes way south and misses us all!!

  18. Glad you have Big John at the moment to help – and glad you have been able to get the extra acres for your usage. Difficult for a ‘city gal’ to believe how much land is necessary for the pigs to have live food! Am looking forwards to the ducks . . and to Jake saying ‘yes’ and us visitors being able to move further afield and up with our learning curve also . . . best of luck!

  19. That’s a great idea! Duck eggs are fantastic with a large yolk and as you say, ducks don’t care where they lay them. If you have a pond, you will find eggs at the bottom!

  20. The trick to getting clean duck eggs is no food overnight in their enclosure. Otherwise, they poop up a storm. I give mine a little water so they can wet their whistle, and I throw in a snack of shaved carrot and/or some peas to help lure them in the shed and because they are spoiled. But they really don’t need any food at night and in the morning they will have made a new nest and deposited perfect eggs. The two I collected this morning were spotless.
    I love that you are working together with others. It just makes so much sense, doesn’t it?

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