Deep Snow 2009


Dog House Buried

Soon after I wrote about the dog house in the snow bank we got a lot more snow. 26″ all in one quick dump. The dog house is now just a dark tunnel into the snowbank. All the other animal shelters are similarly fully sheltered. Mother nature can be so obliging.

The large amount of snow in one fall wasn’t the real problem though, we also got high winds during the storm. This created wind drifts of snow that were over 9′ deep in places. Fortunately the tractor with the bucket loader on the front is able to simply drive right through them, most of the time, if I’m going down hill or on a level area. Plowing up hill, like for the south field road, is a whole other matter and takes far longer.

The wind picks up snow and dumps it in low spots. Like our sorting pen, weaning pen, the south field road, the whey feeding trough areas, the atrium, etc. We lost all of them in the drifts. Areas that used to dip in the land scape are now scoured flat. Holly, Will and Ben dug out the important places while I plowed. We’re still digging out three days later.


Old Farm House Atrium Almost Filled

One interesting lesson is that where our driveway and roads run inline with the wind they stayed reasonably clear. Those that run perpendicular to the wind got completely filled with blown snow. The entire south pasture road is now so deep it vanished where as before it had been about a 4′ deep cut through the field of snow. Placing plowed piles of snow on the down wind side, the lee, of roads helps to keep them clear where as piles on the up wind side, the windward side, cause more filling. Things to consider when you’re laying out spaces in windy places with sand or snow to be blown about.

The question now becomes where to put all that snow. Some of my snow piles are 14′ tall and 30′ long. In other areas I had been pushing the snow over the edges and down embankments but those have gotten backed up at this point. Some of these piles may be here into mid-June. Ice boxes. Great for king of the mountain but we’re starting to run out of space to store our glaciers.

Outdoors: 31°F/18°F Partially Sunny
Farm House: 41°F/36°F
Tiny Cottage: 61°F/59°F DVD shelf up

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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5 Responses to Deep Snow 2009

  1. Greetings to a fellow pasture-raising-heritage-breed-pig farm! My wife and I love following your blog. It looks like you have your work cut out for you with all of that snow. I recently saw your website and an am amazed at the pork prices you have posted. I was wondering if you would mind sharing how you justify your prices to your customers. I raise pasture raised berkshires and can’t get the prices your ask for. Any info you can share would be greatly appreciated!

  2. ChristyACB says:

    Now that is a lot of snow. Good heavens…does it flood stuff if it melts too fast?

  3. Yes, it does flood down in low areas which is a big reason I like living up on a hill. Normally the melt is fairly slow over a period of more than a month but if we get a big rain right when the melt is going strong it will cause flooding. Last year there were some houses in the nearby city of Barre that got torn away by the flooding. Nothing like New Orleans, of course!

    There is a section of highway along Rt-302 that gets flooded out virtually every year. During that time we can’t go west into Barre that way although there is a cut around if we’re desperate.

    The fields around our house used to turn into a virtual sheet of water during spring melt – not really flooding since it wasn’t pooling. Our old farm house basement would fill with water. I put drains around it and bermed to divert the water. Gradually over the years I’ve been terracing the hillside. The terraces catch the water, control it, divert it and give it a chance to soak in rather than running away. That also fills the pig ponds and livestock watering ponds to get us through the dry spells.

  4. Asking me “How you justify your prices” is interesting wording. I will assume that you are asking in a genuine honest manner, Christian, but I can’t be as much help as I might be because you are hiding your profile so I don’t know where you’re located. Without knowing more about your situation I can only give you general answers and guess. This got long enough that I made it into its own article. See tomorrows post for details.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Beautiful pictures! I don’t know how you all up north deal with that much snow, but it sure is pretty too look at.

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