Snow Melted

Last Snow

We got a good rain the other night. Coupled with the warm sunny days it cleared away almost all of the rest of our snow. In a short space of time we went from fields being covered with snow to on the 14th patchy on the 17th to bare today on the 21st.


The pigs are loving it. These four sows are at the far end of the north field just below the water line road. If you look down the hill behind the sows you can just barely see our Berkshire boar Spitz laying in the sun. When I called out to him he wiggled an ear in acknowledgement but otherwise ignored me. The warm spring sunshine was just too pleasant.

I walked up the waterline road this morning to check the springs. Both springs are running very strongly with the spring snow melt.

Brassica Spring Growth

Along the way we saw lots of brassicas popping up in the fields from their roots of last year. Some of those roots are at least two winters old. I also saw some new sprouts. There were even some new blades of grass. The forages are wasting no time. The fact that we get almost no frost depth with our early snows probably helps the plants get going in the spring. Down in the valley farms they have green fields so our forages need to race to catch up for the short growing season.

Outdoors: 47°F/20°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/62°F

Daily Spark: Nature is cruel, but we don’t have to be.” -Temple Grandin

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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9 Responses to Snow Melted

  1. Jenn says:

    OK you got me Walter. I can’t find 4 sows and I can’t find Spitz. You should have made this one of your mystery puzzles!

    • Juli W says:

      Jenn: I THINK there is a black sow standing next to the pink one in the center so that makes 4…if correct? My eyes are not the best, even with glasses. :) After spending 10 min at it, I gave up finding Spitz as well…Then… as I decided to take one more look, I think I see Spitz laying out straight on his side maybe (?) pretty far back up the pasture and directly behind the sows standing in the middle, up front. He is very hard to see but I am pretty sure it is Monsieur Spitz. :)

  2. Craig says:

    It really is amazing how fast the grass just seems to pop up as soon as that first warmish sunny day after a spring rain. One day it’s all brown and dry then… WHAM! Fresh green grass. Our chickens are loving it. As a matter of fact I saw some baby grasshoppers yesterday as well so the hens are nice an happy chasing them too.

    • Nance says:

      and where are you, Craig . . . seeing baby grasshoppers. We, here in southern Iowa, won’t have grasshoppers until late July or August.

  3. Ken says:

    Looks like things are really starting to come up for you. Spring is in swing. good for you.

  4. Lynn Glazer says:

    hey Walter, my question has nothing to do with your post which is by the way awsome!! hardly any snow left! we got about another 10 inches yesterday but it’s supposed to start being nice from today on!
    my question is… we have for neighbors a vodka and single malt whiskey distillery.. they are willing to give us their used grain… is it enough with pasture do you think for their proteine intake and all… i have no access to whey, cheese or any dairy products for that matter since we have no cheese factory around… so depending on what grows in our pastures i’m just wondering what’s your opinion on this… and i’m concious that this grain is not good forever… can i freeze the excess?
    thanks Walter for your very informative, interesting and a lot of times funny blog!

    • We feed the spent barley which is mostly protein and fiber. The brewer has extracted virtually all of the sugars, the calories, by heating the wet barley mash for making the beer. Vodka and whiskey are made similarly, again the distillery is looking for the sugars, but the grains are different and from what I’ve read they have less protein in them. I have no direct experience with that sort of spent grain. Googling I find this.

      I did read about the fats ending up soft in bacon and hams from those grains but I think it has to be a case of the spent grain being too large a part of the pigs’s diet for that to happen. Googling I find this. The focus there is the type of spent distillers grains you’re talking about. In our case we only get a little of the spent barley that is spread between hundreds of pigs once a week or two and we have seen no ill effect – possibly because of it being a different grain or possibly because we get so little. I would love more if I had it.

      I would suggest trying it as a minor part of their diet. Unfortunately in hot weather the spent grains do not keep as you note. Freezing does store them very nicely – a benefit of cold winters!

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