End of May Snow

Late May Snow

Oops! That wasn’t supposed to stick. Yesterday I had mentioned that it was snowing while we were planting.

During the day it had all melted but over night about 4″ accumulated. The depth was very uneven. Areas with better ground contact melted faster but some spots that were well insulated from the ground warmth had several inches of snow depth when we woke up this morning. Fortunately it will melt off quickly this morning and we can continue with planting. The weather prediction is for close to a week of sunshine so that will help get our seeds started.

Fortunately we did not get as much snow as some other places.No need for alarm though – This has nothing to do with climate change. In the north country it is always a bit dicey planting before the middle of June. It might frost, or snow.

I’ve even had snow for my birthday which is around the end of July – it snowed every month that year. The town that used to be in our valley was abandoned in the 1800’s because of several years in a row of crop failure due to a multi-year cold spell. Climate is like that – it cycles.

Outdoors: 30°F/40°F 4″ Snow, Overcast
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/63°F

Daily Spark: Summer is the time we thrive between when we survive.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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14 Responses to End of May Snow

  1. Dave Gibson says:

    Yikes! We just moved from our boat in Georgia to our place in Bleecker, NY in the foothills of the Adirondacks. I thought 40 degrees and rainy was bad. Snow is just downright wrong.

  2. Dan G. Arous says:


  3. Abbie says:

    Ahha! Proof the color green does exist in the green mountain state of Vermont!

  4. Servius says:

    Wow. I thought we had it bad in MN when we got snow at the beginning of this month.

  5. phil says:

    hey walter. hows it going up there on the mountain?

    anyway. i was curious how often a sow should allow her piglets to feed? i had two pigs farrow today. one sow constantly lets her piglets feed and basically never moves from the feeding position. i have another that lays on her belly more often then not. but still allows them to feed. i guess shes just not a good of a mother as the other sow.

    and also. how quick should the piglets get to the nipple after being born? thanks walter, your knowledge helps me and every other person who has happened to be lucky enough to find your amazing site

    • I find that the first week or two the sows pretty much free feed. Then sometime in the coming weeks they start setting limits. Eventually they start trying to wean the piglets but it is difficult to do for them since they piglets are so many and the sow needs to get up to urinate and poop occasionally, eat, drink, etc. This is the time to step in and move the piglets away.

      Piglets should get onto a nipple as quickly as possible. Leaving them along I normally see them suckling within a couple of minutes. If one takes more than five minutes or so then I help it. But note that slow piglet as possibly less than prime. It may be a fine feeder but not breeder quality.

  6. phil says:

    hey walter. i know you use chickens for pest control. have you ever though about turkeys? what are your feelings on turkeys? ive never seen a post about them. do they not mix well with pigs? i just ordered 20 bourben reds for a nice addition to the farm

    • We have wild turkeys out in our fields and woods. I have wanted to raise some turkey but I only need a few a year for our own home needs and my brother raises them so I have not bothered getting into them. There are some cross species disease issues between domestic turkeys vs chickens (blackhead) and turkeys vs pigs (erysipelas) which has made me hesitate on the turkeys since we already are established with pigs, chickens, ducks and geese. We did try guineas for several years which do about the same as chickens for pest control but the guineas are a lot louder and not nearly as productive for eggs or meat.

  7. phil says:

    i have read about the bacterium, and i was under the impression that it usually shows up in huge confinement hog farms out west, and its not a specefic problem related to having pigs and turkeys. i was under the impression that your hogs can get the bacteria with or with out turkeys around, and it comes from waste in such small places, and not so clean water and feed scenarios. i also have read that the bacterium can harm chickens just as well as turkeys. so would it be safe to assume that if your hogs in 10 years have never gotten it, and neither have your chickens, then turkeys would be just fine?

  8. Sal says:

    Walter walter walter. Snow in the end of may is just so fundementally wrong on so many levels…

  9. Farmerbob1 says:

    Hrm, I’ve been meaning to ask, Walter. What contingency plan do you have set up for another mini ice age like what drove away the town in the 1800’s? Could your farm get by without being able to grow any domestic crops? I suspect the answer is yes, considering that you’ve been breeding pigs for cold temperature tolerance and will have your own butcher shop, but I’m curious.

    • It’s something I’ve thought about and yes, we could get through many years of that weather. We’re not dependent on warm crops like corn. Our animal feed is primarily locally adapted forages. We’ve selected hard for livestock that not only survive but thrive in a cold climate. The greenhouse definitely would help and if we had another mini ice age I would put up additional greenhouses with translucent covers.

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