Because Howell Farm doesn't have permanent deer fencing, and this part of West/Central Jersey has one of the highest concentrations of white-tailed deer anywhere in the country, our farmers have come up with a moveable fencing system that follows around the corn crop, which is rotated to different fields in different years. Today was the day the tractor came out and the plastic fence got rolled up again for winter storage. Farmer Jeremy called the fence a big success -- protecting Howell Farm's best corn crop ever. It will return with the next corn planting, location still to be determined.
The headline on NJ.com at the moment reads, "Starting this afternoon up to 10 inches of snow, near-blizzard conditions & sub-zero wind chills."
It's been a winter, so far, of noticeable weather. We've had at least three snowfalls already, followed by some balmy 70 degree days just before Christmas. Now we're about to get more snow. The forecast for tomorrow calls for a low of 1 degree, plus 20 mile per hour winds.
Life at Howell Farm continues on much the same however, even in the coldest weather. The barns stay relatively warm with body heat from huge animals, straw and some manure. One extra chore includes icy water troughs that need breaking up by the farmers. This evening, Intern Virginia will toss the animals a little extra hay. Tomorrow the snow plows will come out, but perhaps also the horse-drawn bobsled.
Right now, prospects for the best ice harvest in some years are looking promising, but there are still a few weeks to go.
The Furrow is the online newsletter of The Friends of Howell Living History Farm. We will be updating this site about once a week with crop reports and other insights into life on a horse-drawn living history farm.
|THE FURROW: The online newsletter of Howell Living History Farm||