Sunday, December 7, 2008

Day 229 of our Green Year: Dealing With Snow

Well, just two days ago we got our first big hit of snow and in regards to Our Green Year, it could not have come at a better time considering this blog is about dealing with snow in a green way.
Way back on Day Four...a whopping 225 days ago for Our Green Year, we began storing snow. That will continue throughout the winter here as we continue to gather snow and then use it for a variety of purposes including water for dogs and for plants.

However, there are other things we have to deal with for snow and one of the biggest is getting rid of the snow. Many people, especially those who live out on a ranch like we do, use a snow blower or bobcat to get rid of the snow. However, I will be using a manual method that requires a shovel and a lot of hard work. Like with our lawn in the summer, there is an alternative that requires manual labor. This is how it was done in the past and it is how I will be doing it this year, with a snow shovel. Our driveway is not incredibly long, so it should not be too bad to clear out the driveway of snow with a snow shovel. Plus, it is great exercise.

Speaking of snow, ice and the cold. A recent study has found that the Arctic will be completely ice free in the summer by 2015. This is big news because this year was only the second in recorded history where the Northwest Passage had opened up completely. A commercial ship was actually able to navigate through open waters this year, the first time this has ever happened.

Awhile ago we took the manure from the barn and put it into a large compost pile near the barn. This is what we use for the garden in about a year or two to help the soil. Many of the corn stalks and other pieces of the garden that we pulled out are also here. Just a couple of days ago, while out feeding the horses, I saw steam rising off of the huge compost pile. It was really cool to see this because that showed that the bacteria were working to break up the compost into something we can use in a year or two. Even when I dug some of the compost away, it was actually quite warm inside of it versus outside. Every so often we will be rotating and churning it all up.