Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shepherd's Crook, our current favorite multi-use tool

Lena clears the ice off the horse & dairy goat shelter.
We are shepherds and one of the tools we learned to love, long, long ago, was a shepherd's crook. We tried several styles, but we find the old fashioned steam bent hickory is our favorite. You just can't leave it out in the weather or it will straighten back out.

We also love our portable shelters for our critters. They allow us to rotate grazing, to use deep litter bedding effectively and to manage our five acres sustainably. But we do have to be careful of snow loads on the hoop houses and tents.

This latest snow came down as ice, then wet snow, then more ice. Kind-of a creamy centered snow cookie effect. It is entertaining to walk on, but has been harder than heck to get off the road and a real challenge to remove from the shelters. We had our first hoop house flatten under the load with this snow. Boomer and his girls are all fine, and those hoop house panels will now be fence, once we get them out from under the snow.

We knew the first morning we had to get the snow off the dairy goat and horse's shared shelter. Shovels and brooms didn't work. Climbing up and tugging didn't work. Finally, we found the great multi-use tool that did the job - our good old shepherd's crook.

Stay safe and warm this winter, it's starting out challenging.

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