Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Winter on the Ranch

Winter at the reservoir Winter at the reservoir Cherrye O'Donal

"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness." – John Steinbeck

The work is never done! 365 days a year, seven days a week, there's no end to what must be done on the ranch. Even in the dead of winter there's lots to do. In fact, it can be the most challenging time of year!

Keeping the animals healthy and warm are top priority. Ranch Manager, Mike, daily hand feeds livestock since the pastures are usually frozen or blanketed with snow. Making sure that the critters all have plenty to eat helps to build up fat and body heat. Water troughs are constantly maintained to make sure they don't freeze. Shelters are winterized by making sure they are wind and leak proof as much as possible. Stapled on feed bags make the best coverings for openings and extra insulation. The floors are lined with a thick layer of straw. This provides a cozy bed. When the bedding becomes soiled, a clean layer is applied on top and a composting process starts which generates heat, like an electric blanket. Above all, it is love perhaps that keeps the ranch animals going strong throughout winter.

Winter is a great time for maintenance projects that have been put off during the busy warm months. There isn't a better time to clean the shop, the vehicles, and the freezers. One of the biggest jobs is fence repair. Our animal herds spend a good amount of time trying to find ways into the "greener pastures" and the fences can get really out of shape.

The cold season is also an opportunity to take some time to revisit goals and update them for the next year. As we're planning for the coming year, we have the chance to figure out what we can do differently and some new ideas to try.

Year round tours are available at Everson Ranch and winter is a magical time for guests. A visit to the ranch is both fun and educational. The Scenery is breathtaking and it can be a wonderful place to take an adventurous walk. Everyone is welcome to come learn about our holistic grazing program and enjoy the beauty of winter!

Winter picture of the reservoir - Cherrye Williams  -

Last modified on Wednesday, 17 January 2018 15:33

Orient Land Trust is a nonprofit land trust
dedicated to the preservation of Valley View Hot Springs (VVHS) and its viewshed—
including natural and biologic resources, agricultural lands, wildlife habitat,
open space, and historic and geologic features of the northern San Luis Valley—
for the education and enjoyment of current and future generations.