Tag Archives: Polar Vortex


Monday, January 6
Yokna Patawpha Bottoms Farm
Oxford, Mississippi

The cold hit hard Monday night, just as it did throughout most of the country, as a massive Arctic airmass pushed southward and stayed put. The wind howled all night long as the warm southern air was shoved down off the continent into the Gulf.



We convinced Nathan to suit up and take a walk through the frozen morning down to the chicken coop, to gather up some eggs for breakfast. He took us through the puddled pathways through the woods – the shallow puddles were already frozen, and Nathan did his first ever “ice skating” on a natural body of water, skimming across a flooded puddle in his workboots.

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Kristin baked oatmeal apple muffins, which sustained us through a cozy afternoon in the house, laying about and becoming nearly indistinguishable from the seven dogs sprawled around us.

Merton & Cleo: hardworking farm dogs


We were sedentary, but we weren’t lazy – we spent hours throughout the afternoon creating and populating a “master seed list” – a combined inventory of all the seed the farm has on hand plus all the seed and requisite info for the seeds they planned to order for spring planting (all in a convenient online spreadsheet).

Widget assists with seed ordering
Jan 7
Yokna Patwapha Bottoms Farm
Oxford, Mississippi

The next morning, we scarfed down pancakes made with the single egg that the chickens had laid in the freezing cold night.

chicken in the Mississippi winter
um hey guy our drinking water is totes frozen solid … ?


All the puddles – even the deep ones – were now frozen over, and the well’s pressure gauge had failed in the extreme cold – springing a spraying leak.

cypress & ice - an unusual combo
cypress & ice – an unusual combo



Kristin and I gleaned some freeze-softened cabbage, broccoli, and kale remnants from the field, which she turned into a tasty side salad to accompany the black beans and rice dish that Doug had been slow cooking. While she created, Doug and I drove to the Mega Bus dropoff point to pick up Tom From the UK. He was on a tour spanning from Canada to Mexico, celebrating his new Philosophy degree and using the Help-X network to find places to stay in exchange for labor.

heading back toward the farmhouse’s smokestack beacon of warmth


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We went to bed knowing that it was our last day of indoor hibernation – tomorrow we would let the fireplace rest, and head outside to work.

– Gabe