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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Farms Hunker Down During Polar Vortex (Slideshow)

You thought the snow and subzero temperatures were rough on you! See photos showing how farmers and their animals were affected by the unprecedented cold snap.

  • snow-covered farm field

    Image 1 of 11

    Photo: Teresa Birtles

    Thanks to mild weather in December, Teresa Birtles of Heartland Family Farm was still harvesting some crops from her fields. After this week's polar vortex, no longer!

  • snow-covered trees

    Image 2 of 11

    Photo: Teresa Birtles

    Heartland Family Farm boasts an extensive orchard. These fruit trees will wake up from their winter slumber once the snow melts and the temperatures rise.

  • buttercup hen perched on a snowy fence

    Image 3 of 11

    Photo: Jana Wilson

    This Sicilian buttercup hen has perched on a snowy fence to avoid walking on the snowy ground -- go figure!

  • chickens in their snowy moat

    Image 4 of 11

    Photo: Salem Willard

    The chickens at Bread & Roses Gardens And Nursery seem unaffected by the snow.

  • snow-covered bee hive box

    Image 5 of 11

    Photo: Teresa Birtles

    Somewhere in here are very cold honey bees. (Heartland Family Farm)

  • snowy green houses

    Image 6 of 11

    Photo: Salem Willard

    The greenhouses are virtually snowed in at Bread & Roses Gardens and Nursery.

  • piggie in the snow at Uplands Peak Sanctuary

    Image 7 of 11

    Photo: Courtesy of Uplands Peak Sanctuary

    This pig braves the snow at the Uplands Peak Sanctuary.

  • greenhouse in the snow

    Image 8 of 11

    Photo: Marcia Veldman

    It may be snowy outside the greenhouse at Meadowlark Farm...

  • greens inside the greenhouse at Meadowlark Farm

    Image 9 of 11

    Photo: Marcia Veldman

    …but inside, greens are thriving!

  • greens inside greenhouse at Meadowlark Farm

    Image 10 of 11

    Photo: Marcia Veldman

    Marcia Veldman of Meadowlark Farm sent us these pictures of her gorgeous greens.

  • greens inside greenhouse at Meadowlark Farm

    Image 11 of 11

    Photo: Marcia Veldman

    Marcia Veldman of Meadowlark Farm sent us these pictures of her gorgeous greens.

Last week, some parts of Indiana were dumped with over 12 inches of snow. As the thermometer dipped well below freezing, the wind chill made it feel even colder — down to 40 below zero!

Hoosier farmers protected farm animals with extra feed and a heat lamp or two. As far as the crops go, they’ll likely have to wait for the thick layer of snow to melt before they can plan for the spring planting.

Thanks to Bread & Roses Garden and Nursery, Heartland Family Farm, Meadowlark Farm, Uplands Peak Sanctuary and Jana Wilson for sending us these images!

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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