Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Getting Ready for Winter -- Not Quite There Yet

Our snow a few weeks ago put an end to grazing our animals as they did all summer, so we needed straw to place in the barns. Unfortunately, most of the farmers in the Turtle Mountains had just cut their straw and it was laying in the fields as the snow/rains came. Jim called around to find someone willing to sell us some bales, but at that time there was none to be found.

Thankfully Jim checked with the grain elevator in town, and they recommended a couple of farmers. One farmer was willing to sell some of his bales. Instead of hauling them a few miles to our farm like we did last year, they had to make round trips of a little over 30 miles, only being able to carry 2 bales at a time with the truck and our small trailer.

I would have been interested to see how they managed to get the bales into the truck down in the field where they had been cut and baled.

Getting them out was a lot less of a problem.

Even though the straw bales weighed a lot less than hay bales, it took 3 to maneuver them into the barn.

The guys have also been busy cutting and stacking wood for heating our house. Thankfully we have lots of trees on our land that can be harvested and dry enough so they can be used this winter. Lately we've only been using the stove to take the chill out of the house in the mornings, and then allowing the fire to burn itself out during the day. Having the unfinished house above us is very good insulation.
The unfinished rooms upstairs are also good for drying potatoes. They were pretty wet when dug out of the ground while it was snowing! I'm not sure what the plan is for winter storage of the potatoes.

My tomatoes have been maturing slowly but surely. Yesterday I canned 14 quarts, and will do more again tomorrow. The buckets were formerly used to hold young trees from a nursery.

Once again we have the pleasant aroma of onions drying in the dehydrator. We have it set up in the kitchen area, and at times the scent can be rather overpowering. I would rather have it down here than upstairs, since sometimes the timer doesn't shut off the dehydrator when it's supposed to. We've given it a workout over the years, so I understand why it can be a bit tired.

I must admit I will be very thankful when my canning is over for the season. Then it's on to butchering pigs and deer!


Marci said...

I see the sheer volumes of veggies you do and realize how little I do. :) All those growing boys.....

Bless your heart. If I was closer I would come and help you out.

Kimberly said...

That's a lot of tomatoes to do! I've been doing tomatoes and am happy I'm almost finished. It looks like you are well prepared for the winter.

Lori said...

Wow! All those tomatoes! I finally gave my remaining ones to the chickens. They were just rotting trying to turn red. I commend you on doing such a good job - like you said, when you are done with canning it will be time for butchering, then planting, then harvesting....It's kind of a never ending cycle. Well...a lot to be thankful for anyway!

Lynn Bartlett said...

Thanks for the comments. One of the boys commented one time, "Just think of all the free time we would have if we didn't have to eat!"

Kelle said...

Lynn, I love the comment from one of the boys, it's so... true. Sometimes I get frustrated when I have to stop a task to make a meal, I'd much rather complete the task at hand, but that is just me.

You do have a bunch of maters, think of all you will be able to make without going to the grocery store this winter!

We'll have pigs to butcher too, sometime in Feb. but first come the 7 turkeys slatted for the block in a few weeks

Dh is hoping to get an invite to hunt a cow elk on a ranchers land this season, otherwise we'll need to get a deer, no beef to butcher this year and we like venison anyway.
Praying you have nice weather and get your outdoor stuff all wrapped up.

Benjamin said...

Don't you feel rich with all those veggies? And when your heifer freshens you will have white gold, bricks of healthy butter - I have to admit there is nothing that makes me happier than a fridge full of home grown milk, butter and homemade cheeses, free range eggs (okay, so my eggs are never in the fridgeLOL), produce from the garden and a freezer full of meat from our animals. The only thing that would top it off would be honey, but I have decided that that will be the one luxury I purchase locally because that is the last thing I have time to do. But it sure helps your garden also - maybe I can convince Rachel to put her bees down here too. :)

Anonymous said...

Great update Lynn.


Gp B

Homestead Herbs said...

Look at that wealth!! And you've grown it all yourself. I'd be so proud.

I love the comment from one of the boys- how true it is! And how blessed that he actually realizes how much work it takes, rather than think that it's just an easy trip to the grocery store.

As always, I'm so proud of you! I brag about you all the time!


Kansas Milkmaid said...

WoW. Looks plentiful!!! Congratulations!