Tuesday, November 22, 2022

A Thanksgiving Wish for You


Sending Thanksgiving wishes 
from our house to yours.
 
I'm hoping your home will be filled with family and friends, laughter and happy companionship or that you have a calm, laid back, relaxing day (which is not bad!).
 
Ours day will be quiet (and easy!) this year along with gratitude and appreciation for all our bountiful blessings.
 
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Mother Nature's Blanket

You've heard the expression "a blanket of snow?"
 

This is our small orchard of dwarf fruit trees
that we've constructed
a net fencing arrangement around
and over the top to keep the birds
from getting at the fruit as it starts to ripen.
 
Our recent heavy snow has built up 
on the netting that forms
the "roof."
 
Looks to me quite like a heavy, white
winter blanket carefully placed
over the enclosure.
 
Mother Nature's blanket. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

I Think We Can Officially Call It Winter

We've gotten a little over a foot of snow since yesterday, and it's still coming down.  Can't remember a year in the last few that we've gotten more than a smattering of snow before Christmas.
 

Papa Pea is happy because as soon as there's enough snow (and there is now!) he banks it up all around the perimeter of the house.  He's sure it keeps the house warmer.   And saves on firewood.
 

My raised beds are quickly going under.  Sure am glad I got the two strawberry patches covered with mulch last week.
 

The log peanut butter feeder for the birds went up just prior to the snow.  Last night I almost got a picture of one of our resident flying squirrels packing his belly full but shy little creatures they are, as I got close enough for the photo he scampered away.
 

We hang the feeder where we can both see it when sitting at our kitchen table.  Lots of chickadees, nuthatches and one downy woodpecker have discovered it.
 
I still need to get a suet ball to hang on the big birch tree right next to the deck.  The made-up balls were getting fairly pricey at the grocery store in town last year so I'm trying to think of what I have to make my own this year.
 
Yep, I do believe it's time to say, "Hello, Winter!"  

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Ready for Winter? Sure Hope So.

 To date we've not had much of any winter weather other than one, or was it two?, mornings of a light snow covering on exposed planting areas.  The green grass (which is still in evidence) hasn't even had a coating.  But today is foggy, damp and supposedly, in short order, turning into a few days of rain/snow mix so it should be interesting to see what that actually brings.
 
We're in fairly good shape for the coming winter months which really feels very good to say.
 
The chicken house and the chicken's solarium have been cleaned which will make the chickens (and humans) happy. 
 

The poultry flock will have ample room in the solarium which is attached to the chicken house proper.  It's remarkable how much the temperature heats up in there on even the coldest winter days.
 
You can see on the right where a ramp and door connects to the inside of the chicken house and then there's the door opening to their outside pasture straight ahead in the photo.  For most of the winter, we won't open the little door that gives them access to the outside as they've never been fond of traipsing around in more than an inch of snow.
 

The rack on the north side of the chicken house was built specifically as a place to store some of our bales of straw and hay for quick and easy access in the winter time.  An extra wide overhang was put on the roof in that area to protect the bales.
 

Thinking the strawberry beds might get covered with freezing rain and/or snow by the weekend,  I decided to spread their blanket of winter mulch over them yesterday.  The above is a photo of the new plot planted this past spring.  The straw is held down with cattle panels just in case we get a big wind before a snow cover.  I also spread mulch on the three rows of old strawberries on the west side of the field garden.  Papa Pea talked me into keeping them going for one more year until the new ones were well established.  I've got to admit that the old strawberry plants look as good this fall as they ever have.  I'm crossing my fingers that the berries we get from them next season will be worth the time and effort of caring for them which is no small task.
 

We continue to get pictures of our resident timber wolf population that seems to like traversing through the open area in the back by our wood working area.  They will most likely be around all winter.  Our black bears are still showing up on the camera, also, but we haven't had a good picture of them lately to share.  Unlike the wolves, they really should be heading into winter hibernation especially if we get the predicted cold weather and snow soon.  Time for them to get ready for winter, too.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Winter Is Peeking Around The Corner

And I'm glad.
 
Crazy.  Our Weather these past few weeks.  We've experienced much warmer temperatures than we usually do the last part of October and these first few days of November.  Daytime highs in the 50s and falling only into the 40s at night.  The grass is still very much green (and growing?) and we've had only one or two nights that provided light frost that could be seen in the very early morning.
 
According to the forecast, this all will change with rain/snow moving into our area this weekend and first of next week.  Since the leaves have all left the trees, it will start to look and feel more like the November weather we usually have.  Ah yes, the lull (I'm ready) before the beginning of Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday season soon to follow.
 

I've been the first one up these mornings (in the total darkness) and have taken to turning on the lights bordering door frames . . . 
 

. . . and lighting candles on the kitchen table to provide a cozy, easy, waking up period before these last days of scrambling outside to tie up all those loose ends that must be done before the snow flies. 
 
Two days ago we had one more cord and a half load of wood delivered to bring our big wood shed up to chock-full.  This wood won't be touched this year as we've got well-seasoned wood in two other sheds that is two and three years old.  What a good feeling to be that much ahead on our wood supply.
 
There is a stack of eight foot-long logs in our back wood working area that we've agreed to work up this winter, even if we have to sweep and/or shovel the snow off of the pile.  What better way to spend part of a sunny day outside in the fresh air working those muscles that don't get as much exercise as they do during the rest of the year.  Then to come inside to a warm, cozy, wood stove-heated kitchen for a bowl of homemade soup and slice of bread.  Stripping it all down to basics, it just doesn't get much better than that.
 
Yep, I'm truly looking forward to the coming months.  Even though I do love gardening and all that entails, the coming winter time looks purdy darn good to me.  I'm totally ready for sparkling white winter to make a full appearance. 

Friday, October 28, 2022

Bottle Caps, Cokes and Potatoes

Approximately ten days ago, we dug our potatoes from the garden, rubbing off as much dirt as we easily could, spread them out on racks, covered everything with burlap bags and let they dry out and cure.
 
Two days ago we sorted them, putting ones with gouges, dings and an insect hole or two in a container to be used first.
 
The rest were put into crates and stored in our root cellar.  The temperature down there isn't quite cold enough for ideal storage yet, but we're hoping it soon will be.
 

We knew we had a larger than normal crop and were curious to know how many pounds we harvested so we weighed each pail full on our old bathroom scale subtracting the pound for the metal bucket. 


We ended up with 15-3/4 buckets full which translated into 235 pounds of spuds!  Quite a bit more than we will eat this winter, so we'll have plenty to share.


Both varieties, Red Norland (reds) and Carolas (whites), produced very large potatoes.  We couldn't be more pleased.  We are rich in potatoes!

I'll end with a quote which tickled my funny bone and is attributed to Hank Green when speaking about gardening, planting and harvesting his potatoes.

"It was like putting a bottle cap
in the ground and pulling out a coke."

If you've ever planted potatoes, I think you'll understand the analogy!