Today we are preparing for another snow event in our area of 4-8 inches of snow depending on what part of the county you live in. We like to prepare for the worst and hope for the least. Eddie hauling some hay just outside of different fields the cattle are in. We just hauled firewood to the front porch. The cattle were fed normally but tomorrow morning they’ll get hay and some grain but fed near the woods for protection from the snow. Today I made sure the ducks and chickens have extra feed, watering pan full and I put some treats in the hen house for them. The snow is not supposed to get heavy until tomorrow afternoon but you never know with Mother Nature.
We brought three tractor loads of firewood to the front porch and have covered it with tarps to keep as dry as possible.
Our woodhouse is only half full now but we want to use everything in it this year so it can be thoroughly cleaned out in the spring/early summer and treated for termites and wood borers.
I filled two bins with kindling for fire starting.
The wood rack beside the stove is full and holds enough wood for two days if the wind isn’t bad.
The end of the porch is filled with really dry wood and the stack to the front is semi-dry and used to hold the fire during the night. We do oversleep at times and the filled stove will hold fire about six hours. We both tend to get up during the night.
I keep this large teapot full of water day and night to help with the dryness of the air using wood heat.
We’ll be warm!! I also brought in some canned goods and potatoes from the cellar, a big pot of vegetable/meat soup sounds good! I filled two five-gallon buckets, and one three gallon bucket with water for flushing the camode if the power goes off. I filled 10 gallon jugs and some gallon pitchers for drinking and cooking water, We are ready for the second snow event of 2019.
Crazy isn’t it?? We’ve just about finished a heating season and now we start preparing for another one! It’s not a vicious circle, it’s life on the farm!
Last fall we had this huge pile of firewood stacked on the outside of the wood house.
We covered it up so it would continue to dry. The wood house was about half full and we didn’t want to add any to it because a lot of it had been seasoned for 2-3 years and needed to be used. So we emptied out the woodshed and didn’t have to cut any firewood all winter. We used about half of the stack in the photo above and I just recently stacked the remainder to start our fuel for next winter. We NEVER burn unseasoned firewood! Flue fires are not on our list of fun!
The woodshed is probably a 20 ft. x 24 ft. shed and we now have two full ranks front to back and about 7 ft. high.
We still have room for four more ranks to fill it up. This is well seasoned and under a covered roof so it’ll be great for heating in 2018 thru 2019 winter.
Hubby has already cut down four huge dead oak and wild cherry trees to complete the harvest and we have two truck loads of already cut up but needs to be split. We use locust, ash,and maple for firewood, as well.We’ll try to get this done in the next month so it won’t interfere with hay season and it won’t be full of bees and snakes.
On Sunday morning we took off to the woods and started cutting for the 2014-15 heating season. We found two oak trees that had been dead from the gypsy moth invasion three years ago and put more than a ton of weight on the farm truck. Here’s a view of the visit with nature.
We were there for about one and half hours and Hubby sawed the trees up and loaded the heavy pieces which were way to heavy for me and then I loaded the lighter stuff and enjoyed being in the woods.
I enjoy anything that involves us being outdoors together and I love the smell of fresh cut firewood. One of the trees was blown to the ground and heavier than the other because it soaked up the last rain. The other tree was still standing but the bark had fallen off. This will keep us nice and toasty next winter. All we have to do now is split the big stuff and put it in the woodhouse.
It’s been a good while since Hubby and I spent the day together in the woods. The weather was nice enough (40* and sunny) for me to get out with my fingers crossed that the bronchial problems wouldn’t re-surface. It was the last day of deer hunting season and hubby had killed two does and one buck with his muzzleloader in the last three days to complete his big game tag. The front porch firewood supply was getting low (even though the wood house was fuller than it had been for three years) and it had been a long time since we had cut firewood together.
Porch wood stack getting low.
After breakfast was over, I washed up the dishes, fed the chickens and turned them out, and started the laundry while hubby fed the cattle. Then we headed for the flatwoods with the chainsaw, gloves and a smile on my face. We saw several deer run as we entered the woods and a squirrel took for the tree tops.
Within a hundred feet we found three dead locust and and a downed oak so we stopped the truck and I waited for hubby to bring them down and within a hour the truck was packed with wonderful fuel for the woodstoves. We headed back to the house with the pickup full.
Truck full and some has to be split.
Notice the handmade wheelbarrow that hubby made last spring. That thing is the best tool we own as far as I’m concerned. It’s balanced just right and I can go anywhere with it. Hubby decided to use the splitting maul to quarter the larger pieces and while he did that I unloaded the smaller sticks to the wheelbarrow and he pushed it to the porch for me and I unloaded it. It was good quality time together and even though it’s calling for temps to be in the 40’s this coming week, we’ll still have to have a fire day and night. We’re saving the wood in the woodhouse for hardtimes (snow to deep to get to the woods) and we’ve talked about doing this for the next few Saturdays together, weather permitting, and fill up the entire three sides of the front porch. We like to do this because it blocks the winds from the front door and we will have those nasty winds. Here’s the finished work about thirty minutes later.
One load fills up a pretty big gap!
From this point I returned indoors to work on laundry and other chores while hubby skinned and quarted the venison. We had a very productive day.
I can’t believe it’s the end of July! This year has flown by!! It’s time to start aggressively storing food for the winter, gathering wood, and winterizing all the animal sheds and the house. I’ll save the house for last since the next two months will probably turn out to be our hottest months. The farm equipment should be finished for the year except for a couple tractors. Hubby always cleans them up and checks everything out for worn parts and replacement parts. I clean up the garden and yard equipment but still a little early for that. The major thing now is the garden. I will have more green beans to can this coming week and weekend, more squash to freeze, onions to store and more cabbage to do something with. The tomatoes and peppers are near ready yet and the summer “duratio” did away with most of the fruit. Luckily I stored lots last year.
Hubby worked on filling the wood house again today and the split stack is out of the rain. We still have a large load to split and more down from the storm to cut & split for the following winter.
All of the hay is stacked and ready for winter and hubby is in the process of cleaning up the hay equipment. The roofs have been taken care of and I have to put new interior tar paper in the chicken house. All of the major fence repairs have been made and the pastures are being sheared now.
This is the blog for our little farm in Skagit county. Here we have Shetland sheep and Nigerian Dwarf goats. In addition we have donkeys, llamas, cattle, pigs, chickens, geese, and peafowl. The blog describes the weekly activities here.