Snow finally happened.

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Our warm Fall lasted forever, and I started to wonder if snow and Winter weather would ever arrive, but over the course of a couple of weeks we went from T-shirts to long johns. Despite the weather, though, we are still enjoying Spinach salads with watermelon radishes and fresh dill several times a week. After the snow today, I really wondered how it would look in there, but it all looked great. It’s hard to believe how different the temperature is in there compared to outside!

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A two layer system. The blanket covering gets rolled back on days where there will be sunshine.

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It tastes even more amazing when everything else is covered in snow;)

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So what is on our minds now…Yep firewood. Hubby went out and pulled two trees up here today to cut up this week. We didn’t go through any wood at all in the Fall and then all of the sudden we are going through it very quickly. Cutting firewood was able to be put off, with the warm weather we were having, which made him very happy because…

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…he got the whole barn built! Phase 1 is completed, next Spring will be siding, but the hay will be undercover for this Winter, and that is a huge thing for us.

Towards the end of barn building it was time to have the hogs butchered, and we for the first time had a locker that comes on site, come out and slaughter on the farm. This means a lot to us. It’s very difficult for us to load animals and transport them for slaughter because we know that no matter what, it is a stressful end for the animal. This year went differently. They came out and had a State Inspector attend as well, so that our meat can be marked “for sale”. Here, if you don’t have an inspector present, then you can not legally sell the meat

I happened to have just strained elderberries out of an elderberry tincture made with Vodka, the night before, and so I mixed the boozey elderberries in the hog’s feed. The boozey berries worked perfectly, the hogs were relaxed and laying in the sun, when the truck arrived. Having them come out and do an on farm kill went so well.  A stunner was used a so it was sunshine one second and they were out the next second. They loaded the hogs into the truck, gutted, and skinned them, then inspected the livers. Then they were off in their refrigerated truck to their brick and mortar store to package the meat. We will do this with our cattle next year too. It was a good experience. No gates, no ramps, no transport, no off loading at the locker etc. Just all around the way we want to do things for our animals.

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When the barn was done and the cold hit, it was time to rebuild, and Winterize the coop. While he worked on this, I was working on the beef and pork orders, which involved (researching) and filling out cut sheets in detail, and reviewing and setting pricing for our beef and pork. Then there was the scary part of juggling all the frozen meat so that it fit, and was organized for customers. Thanks to some excellent help from my daughter who spearheaded “project organize the freezers”, it all looks great!

The birds are now moved from the chicken tractor up in the field above and are down in their Winter coop, and the older ranging birds have moved from their Summer coop into this new Winterized coop. It is nice for them, it is set up so the pop hole door leads to the underneath of a big fir tree which leaves them nicely protected.

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The completed and fully Winterized Coop! As usual he did an amazing job!

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We had three calves this year. We might have found a new home for young Maggie, shown in this picture. We sold one of our one year olds to this other farm already, and they may be interested in her next Spring. Our other two little ones we had this year are bulls and so they will be sold for beef in a couple of years. I do love this picture of Maggie with her Dad (Scotty) and Mom (Jill).

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And drumroll……this is the newest addition to the kitchen. I am exploring Kombucha and seem to have a healthy SCOBY here! This may be one of my Winter kitchen projects this year.

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Now we finally settle into the quiet of Winter. A favorite time of year for me.

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