Preparing for Winter Eating

So today we got things ready for wintertime feeding.  Tom fixed the hay cart for the dozenth time.  This time it required five welds and some new bolts.  The goats are testing his work quality.

We also reconstituted the sheep feeder.  It is a conglomeration of different sheep feeders from over the years, and it shows.  But it works well.  We made some modifications to it this year to try to make it easier to feed the sheep.  The wood with lanolin on the feeder holds up well.  It got me wondering if this would make a good wood preservative and less toxic than creosote.

I repositioned and cleaned the goat feeder.  I also repaired the fencing on top of the feeder designed to keep the chickens from roosting and pooping there.  Sparrow is inspecting my work.

The critters were moved to their winter pastures today.  No more rotating this year.  The rams are in their pasture which should be secure from the ewes.  It is also near the hay barn making it easy to get hay to them in the rain, snow wind, etc. They are checking out their shelter.  It is holding up well to their and the weather’s abuse.

The bucks are in a back pasture and two fencelines away from the does.  Since it is a back pasture, they have two llamas as guards against the coyotes that sometimes prowl around out in the woods out back.  It is the closest pasture available for them but still a haul getting hay and water to them in the dead of winter.  We have been trying to improve the path to them so it is not quite so difficult (as in less deep mud).

The sheep are separated from the goat flock and are enjoying it.  Sheep and goats do not like each other too much.  The sheep are also in a back field so have a guard llama as well.  They have access to the barn and their feeder.  We kick them out of the barn, throw the hay from the loft onto the feeder, replace the hog panel grate over the hay and then let them in.  There is less hay wastage the wool contamination this way.

I then started to work on the hazelnut harvest.  I have learned over the years to take the hazelnuts from the trees early, when the Steller’s jays start their harvest, otherwise I do not get any.  I have also learned not to take too many, only the ones that are easy to reach.  The jays can have the rest.  We buy pecans ever year from Sunnyland Farms (they are SO good!), so we do not end up eating that many hazelnuts.  It sounds a little like a war zone around here when the jay are harvesting their nuts.  They like to drop them from high in the air onto the roofs to break them open.  This goes on for weeks.  They are finally done now.  I wonder what they do with all those nuts.  After a couple of weeks of drying, I separate the stems and leaves from the nuts and store them for the winter- which is what I did today.

Then I canned some green beans.  The Weinlanderin beans I canned last year were so good that I had to do more even though I knew I did not have enough beans for 6 quarts.  Here’s the three quarts I prepared before they went into the pressure canner.

So we are making good progress for all of us to eat well this winter.

This entry was posted in Farm. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Preparing for Winter Eating

  1. Teresa says:

    You have been so busy getting ready for the winter. My tomatoes were so late ripening this year that I’m still in summer mode. I really need to start doing some of that prep work for winter.

Leave a Reply