November has been so busy, blogging has had to take a back seat to preparing for winter. Besides the dramatic work like harvesting pigs and turkeys there are a zillion smaller fall tasks, a few of which I have photographed:
Hoses must be emptied of water, coiled up and brought in before freezing. I cannot believe how many hundreds of feet of various types of hoses we have all over the farm.
Set up watering systems for animals. This will be our first winter with livestock and the challenge is how to provide water without it freezing and without having to lug so many heavy buckets (the cows drink a lot!). I was so happy to discover this red heated hose at Fleet Farm! It has a thermostat so it only heats when the temp drops below freezing. The hose is 40 feet and just reaches the stock tank in the loafing shed. Watering animals in winter turns out to be rather costly: heated hose ($90), heaters for 2 poultry waterers($30 each), heater for stock tank ($30), not counting the electricity.
Clean pig areas. Now that the pigs are gone, we have taken down the fencing, cleaned up the buckets, feeders and pig toys, and cleaned out the shelter.
The pigs did a great job of rooting up the brushy undergrowth in the prairie/woods, so Sara and Cadence took advantage of that headstart by cutting down the dense sumac, which Rog then burned. We envision a future hazelnut orchard in this spot.
Cadence removed the corn kernels from her dried heritage corn by hand(is there a special verb for this action?). Next, she will grind the corn into meal.
Make wreath. There are two spruces out in the west pasture--one has a beautiful pyramidal shape and the other must have once been cut off for use as an indoor Christmas tree, leaving just the bottom few branches. The poor thing is an unsightly mess, but still has some healthy branches, so rather than cut it down I have been using it for parts for our annual holiday wreath, which I finally got assembled.
Move the lawn chairs, picnic table, grill, hammock, horseshoe game, hummingbird and oriole feeders, bicycles, garden art, birdbath, flower pots, etc. into storage away form the snow. (These springy metal patio chairs were a recent Salvation Army find - I love how the faded paint looks like verdigris.)
Stay tuned for still more winter prep in a future post...