Monday, October 20, 2014

Collecting wood from the mountains

We start thinking about cold weather this time of year. It’s nice right now but the niceties can change in the course of a few hours. That being said we take every opportunity to collect wood from various sources.

This past weekend Ringo and I went up with some friends to the mountains to gather wood. We all pitched in together and came home with several loads of lodge pole pine firewood.

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I have trailer envy. Look at that nice big trailer compared to Grey Beards ski-doo trailer.

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Ringo is a good worker. He turned ten years old on this day. I asked him if it could get any better than being in the mountains collecting wood with his dad and he kind of grunted. He reminded me he had a birthday party that afternoon and we needed to work fast to make it in time. rototilling 006

Here’s our load. rototilling 008truck with wood

Not quite as big as the big trailer. We had to take off to make it to Ringo’s shin dig but I was told they filled up this trailer another time along with another couple of small trailers.

It’s quite a bit of work to drag out these poles but the wood is great and it’s fun to work with a bunch of guys instead of doing it all by yourself. truck full of kids

We made it back to the birthday party (late of course as we didn’t stop working in time) and filled up the back of the truck with a different kind of lodge pole pines.rototilling 012

Ringo wanted to head down to the river and have a hot dog roast for his party. The sun came out and all the kids jumped in the water although they didn’t last that long as it is mid October here and the water is quite cold this time of year.rototilling 017

But the kids are tough as nails as you can see by this guy. It’s nice to have a bunch of kids around on days like this because if one goes in the water they all have to so they are not out done. rototilling 015

After about an hour a wind storm came through and all the kids huddled around the fire. We though we may be stuck down there the rest of the winter. But after fifteen minutes the weather turned decent again and we were able to haul everyone back home wrinkled, sandy, but unscathed.

I’m pretty sure Ringo like the river portion of the day better than collecting wood in the mountains but I enjoyed the whole day tremendously. I think we’ll head up for another load soon before the snow flies.

You can’t have too much wood in our part of the world. You never know when you’ll feel like heading down to swim in the river and need a nice big fire to warm everyone up.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall Garden Tilling

Millie and I are quite impressed with our level of preparedness this year. We just finished an indoor cold storage room in our basement and have harvested all our potatoes, carrots, beets, and various other sundry garden wares. We also were on the ball this year and had our garden tilled after depositing all the manure pile into the garden.

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We had a local equipment operator come in and haul the manure pile into our garden. The pile has been sitting there for about 6 months but we started it about a year ago.rototilling 027

I was tempted to do it by hand but the $100 to haul and till the garden was well worth it. It would have taken me two days to shovel the six foot high by 12 x 6 foot pile.rototilling 028

If you look carefully in the background you can see the source of this magnificent manure mound. She may look skinny but she sure does recycle an amazing amount of fertilizer.rototilling 029

We loaded the whole pile onto our garden.rototilling 030

I sure like the sky in our area. The smell from this side of the garden was a little bit sour but because of the composting nature of the contents it wasn’t all that bad. rototilling 031

Could you imagine me doing that all by hand. Some things are worth paying for.rototilling 032

While the tractor was delivering the dung Millie watered trees and enjoyed the view. rototilling 033

Molly dressed up as little green riding hood and collected rosehips. rototilling 034

After tilling up the moo mounds you can see the surface is smooth and fluffy.rototilling 035

We only did one pass through the garden as we didn’t want to make the ground too fluffy or it might blow away with the high winter winds we are bound to experience this off season. I will probably put up a pallet fence half way through the garden to decrease the erosion and hopefully catch more snow for ground protection and water collection.

As I said at the beginning of this post, Millie and I are not usually this on top of things. We still have a ton of things to do this fall to prepare for winter but it’s sure a great feeling to have a full storage room and the garden ready for spring.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Harvest time

It’s that time of year when it can be snowing and cold one day and be 21 degrees Celsius the next. It’s quite discouraging to look out the window in the morning and see this on the porch.

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We’ve had a couple of snow storms already, one of which included six inches of snow.Harvest 001I took the above picture in the attempt to make snow seem romantic and nice but in reality it’s just cold and ruined all my garden plants.Harvest 158

The potato harvest was pretty good this year. We planted Russets, Yukon gold and Pontiac reds. Some of the potatoes were fairly large. We were worried they might have hollow heart but not one so far has had that so we are pretty blessed.Harvest 153The kids have been great helpers this year in the harvest. Ringo turns ten years old soon and works like he’s sixteen. Harvest 152I think my kids are the only ones that would wear a coat but still be in shorts and no shoes. We get frequent visitors to our place and I often wonder if we are thought of as hillbillies as we are often barefoot running around the farm. Hopefully we are just thought of as trendy hippies who like to partake in Earthing. Harvest 149We ended up with nine apple boxes of potatoes which is about six hundred pounds of food. We also stored four boxes of carrots which is around 150 lbs of product. We usually store the carrots in sand but are trying sawdust this year. Sand works great but is awfully heavy. I’m getting old and can’t lift things like I used to so we are trying sawdust as it’s lighter. We’ll have to check on the carrots often this winter to make sure the sawdust is working.Harvest 148There is a picture of my dad when I was a kid kneeling down picking potatoes that is almost an exact replica of this photo. I always thought my dad was old and uncool. Thirty years later I realize that he is pretty awesome and hip. He’s still old though.Harvest 147Ringo thinks I’m old now but I keep telling him he better think I’m handsome as he’s going to look just like me in thirty years. Harvest 143Hopefully Molly will look like Millie in thirty year and not like me.Harvest 106Here’s our own Mrs. Potato head. Isn’t she beautiful?Harvest 107

We gave one of these potatoes to Dancing Queen. She wouldn’t take more as she said one potato would feed her and grey beard for two meals.Harvest 142Molly is a great helper as well. It’s fun to work with the kids. I think it’s probably more fun to harvest than it is to weed but that’s to be expected. Harvest 102We even grew cantaloupe this year. Look at these beauties. Juicy and wonderfully tasting.Harvest 105

It gives you an idea of how big the potatoes are. Harvest 103

Well, I should tell the truth here. The cantaloupes were wonderful just really small. We’ll have to start them inside next spring so they get a little bigger.

We are almost ready for snow to come full time. We are going to the mountains to get wood this morning and hopefully be back in time to play down at the river this afternoon.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Calf status

Our wee little calf is growing up nicely. I guess that’s what all the grass you can eat and all the fresh air will do for a bovine.

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Too bad this Jersey/Guernsey cross is still skin and bones. Looks like it will be another year before we have Ranger burgers. By then the horns will be fairly big. Good thing this big fella is just a pet and lets us scratch his ears when we go say hello.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Farm Fashion

Not much to say on this other than I look more and more like a farmer and my kids look more and more like they should be embarrassed of my boots.

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