From the dirt to our plate; the trials and realities of first-time farm ownership

Week 23: Prepping for Winter & Spring

WEEK 23

This was a week of list making in an effort to stay on track this season.  There are so many things we typically do in the fall to prep for spring, we stay pretty busy.  Not only do we have to find time to cut firewood and winterize everything, we still had various parts of our remodel waiting to be completed.  Installing the wood stove being a fine example of something we need to complete before the white stuff sticks.  It still sitting in our living room waiting to be put in working order.


I started off with the easy stuff, the things I could do on my own.  I pulled up the duck pool, cleaned up the outside dog kennel (we won’t use it in winter), picked up fallen apples, trimmed back asparagus and marked yard obstacles soon to be hidden with snow.  Mid-week snowfall served as a staunch reminder the warm weather would soon come to an end.


That was just the tip of the iceberg on our laundry list of items to get done.  Much of our progress seemed to happen during the weekend because big jobs generally require my husband’s muscle.  The main garden was completely pulled and tilled under and the lawn mowed for perhaps the last time this year.

This week I also made changes in the way the ducks free range as we had poo everywhere and they seemed to lay eggs in every corner of the yard.  Not good when you are trying to gather eggs!  The ducks and chickens are now enclosed in a combination of the coop, covered pen and the garden.  They took to it pretty well and now I can find the eggs easily whether they lay them in the unlimited access of the coop or outside in the fenced garden.

Speaking of eggs, this was also a week for experimentation with duck eggs.  A few days ago I had started getting really sick every time I’d eat anything with duck eggs.  In fact, this past week I’ve probably thrown up more than in the last two years  combined.  Never the less, I experimented with a batch of cookies to see how high or low my tolerances were.  The answer? Well, it wasn’t positive.  Duck egg, even in cookies (2 eggs in the entire batch) at first just made me nauseous but by the end of the week I ended up not being able to withstand them at all.  Period.

So, I moved on to safer food stuffs and in an effort to keep the freezer well stocked.  I managed to process about 34 pounds of meat from last year’s deer and a couple of pork loins.  Three different types of sausage was made; Italian. Sage Breakfast and Garlic Sage.  This will help out immensely with Soup Sunday’s and tasty hot casseroles during the nip of winter.


I also baked an Bavarian Apple Tart with some of the freshly fallen apples I’ve had my eye on all summer.  Perched high in the tippy top of the tree, their brilliant red color begged me to look at them each and every day.  Once they had fallen, I was on them immediately.  With the help of some chicken eggs this time, I finally had a dessert I could enjoy!


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