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October 16, 2017: Preparing for Winter

It always seems to me like the ground gets ready for winter before it snows. There’s a freeze. The ground becomes hard underfoot and there’s a thin layer of ice on the puddles. Here and there there’s frost that looks like snow. And the snowline on the distant mountain peaks creeps lower and lower, until one day. . . .
And here, there is always that last minute push to get things done, no matter how late the first snow might be. We don’t make a list of things – it just becomes evident what we have to do. For instance, there is the matter of how to go about watering the livestock. Ice on the morning water reminded me this morning that we have to make winter preparations. The stick that we use to break the ice was

where we left it, on the holding tank, as was the deep fat fryer dipper to remove the ice. I broke up the ice with the former and removed it with the latter.

This afternoon I pulled the insulated water buckets out from behind the horse shelter and cleaned them with water from the holding tank. I removed the non-insulated buckets from the wall hangers and carried the half-full buckets over to the compost station, where I dumped them. The compost stations are in a shed, so we have to water the contents or else the compost doesn’t cook. I then put these buckets behind the shed. Come spring, we’ll again reverse the process.

We are now heating the water for all the livestock on the woodstove. We carry it out to them. When it snows we’ll pull it downhill in the sled and of course carry it out to the chickens and the goats.

Compost. Right now we are dumping the fresh manure into the compost station. Pete partially turned it the other day – he needs to finish this project. I added birch leaves that were given to us and water that we collected in plastic trash bins. These are located under the rain gutter. As soon as it snows we’ll begin using the sled in the pen and also pulling it and emptying it behind the hoop house. We’ve been dumping manure there now for five years, so we have a good worm farm going. The worms must now be several generations old.

We split and stacked the wood that was outside the shed, inside the shed. In the next few weeks, Pete will take down a few more trees. This wood will be stacked in the woodshed. After, we’ll move the stacked wood that is outside the shed in the shed.

The vehicle tires still need to be changed, and my red car needs new brakes. It is not long for this world.

Pete went and got pea gravel today. I’ll put some of this down in the horse pen, in the low spots. And we’ll use the rest around the place if it gets icy.

I feel like we are ready for winter. But you never know. We’d be better off if we kept a list.

Next: 287. 10/1717: At the Day’s End

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