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Tag: Homesteading

Covering the High Tunnel

Covering the High Tunnel

Covering the High Tunnel Covering the high tunnel is a four-person job that we accomplish with only the two of us. It’s a lot of work, and the work starts with duct tape. The uneven spots where steel pieces come together had to be taped to keep it from rubbing holes in the polyethylene cover over time. Doing this contributed to getting eight or nine years out of the four-year poly the first time we covered the high tunnel. Rolled…

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Expensive Fresh Vegetables – Covering the High Tunnel

Expensive Fresh Vegetables – Covering the High Tunnel

Expensive Fresh Vegetables Wow. It’s easy to lose track of the expense associated with buying fresh vegetables in the winter. We’ve had hoop houses and high tunnels for over a decade. This is our first winter in eight years without a tunnel. It’s uncovered to let the snow and rain wash the soil. Expensive fresh vegetables made up the majority of our monthly grocery shopping trip last weekend, and shoved me into accepting the cost of poly. I’ve been feeling…

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When Strangers Trespass – Life in the Rural Woods

When Strangers Trespass – Life in the Rural Woods

When Strangers Trespass I’m a little freaked out. I usually know what’s going on here. Intuition, observation and game cameras keep me on top of what’s happening. It’s nothing to grab a gun and meet trespassers at the end of the road in our wood yard. There have been four uncomfortable situations when strangers trespass in the 18 years we’ve lived out here in the woods. Once, someone took firewood. He didn’t know the land had been sold and that…

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It’s a Blizzard Out There – Blizzard 2017

It’s a Blizzard Out There – Blizzard 2017

It’s a Blizzard Out There It’s a blizzard out there. I’m sure the weather service will call it officially. Conditions must be winds of 35 mph for three hours and visibility reduced to a quarter-mile or less due to falling or blowing snow. We’ve got that. I turned into a human plow to get through the drift on the back porch on my way to the hen house this morning. It’s worse since then. Steve is off work due to…

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Keep Poultry Water Thawed Longer

Keep Poultry Water Thawed Longer

Keep Poultry Water Thawed Longer Disclaimer: I learned how to keep poultry water thawed longer from Staci at A Chick and Her Garden. Check out her blog. I found her when she shared this method in a Fb group and then couldn’t find her again weeks later. Thanks to Staci for emailing me this morning. I have to tell you how gracious she is – she’s humbled that so many people appreciate her method. I’ve added her blog to my…

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Power’s Out. Freezing rain, ice, quiet.

Power’s Out. Freezing rain, ice, quiet.

Power’s Out I hoped the lights would stay on. If the trees didn’t drop icy branches on the power lines I’d be all set. There’s plenty to do today. We cleaned up pork trimmings last night so they’re ready to grind and season today. I gathered the grinder and its pieces, the meat and bowls, washed my hands annnnd…power’s out. Alright then, there’s bread to bake. I scraped all of the sourdough starter minus a few tablespoons and sprinkled on…

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Thinking Ahead: 2017

Thinking Ahead: 2017

Thinking Ahead: 2017 Thinking ahead is one of my favorite things. It’s a lot like day dreaming. There are a few things I’m planning to do in 2017. Not resolution type things (I have a couple of those but that’s not what this is about) but more of a to-do list crossed with things I want. Thinking ahead is fun when plans are for things that make a life in the wild nicer. Mason Bees Thinking ahead is something I’ve…

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Dear Winter – You Arrived Early

Dear Winter – You Arrived Early

Dear Winter Dear Winter, I don’t mean to be rude but in the woodsyou were early and consequently, I wasn’t fully ready for you. Of course I knew you were on your way but I was hoping you’d be right on time. Oh, I’m ready in some ways. The firewood is in, shelves full of food, and freezers filled to over flowing. We’ve worked hard to fill the larder. Still, you were early. Early cold, snow and ice I wasn’t…

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Hybrid Seeds – A Few Things You Should Know

Hybrid Seeds – A Few Things You Should Know

Hybrid Seeds I’m surprised by a few things when it comes to gardening. First, the lack of understanding in hybrid versus heirloom seeds. Hybrids are sometimes made out to be the villain of gardening. Second, the thought that USDA Hardiness Zones are “grow zones.” That one makes my eyes bug out. Rolling eyes are insulting and I’m probably guilty of doing it when I hear or read “grow zones.” Third, the unwillingness to start a garden before a specific date…

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Long Winter Nights and Short Days of Late Fall

Long Winter Nights and Short Days of Late Fall

Long Winter Nights and Short Days The long winter nights of late fall are here. We’ve had snow for about a week, more before it rained. Crusty snow is covered in a layer of soft fluff now. Sunset is early, 3:48 pm today, and sunrise isn’t until 6:57 tomorrow, after some of our school kids get on the bus. It’s technically still fall but it’s winter. It looks, feels and smells like winter.I take Ava and Zoey out to run…

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