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This past week

March 12, 2010


Hangdog celebrated his birthday with a cherry pie.


He also spent some time getting some things off his honey-do list.  I know poor guy…his wife wants him driving the cat through the yard and pushing brush.  It’s been dry enough to do some cat work, so when he yarded in some more downed trees to the landing for firewood, I snagged him on the way back.  I did the swamping, so he got to do what he does best.  Hangdog always says hydraulics are man’s best friend, but last weekend hydraulics were my best friend.  It always seems when it is dry enough to drive the cat around, it is too late to get rid of some of the brush that just seems to encroach here and there.  If we wait until its dry, the birds are nesting, so all bets are off for a season and by the time fall rolls around we are too busy.   Conditions were perfect, the soil didn’t stick to the blade indicating it was dry enough, and Hangdog is a master with a 6-way blade, so I have some nice smooth area without brush now.  We picked up a few sticks, threw down some hay seeds and we have had rain or snow since, which have pounded those seeds right in.


You have to take the good with the bad though, a drier and warmer winter means we aren’t burning as much firewood, and Hangdog is getting ahead with next years supply by making wood every weekend.  But that also means the spring is lower than we like to see it this time of year.  What that means for grazing and fire season is always in the back of our minds.  It may rain now until June if we stay with a normal weather pattern.  It rained an inch yesterday, so we can hope… .


With cold and snowy weather, it was a good time to check on the potatoes in the barn.  The Romanze are just starting to show a little sprouting.  I’m such a shallow gardener,  Oh my, these potatoes are so pretty with their burgundy skins and golden flesh they are worth growing just for their looks. But they taste good too, and aren’t doing too bad for storage.


Of course, the old standby Viking Purple aren’t even thinking of showing an eye.  We still have 100+ pounds of these left.


The stored apples on the porch are starting to dwindle.  We are down to about 50 pounds of these  old style Jonathans and Northern Spies.  They’re getting a little muckle dun for eating out of hand, and so most are finding their way to pie or chunky sauce for breakfast.


Last but not least, I removed the sauerruben from the Harsch crock and into jars for cold storage.

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2010 8:20 am

    Looks good! I love the photo of the snow on the bud. I can’t wait til I get my root cellar dug and can start storing more “fresh” food. I can everything now and that works too, but the cellar will be nice. Here’s hoping you get enough rain to get your water table up. That hasn’t been a problem here in Illinois for the last three years. We’ve had trouble getting it dry enough to even get garden in and then staying dry enough not to rot everything in the ground. All my goatie girls are done kidding and everybody is healthy, hale and hearty. Still praying that Della will come through for you with flying colors!

    • March 12, 2010 9:05 am

      Sarah, you will love your root cellar! We can store most of the roots in the garden, but the spuds have to be dug and stored. I don’t can nearly as much as I used to – it was easier to just change how I gardened.

      It rained another inch overnight – so 2″ in 24 hours, that’s good, we need it dearly.

      Congrats on the kidding, I won’t be on calving watch until 8 weeks from now, then no rest for the wicked 😉

  2. Aveena permalink
    March 12, 2010 8:54 am

    Do birds eat your seed when you seed a pasture? Maybe you just figure that in and sow extra? I would love to seed our pastures, but considering I have to use chicken wire to cover seeds in the garden to keep them safe, I wonder if I would just be providing a feast for my feathered friends if I tossed 50 pounds of seed out there. We have rainy winters here, but no snow.

    • March 12, 2010 9:09 am

      Aveena, maybe a little but not enough to make any difference. I just used chaff from the feeder and raked it in, so it had a little cover in addition to the rain. This time of year we don’t have too many seed eaters around yet – a few but they have pretty good pickings in the barn anyway.

  3. March 12, 2010 9:29 am

    Do you can your sauerruben? How do you keep it long term?

    Lovely pictures, by the way, especially the bud with snow one.

    Happy Birthday Hangdog!

    • March 12, 2010 11:26 am

      Paula, no I don’t can it since the high temperature will harm the beneficial bacteria. Refrigerator or cold basement is the answer. Lacto-fermentation was the way to preserve food before canning, or pickling with vinegar became the accepted and more predictable way of preservation.

      Poor ol’ Hangdog, he’s a year older than me now for a few months 😀

  4. March 12, 2010 10:41 am

    Aries always wants apple pie for his early April birthday. Luckily, there are still plenty of apples in our cellar, and holding quite well.

    • March 12, 2010 11:28 am

      Sadge, we’ve been eating so much apple pie, it was nice for a change to splurge and buy some pie cherries. Sure makes for an expensive pie though… but it was awful tasty.

  5. March 12, 2010 11:11 am

    I could use that man and his cat………I could even swamp for him 😉 Nice looking sauerruben!

    • March 12, 2010 11:31 am

      Linda, oh my did I put him to work, he thought he was gonna get off just nudging some stumps and dragging a few logs. He graded the driveway while he was at it, so we really made hay while the sun was out – it has done nothing but rain since.

      The sauerruben is pretty tasty – and I’m out of kraut anyway!

  6. March 12, 2010 11:27 am

    muckle dun? That’s a new one on me, but from the state of the apples I stored last fall, yeah, I know what you mean. Good cooked for breakfast, though.

    everything looks yummy…potatoes are gorgeous.

    • March 12, 2010 11:42 am

      Hayden, I forget and sometimes type like I talk, born to loggers and farmers we have our own lingo, but I think you got my meaning, maybe more like meh, not so good. I thought maybe someone would call me on “making wood.”

      And I can vouch for the potatoes – they are sooo tasty besides being pretty.

  7. March 12, 2010 12:18 pm

    Looks good! You’re getting lots done! We are still waiting for the snow to melt before we can get out there and work! Its due to rain for the next few days and that should get rid of it fast!

  8. Linda Zoldoske permalink
    March 12, 2010 12:45 pm

    I don’t comment every time but I want you to know that I SO enjoy this blog. I am delighted every time I see it in my email – and that’s even before I read it!

  9. March 12, 2010 2:21 pm

    I understand ‘making wood’. It’s like making lumber, but not as refined. It would be like ‘making firewood’, but why bother with ‘fire’ when we all know what you’re going to do with it anyway?

  10. aeholly permalink
    March 12, 2010 8:25 pm

    You have the most awesome blog. I thoroughly enjoy your writing style and topics. Just wanted to say “thank you” for sharing yourself and your life.

  11. March 14, 2010 1:02 pm

    Happy birthday to hangdog! The pie’s a beaut, and those potatoes and apples look good enough to eat 🙂

  12. March 15, 2010 7:26 am

    What I wouldn’t give for a barn to store my produce in. For that matter, a larger garden to grow it in. Even so, I still have a few potatoes left in my back bedroom cool spot. Some will be good enough to plant, but a few will still make it to the table before then. – Margy

  13. petey permalink
    March 17, 2010 8:10 pm

    I love your pictures! And its so cool that you have so much still stored!

  14. April 4, 2010 12:55 pm

    Just discovered your blog and have been reading some of the older posts. I had to Google to find out what exactly is sauerruben, though. Do you make it same as kraut, except turnips instead of cabbage?

    I have German ancestors (and French, English, Irish… we’ll just say my ancestors were a friendly sort…) and so I do make sauerkraut sometimes.

    I really love your attitude about your stock and the land. Truly there are not many people who have the deep understanding you have about why people who pay attention to such things really save time and money in the long run over those who just do everything cheapest way.

    Haven’t been able to find out your locale, but I’m Oklahoma, where the wind is whippin’ down the plains right now. I live in a small town and just have a garden in my back yard. Retired. I don’t know how you younger couples find the energy to work as hard as you do but I’m sure glad you do. Gives me hope that there are at least “some” people minding the store…. Keep up the good work!

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