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Ready for Winter

Discussion in 'The Homestead' started by cariboo, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. cariboo

    cariboo Forager

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    My son and I brought in our last load of firewood. Some nice standing dead pine that had pine affected by some mistletoe and killed by the beetle. Dripping with pitch the wood will make for quick and hot sauna's and easy hot fires in the cook stove. A finishing touch on the wood pile.The root cellar is full of carrots, potatoes, beets and parsnips. We raised and slaughtered 30 meat chickens, averaged 10 lbs each. 1/2 a pig, cut and wrapped, bags of tomatoes from the greenhouse, rhubarb, raspberries, apple sauce, saskatoon's, tomato sauce and soup stock pack the freezers. All our gardens have a nice head of rye grass. The pantry is brimming with jam, squash, dried vegetables, lots of dried bolete's (it was a great wet mushrooming summer) and pickles.
    I tuned up the plow truck, maintained the solar array and system.
    A few orders left before Christmas, always the finest to end the season, and then it's reading and rest. We savour every moment now realizing our life here has been like winning a lottery.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The front yard
     
  2. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    I think I'd hibernate :)
    With occasional wanders into the bright, calm days.

    I hope it's a kind Winter.

    M
     
  3. dwardo

    dwardo Maker

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    Looks and sounds perfect. Enjoy the winter.
     
  4. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    That looks beautiful. There is something about being all snuggled up for winter.
    I'm a bit low on wood this year but can get coal delivered so I'm not too worried. I have 165 kilos put by and will order some more in a few weeks time. The multifuel stove stays in better with the coal and the heat is hotter.
    Food? My cupboards are bulging!. Today I got a stock of household essentials washing up liquid clothes washing liquid loo cleaner etc so unless I need fresh milk I can hole up for several weeks.
    I'm lucky that the shops are only half a mile away. Tomorrow I'll make sure my snow survival gear shovel sled shoe studs and down coat hat and mittens are at the front of the coat cupboard though they are not needed for a while yet. New down duvet on the bed ( toasty!)It's damp chilly and grey at the moment. Not very nice. It makes me ache all over!
    The knitting needles... my winter pastime are busy already. Many woolen hats and mittens have been made ready to sell at the Christmas fair in a few weeks time.
    I can't wait for my Christmas present stack of books to while away the rest of the winter.
    Can't wait for the spring either I can happily do without our British winters.!
     
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  5. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Is mistletoe fatal to the pines? I've seen it in Jasper but none in pine pockets around my place.

    It's just stuff that you learn to do. Thinking months ahead in the plans.
    Cariboo and family have their cave prepared and stocked for winter.
    Blow the dust off a crooked knife and get a little carving done. Finish building a new knife and elbow adze.
    That's my goal.
    Rug up and go outside to jump around. There will be all sorts of animal activity to look for.
     
  6. Le Loup

    Le Loup Nomad

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    Well done cariboo, I wish I was there instead of here. Our summer is going to be absolute hell!!!
    You take care.
    Keith.
     
  7. Wayland

    Wayland Hárbarðr

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    I'm so envious.

    It's so rare to get good winter conditions over here, too wet, mild and maritime,
     
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  8. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Sometimes, you really have to work at it. A very long drive north east from Melbourne, Australia to
    close the pub in Porepunkah then off to Mt Beauty for the first camp.
    Then climb "the devil's staircase" to find the Bogong high plains knee deep in snow. Winter wonderland at the Cleve Cole hut.
    I had travelling companions with honest winter experience (German & Italian). We kept going back every July.

    Scotland must get some really serious winter conditions?
     
  9. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Sounds awesome! I envy you on the 10 pound chickens; most “fryers” here are between 3 and 4 pounds while “roasters” and hens average 7 to 8 pounds.
     
  10. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I’ve also never seen mistletoe in pines. Only in hardwood.
     
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  11. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    We may not be referring to the same species at all.
    The mistletoe that I used to see in the stores at Christmas is nothing like
    the mistletoe which parasitises the lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta).
     
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  12. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    How do you cope with solar generation when the weather is bad and you have the much shorter days?
    Do you have much storage?
     
  13. cariboo

    cariboo Forager

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    I'll try and get a picture. The effect is grotesque and beautiful. When the pine beetle began it's rampage on lodge pole pine the affected mistletoe trees died first.

    We treat our chickens well. To start, we feed them bugs and slugs and worms the minute they are settled in, 2 days old from the hatchery. No shots or medicated feed. We feed them fermented, wet grain and grower. Fermenting scratch, whole wheat, barley, oats. The chickens love it. Healthy guts, the fermentation process makes more protein accessible. By 3 weeks they're out and about. The most beneficial thing we have done is raise them with a laying hen mother and her chicks. They teach the meat birds how to scratch and what to eat. They are slaughtered 10 and 11 weeks.
    [​IMG]

    We have a small inverter generator. November is touch and go. By now we are using the generator when we need it. On a sunny day in winter we usually don't need the generator. The winter that's sun challenged here is 1/2 November, December, January, 1/2 Febuary. Cloudy days for weeks in a row in the winter, it is on every day for a few hours. By the beginning of March we may use the generator for a few hours until October. We don't have a lot of storage on purpose. That's another thread.
     
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  14. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    That's different. We always called that thing "witche's broom" for lack of the real scientific name.
    What I call mistletoe is a really inconspicuous little branched thing, kind of yellowish-green.
     
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  15. cariboo

    cariboo Forager

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    I think witches broom is mistletoe.
     
  16. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Arg! Back to McKinnon, Pojar and Coupe' = Plants of Northern British Columbia.
    Maybe what I've seen were just little ones getting started?
     
  17. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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  18. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Santa man, yes that is proper mistletoe . In Somerset it is often encouraged to grow on the cider apple trees.
    You can grow your own if you have a suitable tree. Fruit wood is favorite. I'm not sure about growing on any sort of pine.
    If you collect the berries and squish them into cracks and fissures on the bark as high as you can get some should take.
    The berries are very sticky inside to help the seeds stick to the bark. It's important to find some sort of fissure or crack in the bark as the seeds are then protected and able to establish well.
     
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  19. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    It grows wild here. It’ll grow on any hardwood but it really, really loves Turkey Oak.
     

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