Really Winter Now

Snow plowing We had ten inches of snow yesterday. That leaves about a foot on the ground and no reason to expect it to melt before April.

Mike showed up and plowed, but for some reason didn’t seem to do as much as usual. This gave Lisa a reason to fire up the tractor and do a proper job. Despite it not being that cold over night I had to plug in the block heater for an hour or so to get it to start.

Besides plowing, Lisa shoveled a set of paths leading to all the pens so that we can feed. It’s not a real problem yet, but it will be if we let the snow get ahead of us.The chickens also appreciate the paths. They do not like walking in snow, and will fly rather than do so. And fly they do, to come over to the hay house and eat out of the feed bag rather than the feeder in the coop. It’s yummier if you find it yourself.

I sharpened chainsaws while Lisa plowed, then went out and bought gas to burn some brush piles. We decided it was too windy to burn the one next to the ‘village’, though. Even with the hose to keep things safe, we would have had some very unhappy animals.

Logging Instead, we went off to the new garden and started setting up to burn the brush piles there. In the classic tradition of “whatever you want to do, you have do something else first”, I cut half a dozen trees, and excavated the pile of firewood we’d made last spring. Four of the trees were big enough to sell to someone with a firewood processor, so they are in a separate pile. We have quite the start on next year’s firewood ourselves, from the wood that is too small to sell, but perfect for our own use. No splitting!

Hauling out firewood Now that all the critters are housed, we would like our rest-of-winter project to be clearing land. We have twenty acres outside the conservation easement, of which about ten are about the best farmland on the place. We can actually fell, buck and limb pretty quickly and we bought the horses to skid for us. However, many of the sawlogs are too big for our mill or species we don’t have use for, and we really don’t need a decade’s worth of firewood stacked up to rot. So we’ve been trying to find someone to truck the logs for us, and not having a lot of luck. One of the local buyers explained to us that with diesel at three fifty a gallon, a lot of the little guys who would want our business have parked their trucks, and the big boys are busy on big jobs.

If we can’t find a trucker soon, we’ll start looking for a logger to do the clearcut for us. It’s not like we can’t find something else to do with our time.

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