The annual race against the snow is on again.
I’ve got the bee excluders on the two hives with honey. We’ll extract next week. Lisa ran into a friend from the Monadnock Beekeepers, and he told the same story we have: Nothing in July and early August, then the Japanese Knotweed saving the season. We got another 50 pounds of raw sugar from the food pantry, so we won’t be buying cheap stuff for the bees. They get organic raw sugar just like we do.
After last week’s frost we started bringing in the potatoes. We got a really good crop this year. The blue potatoes have always been yummy, but usually small. This year they’re large and plentiful. Growing them in the sheep’s winter bedding seems to be a win. Lisa and I did a fairly decent job of planting a garden to feed the two of us. Added to the hundreds of pounds of grain products condemned by the City of Keene it’s going to feed the seven of us well into the winter. The birds need more protein than they get from straight grain, but we can cut game bird grower 50-50 with grain to get a good layer ration for them. Supposedly there is one bag out there somewhere with worms in it. The chickens would like to find it, please.
We finally got the sawmill running this weekend. The engine threw a rod, so I had to find money for a new one. The local dealer estimated $1100. I ordered one from Oklahoma for $600 and free shipping. I’m into buying local, but not for that kind of markup. Then I couldn’t get the centrifugal clutch off the old one. The local small engine guy said I wasn’t a wimp, it was hard work for him too. I got it installed Saturday, and Aaron thinks it’s as much fun as I do. John the logger has offered to drop off the better looking pulpwood for us to saw. That’s fine by me because the slab will fire the evaporator come spring and I get a whole dollar a ton for pulp. We need a new horse house, at least one more pig palace and two poultry coops. We’ll be sorting blades this weekend.
We felled one tree ourselves on Sunday. It was probably 35 feet after limbing, and I had to take eight feet off the top before the tractor could haul it up hill. The his and hers chainsaws made short work of limbing. Unfortunately the woods seemed to be completely mushroom-free.