Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Stocking Up!

Much of this summer was consumed with preparing to move to Idaho and we were not able to put the time into growing food for winter storage. On one hand, it's a bit sad to not have the abundance of food  we typically fill our shelves with, but it's also a kind of liberating. I can go to the local farmer's market and purchase exactly what I know I'm capable of preserving and putting up for the winter. So often, I found myself with three dozen pumpkins too many or not enough storage bins for all the parsnips and potatoes. Thinking I would get to preserving or eating them, some would rot or get floppy and I would kick myself for not giving more away upon harvest.
So! with just the right amount of pumpkins and cabbage, I will be able to manage a few crocks worth of sauerkraut and pressure canning (hopefully) a couple dozen quarts of pumpkin.

When we moved to Idaho last month, many neighbors started talking about getting ready for winter. Back in Oregon, I'm not typically thinking about winter until mid-November but apparently up north here, a homesteader should start having some essential winter supplies by mid-October. I'm finally getting to the age where I can pay heed to (some) experienced advice. So wood is really the main agenda right now. Getting enough firewood for a long winter is truly a process. Lucky for us, the sellers of our new cabin left us with at least a cord of wood to start. We'll need about five with just wood heat. We have been going to the forest, cutting, collecting, transporting, and then splitting and stacking. So many steps, but oh so necessary. Going outside in the morning to collect more logs and smelling the start of a new fire in the stove is such a satisfying experience. Wood smoke is definitely one of the best things in life. 

 Next on the list: fermenting apples. Stay tuned…