I have to admit I'm using the cold weather as an excuse not to do anything outside. Of course, there isn't much I can do now that the ground is frozen and there is some fair snow cover, but I think I should be more industrious. I could always cut more fence posts. I did make some nice Christmas cookies: gingerbread men, kolaches, plain oatmeal cookies and some with raisins, plain sugar cookies, Reese's chocolate fudge peanut butter cookies, and fudge with peanut butter and nuts. I will have to put some cookies on the side to be sure we have some to take on the 21st to the Special Olympics Christmas party. I have been working on knitting hats and mittens with scrap yarn, too. I am nearly finished with a second pair of mittens. As usual, I'm looking for a specific hat pattern and can't find it. Ugh!
Yesterday the weather warmed to around 20F so I took the opportunity to run to Fifield and get some chicken supplies from Bernie. Then, since he is located right off Highway 70 on Highway 13, I took Highway 70 East over to County Road D and checked out the new Goodwill store that had its grand opening in Lac Du Flambeau. (I won't be going back.) Then, it took me a good hour to unload the truck and carry all the chicken supplies to the coop and put them away. Good exercise! I spread new wood chips down for the chickens and filled the nests with new chips. The coop is pretty cozy. Some of the roosters got frost bite on their combs from the below zero cold we had a few nights ago, but otherwise all the chickens are ok and seem to be acclimated to the cold now. I bring them warm water every morning and give them some extra corn and oats. The oats especially give them higher carbs to help their metabolism keep them warm. They aren't too keen on going outside the coop, but I do open the door for them. They like to congregate in the open doorway and are content to look outside.
I will have to go through the egg refrigerator and cull any eggs that have frozen. I wish I could put the refrigerator inside the house, but there just isn't any room for it. I have more eggs to wash, too. I am still getting about a dozen eggs a day so the ladies must be happy. In January I will call our DATCP (Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Department) and find out about getting an egg license so I can sell them at the farmers market and to grocery stores or restaurants.
I am enjoying looking at the seed catalogs as they come in. Around February 10th we get back to 10 hours of daylight and I will start onion and leek seeds then. One of the things I can do is go through my seed bin and see what I have left. I planted most of my squash and pumpkin seeds last year and got no harvest so I will have to buy more of those seeds. For sure I want to get a solid medicinal garden growing and will need to get some more seeds since the chickens devoured all my herbs last year. I will put the herbs in the hops section out in the field next year. I think they will look pretty there. Horizon Herbs is the best place for herb seeds, plants and roots in my opinion. Everything they sell is certified organic and the quality is simply excellent. It's always fun to plan the garden.
Well, that's about all for now. Take care!