Brrr! I've been walking around draped in thermal knits and sweaters all day; you'd think it was the dead of winter. I don't know why I feel so cold, but I do. Even with the kitchen warm from all the canning I've been doing, I still feel cold. Maybe I miss all the trees and psychologically think that the house will be colder now that it is less sheltered (it shouldn't be since the effects of a shelter belt extend approximately 150' depending on the height of the shelter planting and we still have plenty of tall trees around the house that are within that distance). Still, I do miss the trees and it's going to take me a while to get used to the new views around the property.
The loggers are still working here. They are in back of the house, nearer to the hay road, and working their way toward the worst of the storm damaged area by the snowmobile trail. The woods are so open now: there are some nice viewpoints opened down into the big marsh by the little lake that I really like. I took a stroll to check things out and am very pleased. Everything looks just like the woodlot management articles I've read says it should. Tom and I have been discussing what we want to do to the landing areas and skid trails. We've decided to plant herbs and grasses in the pathways, and plant shrubs or small trees like native plums and juneberries along the edges of the paths. In the areas that had to be clear cut because of the storm damage, we will plant sugar maples. Peppermint birch is my second favorite to plant though I know it is harder to grow, but we'll try planting some of those, too. I'm going to spend a lot of time thinking about landscaping right around the house. Right now I'm considering moving all of the fruit trees from the field that are still alive and bringing them to be planted around the house. In between the trees I would have a series of raised bed garden boxes. We'll see. I have all winter to graph it all on paper.
I have my two crocks of new sauerkraut bubbling away, and I canned the last of the tomatoes. Yesterday I worked ALL day canning and freezing carrots, and I still have another big bowl of them to can -- think I'll grate them and can them in pint jars to use for carrot cake. I put away the dried peppermint and cranberries, and refilled the dehydrator with curly leaf parsley. It sure smells good; I love parsley tea in the winter.
Tom and I made cheese pirogi this morning. We had half the batch for supper tonight and they were pretty good. I think we're finally getting the hang of making them. I mix the dough and roll it out while he handles the pirogi mold, filling and sealing the dough pieces.
After supper I went out to the field to get the sunflower heads because tonight is supposed to be so cold I expect just about anything still out in the garden to bit the dust. Lo and behold, the deer had most everything chomped to bits. I was able to salvage a couple of the heads though, and I brought them back to dry in the garage.
While in the garage, I sorted through all of the potato baskets. I have a half bushel of Red Cloud for seed potatoes, and four full bushels of Red Norlands and Kennebecs left. With the pie pumpkins and squashes, that should be enough to take to the Grouse Festival on the 9th in Park Falls. On Monday I will find out about securing a vendor space. I hope the weather is nice that day.
Speaking about the weather again, if it is nice tomorrow, I plan to go up to Bayfield and get my apples for the year. I hope to get a bushel of Macintosh for sauce, a bushel of Honeycrisp for fresh eating, and maybe some Northwest Greening apples for pies. I always stop at Hauser's to get a bottle of apple wine for Lara and a peck of pears to can. I like to can my pears in medium syrup and add a piece of candied ginger and a whole clove to the jar -- tastes SO good.
Well, I better stop gabbing. Take care!