Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Snow at greater than dog depth, and success in sourdough

It just keeps snowing here, and while we are certainly able to handle it, snow has reached greater than dog depth in non drift areas which is officially too much snow on the ground, we need a break. Mind you, we aren't as bad off as Worcester for instance. That said, looks like we Might have another good solid snow fall Thursday into Friday. There are good parts about this of course, especially when it comes to having a drought free spring.

 But that's Spring, and it's months from now. For now we're mostly concerned with making sure that things keep running smoothly now in the present. Fortunately we are equipped for this sort of thing, and the snow blower which we recently paid off is doing its job swimmingly. For next year I need to make sure that the shed is clear enough to put the snow blower in so I can put the car in the barn. That or clear the barn enough that I can put the car in it. I'm tired of clearing the car and everything else. The barn was clear enough before I got the fence and the T-Posts in the barn, but after that there wasn't enough space to safely get the car in and out, and have the snow blower in. Either way, without the snow blower we'd be in trouble right now.

One of the things that we've learned over the years is that where you put your snow early on is important, just as the first time you clear the driveway is the widest path you're going to be stuck with for the rest of the winter. It's why I have tried to keep disciplined about shoveling out the paths everywhere so we don't end up struggling around everywhere for the remains of winter. With how much we've had in short order without a break for melting or settling has meant that we have a Lot of snow in big piles. Fortunately unlike a lot of people around here we have plenty of places to put the snow. I've mostly been firing it down the hill with the snow blower. Having a good big drop off into the woods is handy sometimes. We also need to make sure that we clear off the roofs of the rabbit hutches some time soon. They aren't going to fall in due to how solidly they're built, but they are going to have roof leaks if I don't reduce the amount of snow on them now. I've been thinking of breeding the rabbits soon for a mid March litter, and I really want to avoid a repeat of what happened our first winter with Dawn's kits freezing to death on an above freezing day due to a roof leak. Unfortunately with the baby on the way and everything else this year between financial and energy resources I didn't have enough to get asphalt roofing on the hutches as I'd wanted to. That is going to have to get done some day, but until then, and probably even after then, roof clearing is going to be important. I also need to get a step ladder and clear off the wood piles and the roof of the chicken coop. As a note, blue tarps don't keep out persistent water as well as one might like. The wood is dry enough, but I have to break the frozen blocks apart. Either way, at least we have plenty of dry wood. We're almost through the first 2 cords of wood, and still have a good bit left which is a good place to be at this point in the winter.
The chickens very different from the early winter are out and about in all sorts of snowy weather if we give them a chance. The Rhode Island Red has been hopping over the fence, though the others don't really seem to have the inclination to do so. I'm not sure what she finds outside of the run, but she enjoys it enough to keep doing it for what ever reason. The chickens are doing well though, other than the mites which we aren't going to be able to do a lot about until I get a day where I'm home and it isn't snowing. Hopefully that'll be Saturday or Sunday, but it might be a week from then from what I can tell. Either way, I need to make the time to clear the deep litter and replace it with a diatomaceous earth/lime/litter mix once I clear most of the roof of the coop. The really nice thing is that it's starting to be light late enough that I can actually see when I get home from work, it's a nice change.

Last but not least, I've been making sourdough again since we're out of the last batch, yes, already. I've been experimenting already with the sourdough, and there is success and failure. The success here is that I made the sourdough which turned out very well with a standard white sourdough recipe, and substituted 1/3rd of the white flour with wheat, and it turned out wonderfully. Next time I'll go for half. The bad is that I learned that olive oil is  not a good choice for making sure that bread doesn't bake to the surface of the pan you're baking in. This led to some wonderful soft, hard crust sourdough breaking open and losing parts of the bottom crust. Lesson learned, in the future, lots of cornmeal which hadn't worked in the past because apparently I wasn't using enough, or parchment. On the up side, experimental or not, the bread is great, crusty, soft, and tastes like Sourdough!

No comments:

Post a Comment