Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chilly Days

Yesterday Kate and I harvested the last of the leeks for the holiday baskets. It was cold - our first day when the the daytime temperature did not get above freezing. It was actually a good thing the ground was dry, because the leeks just popped right out and most of the dirt crumbled away with a quick shake. Early winter leeks are sweet and perfect for caramelizing and using in soup. But to harvest these leeks is a challenge. We dig them up and then peel the brown leaves back to reveal the white frozen tube of onion-y goodness underneath. To peel these leek-sicles requires manual dexterity and bare hands. As we got halfway to the end of the garden bed, my manual dexterity was going away because my hands were so cold. So Kate and I boxed up the dirty ugly leeks and brought them into the kitchen of the homestead and finished the job inside, with hot tea nearby and tunes on the radio. Why didn't we think of that sooner?

Yesterday was the first day of feeder watch, and Mr. Fitch brought three students out to help take the first set of data from the bird blind. These guys also helped pull in the last of carrots before the deep freeze makes them frozen chunks. Thanks!

Today we awoke to frozen water. Frozen chicken waterers and a frozen llama bucket. I assume the pond is frozen over too. We decided to warm things up for the chickens by putting in the winter windows over the screens and plugging in their winter dishes. Maybe they will start laying some more eggs. The electric fence that has defined the llamas' pasture all summer had to come down today too and the llamas and sheep will be confined to the winter pasture - so it is hay for supper until April.

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