I got started on moving my woodpile so I will have access to all of last year’s wood and have a clear space for this year’s wood delivery. This year I’m paying to have the wood delivery people stack the wood rather than stacking it myself. Honestly they can get down in 3-4 hours what takes me 3-4 weeks and I do most of that wood stacking work in prime time gardening season. This year I want to have access to all of the older wood that was buried in last years stack and not very accessible. I made the mistake of just stacking wood without thinking about how to rotate and use older season first and give this year’s wood time to season.
The wood I’m moving around is a lot of poplar and I think white maple. There is a little bit of fruit wood in the mix that needs to split or cut down into more woodstove friendly sized chunks. Luckily it is not the the poplar that needs to be split as that wood has a very twisty grain. I know some people don’t like burning poplar but if you get it cut and split it makes a fast hot fire for those mornings you want a fast hot fire just to take the chill off the house. Poplar is not a sappy as pine so you get a more even fire without the flare ups of pine. There are some other chunks of wood I can’t Identify but they split mostly in straight grain but they are hard to split even after a couple of years of drying. I did a quick measurement of the first stack and guestimated how the remaining wood would stack up and I have at least 2-3 cords of this seasoned wood. That is not counting the red fir I have on hand from last year and the year before that is in the kennel wood stack.
For the couple of winters I have used about 2 cords of well seasoned Doug/Red fir to heat my my home in the winter. With this last wood delivery I should have about 4-5 years worth of wood for an average wood heating year and at least 2 -3 years worth of wood in very cold years. I don’t want to get to cocky but I might have a enough wood stockpile to take a 1-2 years off of buying wood and put that money into getting a mini-split system for cooling the house in summer.
I have cleared out most of the old grape vine canes and debris from the green house area. I’m keeping the grape vines but it is amazing how much space the old grapevine canes and leaf debris took up in the yard. It will be interesting to see how the grapes produce this year after the clean up.
I’m about 50% done with the grape vine cleanup. The next section will be the 3 sisters garden area. While this area looks gnarly right now I have done some cleanup of the vines for the last couple of years. The canes are smaller, less over grown and there is not as much leaf debris in this area. A big job but I’m hopping I can finish it up by the end of April when I need to start direct sowing the corn for the beds.
I baked some more artisan bread. Super easy bread to make and I think I might add baking/freezing bread into my Spring time preps. You don’t want to heat up your home in summer baking bread if given a choice. In Spring time the heat of the oven is okay and bread is easy to freeze and good for several months. Now is the time to learn to bake bread if you have not already started. Wheat harvests are not looking good and store bought pastry and bread prices are jumping up. I shop the bulk store prices of wheat flour and 50 pounds of flour have doubled in price from last fall. From about $12.50 for 50 pounds of flour to $25.00 for 50 pounds of flour. That price hike will will hit your grocery store soon. I’m guessing within the next month.
Cooking oils are jumping price even lard has gone up in price because of raising costs. Eggs in my area have jumped 40 cents for a dozen of eggs because of the Avian Flu hitting the Eastern section of the USA and the culling of flocks. The west has safe eggs chicken and eggs so far but this what you get in a global economy. Corporations compete globally and you have to compete globally on food prices. I would recommend that if you serve turkey for the holidays you get that bird now if the price is under $2.00 per pound. I don’t think we will see low prices for turkeys this fall even as a loss leader.
Last but not least you need to stop and think about how you prep and react to what is happening and what you need to to do going forward. Take a time out and think about what you will do now and don’t go blasting off in a panic. If you feel a bit of panic that is normal, but it may not be helpful to you.
You have to start! What ever you must start and not care about failure because you will have failures. Be it baking bread or growing a garden or woodworking or whatever skill you want to learn. Failure teaches much more than success. So go out and be bold and embrace the fail! Learn from other peoples mistakes. I thought I was so smart not spending money on a Food saver vacuum sealer and I had several pound of unusable meat. Live and learn!
It is okay to have a bit of ice cream, go out for burgers and cook a microwave meal. You won’t get kicked out of the preppers club.