Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Getting Ready for Winter

Butternut squash ready to be picked--at least 30 in all

My husband works on commission--always has. For 29 years he sold real estate and for the last 6 years he has been designing and selling renewable energy systems. In both of these industries it is difficult to make sales in the winter so we have always tried to make sure our winter expenses are minimal. Each September/October/November finds us canning, drying and purchasing food to store away in our root cellar.
Six boxes of apples so far and more trees to go! 

This year I dried: apricots, peaches, nectarines and plums--lots of plums! I am canning applesauce (20 quarts yesterday and hopefully that many more today) and may do a few quarts of pears. For the root cellar we go to Portland to The Barn to purchase potatoes and beets (when we don't grow our own), also cabbage, Brussels sprouts, leeks and whatever else looks good and will last. These items will keep in the root cellar through March. 

Root Cellar set into the bank

This year we made our own sauerkraut so will be purchasing a lot of cabbage to make another bigger batch of sauerkraut. Our last batch is nearly gone and we used 17 pounds of cabbage for that one. The sauerkraut will keep in the crock in the root cellar all winter--no need to can it:) 

My husband brings the winter squash and tomatoes into the greenhouse to store them. The tomatoes he hangs from wires so they don't touch anything and we frequently have fresh tomatoes until after Christmas! He lays the winter squash on a newspaper lined table.

Shelves line both sides with a gravel floor

With all this good food and the fact that we live off-grid, our winter expenses are minimal. We heat with wood and make sure we have plenty to last all winter. Our cooking and water heating are propane so we make sure the tank is full in the fall. Occasionally we have to run the diesel generator in the winter when there is no sun or wind so we make sure the diesel tank is also full. 

By Thanksgiving, everything is ready for winter and we are truly thankful for all the Lord has given us. Maybe I should have saved this post for Thankfulness Thursday but I have so many other things to be thankful for as well. By then I will be thankful I am finished with the applesauce!!!

Have a wonderful day and a great week! No crafting for me this week:(


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