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Preparing for Winter

“Winter is the time for comfort,
for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand
and for a talk beside the fire:
it is the time for home.”
Edith Sitwell

Autumn is one of the busiest times on our farm as we bustle about getting everything ready for Winter.

Summer’s bounty is swiftly withering, wilting, going to seed, so I’ve been gathering up the last of the tomatoes, capsicum, and hot chili peppers, savoring their fresh flavors before they are all gone.

I’ve been pulling out old plants, stacking them on the compost pile to be turned into good, nourishing stuff for the gardens over the next few months.

I’ve been weeding, watering, and trimming our trees, thickly mulching above their roots so the fierce Winter winds don’t dry them out.

My wheelbarrows have been good friends this week, enabling me to cart load after load of straw from the barn and beautiful composted soil from the goat yards to their new homes in my Winter gardens.

Tonight I worked until well after dark digging new garden beds, spreading compost, and digging that in. Tomorrow I’ll add some more compost then plant my remaining seeds – red carrots, leeks, red onions, black radishes, sorrel, garlic, turnips, and a few more rows of peas – before covering the whole lot with a layer of straw mulch.

The gardens I planted earlier are coming up beautifully! It’s such a thrill to see delicate dill fronds, green radish leaves, and purple beetroots pushing up through the straw. The red cabbages and purple Brussels sprouts are nearly 10 inches tall already!! Peas are sprouting up and sturdy green garlic shoots are standing tall and straight. It is all rather marvelous.

Bear has been hauling loads of hay, filling our barn before Winter hits and the price of hay doubles and triples. When he pulls in I hop on the tractor and together we get the bales off the trailer and stacked neatly up to the rafters. Inevitably we get hay EVERYWHERE and spend the evening sneezing and finding bits of hay in our ears, hair, and clothing, but it’s worth it knowing our goats will be well fed.

As the temperatures dropped this week, we’ve been turning to comfort food to keep us warm and full of energy while we work. Roasted potatoes, creamy root veggie soups, and slow-cooked meats are very welcome as we collapse into our chairs each night, too happily tired to even talk.

Breakfasts are nourishing times, hot and hearty to ward off the early morning frostiness. My favorite thing right now is a big bowl of porridge spiced with cinnamon, studded with dried cranberries, and topped with salted butter and real maple syrup. Wrapping my cold-stiffened fingers around a steaming bowl of this goodness is a splendid way to start the day.

How are you getting ready for the next season in your part of the world? xo

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lisa | renovating italy - Too happily tired to even talk…..sounds like perfection xx
We are at the opposite ends of the seasons and I love reading your posts to inspire me to get out in the garden more often rather than letting Sam monopolize it xxx
sending love x

Anna Johnston - Im in denial about the whole winter thing. LOL!
But you sure do make the cruddy jobs seem almost romantic.
As always, tis a pleasure to escape to your beautiful farm.
Happy weekend my friend. xo

Hotly Spiced - You do sound really busy but that must be very satisfying work. I’m glad your garden beds are a big success. Yes, the temperatures are falling and I’m glad our winter is relatively short xx

Tandy Sinclair - I am always inspired here by your vegetable gardens. I need to be more organized! I think I will make porridge for breakfast and try maple syrup instead of honey 🙂

Coffee and Crumpets - Oh Krista, you work so hard! Makes my day sound like a breeze compared to yours! All of it sounds wonderful though, I don’t mind hard work if it means being out in the beautiful nature. Your gardens sound lovely and your meal at the end of the day, nourishing and satisfying.
It’ll be summer here soon so dry and hot here in Colorado. I’m not much for heat and I do get really uncomfortable. Thankfully, it’s not humid atleast and if we’re lucky we can escape to the mountains for a bit to get some cool air.
In about 3 weeks, it will be Ramadan for us, so fasting from sun up to sundown. It’s alwsys a bit hard in the summer, but we survive!
Enjoy your change of seasons!

Krista - There are some beautiful moments for sure, @liz_posmyk:disqus, and I’m deeply thankful for them. It’s actually been a very rough week, but I’m plugging along because that’s what we do, isn’t it? 🙂 XO

Krista - I will have to take some tractor pics for you, paradis. 🙂 Alas, my camera is in the shop at the moment, so that will have to wait awhile. 🙂

Krista - An electric blanket sounds absolutely lovely on these cold nights, @taniamykitchenstoriescomau:disqus 🙂 Working outside has felt really good, I must say. It’s lovely to be out in the wild weather making something good and hopefully beautiful. 🙂

Liz Posmyk - All that beautiful scenery, fresh air and animals, what a lovely life Krista. Hope you are well. x

mlleparadis - sounds like beautiful hard work! would love to see pics of you on your tractor.


My Kitchen Stories - I am here imagining how hard you have been working and enjoying the whole idea of your preparations. how wonderful it is to live the life you lead. We get ready for winter at my place by unfurling the gas heater pipes and plugging in the electric blankets. Very boring and very poer consuming.

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