Notes From the North

Seasonal Change

Hey Tribe, it’s late October and winter preparations are in full swing here in the Upper Peninsula. I apologize for not blogging more, but if you are also following our Facebook page, I’ve been doing more video content. We’ve experienced our first big gale of the season, with rain, sleet, snow, and wind gusts of up to 55 mph. The storm left trees down across my road and I had to cut my way out. I was relieved when my neighbor came and cut one particularly dangerous tree. He has decades of experience so he took the main tree and I hauled off what he cut. Love the willingness of neighbors to help out!

Winter Preparations

Firewood gathering has been in full swing. I posted a video about using my skid steer and grapple to pull logs off of my cousin’s property. Logs were cut, split, and stacked it with some help from my dad and cousin. I really need to learn to pace myself because it is strenuous work and I tend to push too hard to get it done quickly. Fortunately I have a great chiropractor!

Snow Removal

The distance from my home to the county road is about 1 1/4 miles long and is a two-track. Basically that means it is a one lane road that potentially has two way traffic. We have bump outs for people to pull into to let others pass. Anyway, because it is a private road, we (read: me) are responsible for keeping it open. The average snowfall for the area is 300″ annually. The last few winters have been mild, but I am always leery of the next storm being a doozy. I have orange reflective markers and spent a few hours hopping on and off my quad to put them along the road. I still have to mark out my yard areas.

Preventive Maintenance

John Deere 328D with 84" blower
John Deere 328D with 84″ blower winter 2021

The 84″ snowblower is now on the skid steer, and all functions checked. The entire machine and blower are greased and ready to go. I’m in the process of shutting down the greenhouse for the winter because I don’t heat it. The last batch of tomatoes were processed into sauce with the Instant Pot and frozen for future use.

tomato sauce
homemade tomato sauce

I make it in such small batches that getting all of the canning stuff out doesn’t seem worth it. Apples are gathered and will be processed as pie filling and frozen. They look a little worse for wear but their flavor is excellent!

Water lines to the barn are now drained, and outdoor water cubes for the orchard area have been emptied. I still need to get the hoses put away and have them draining now so I can roll them up and bring them inside. Snow tires will go back on the truck Monday.

So what am I forgetting? I will be posing this question to my neighbors as well. How do you prep for your season?

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