Potato Harvest

As always on the farm there are about 10 things happening at once. Most are the daily rituals like feeding the chickens or household maintenance. But we do have long anticipated events arise occasionally. Like harvesting the potatoes from our experimental potato barrel.

This is a round wire frame with layers of straw and dirt into which the seed potatoes were planted. Harvesting from it was fairly easy and only took about 30 minutes because we just unwrapped the wire and began sifting through one layer at a time.

Our neighbor says this has been a very bad year for potatoes. He managed to grow about half of what he planted. In our potato barrel we grew about a third again what was planted. Not a stellar yield but an improvement. We also harvested a little late so we lost a few to bugs.

All and all our first real planting success. The wire barrel went into storage for next year and I expect we will build a few more since it grew well and beats digging for potatoes all hollow.


Road Trip!

Around here they often seem to have shopping added to them. For example we made a trip to the old house for stuff and went to Costco and my favorite store Ikea.

Why is it my favorite store? Well for one thing you get free coffee if you’re an Ikea Family member. But maily it is because the stuff is cheap and sturdy (if you avoid the polyboard.)

So for cleaning and organizing the farm house it was the desired solution. However since it is about 500 miles round trip it is not something you can just do. You have to plan ahead and get the most out of the area.  

In one way I suppose this ‘shopping day’ effect is traditional for homesteaders. After all going to town in a wagon would probably take about as long as it took me to drive to the old house since 80 mph wasn’t exactly feasible for a horse. 

Got Milk…Jugs?

Yesterday proved unexpectedly busy as my brother’s promised job finally materialized. Around here it seems to be normal to call people the day you want them to start working. I often find myself wondering if any of the locals have heard of the odd concept of planning ahead.

Anyway that threw off our plans as my brother had to shift focus abruptly. So my big project was moving the milk jugs.

We’ve been saving them in hopes of getting a large supply if walnut syrup next year. To store them I’ve been hanging them under the front porch. However that was both unsightly and impractical because the rope had a tendency to stretch leaving the jugs dangling too close to the dirt.

Now I have them hung on a clothes line in the barn. Best of all, this tiered system uses the vertical space so I can keep collecting.