Here’s this week’s thingamajig Thursday.
Also check out the last thingamajig answer.
As always, put your guess in a comment below.
The aftermath of the big snow and a glazing of ice a few days later makes for interesting patterns in the snow.
Cross-bedded and sculpted snow looks like basin and range from the sky.
A view of last year’s the flower garden with the wind-sculpted channels of snow and ice covering next year’s garlic crop.
Today was the scheduled install date for the Windspire turbine. I had earlier covered the foundation site with straw to prevent the ground from freezing, but today’s highs in the single digits evidently was too hard to work in. We’re rescheduled for Dec 28th.
I spent about four hours on Saturday moving snow around the farmstead with the tractor blade and loader.
It’s not always easy moving around the unplowed areas as knee-deep snow is common.
I think the winter is here to stay – we’ve not been above freezing for about 10 days now and the cold weather continues.
Martin went to check out how our natural windbreak worked – and here are the drifts to show that it is working. Years ago, we’d have to put up an take down snow fences – one less task now that the windbreak trees are doing their job.
For the first decade or so we lived on the farm, there were not many squirrels. There are now some – I’m not sure if they found the farm again after a long absensce, or if all the trees we planted have now encouraged them to come and stay.
I’m thankful for this squirrel as he spent most of the fall picking up all of the walnuts that fell in the lawn so I didn’t have to. Thanks Rocky!
As expected, storm recovery takes a while. Hear Martin helps clear the snow off the Outback.
We bought the ’96 Outback about 18 months ago as a car for our new drivers, Claire and Emma. It remains our only all-wheel drive vehicle and has seen a lot of use this week. I feel better with them driving on ice and snow with it. Two days after the snow stopped falling, the plows have still not come down the road. A neighbor plowed one lane so we could make the 1/3 mile to the blacktop.
Word from the weather service is that the current blizzard is the 2nd biggest in recorded history in the state of Iowa – not able to beat an 1880’s storm. The criteria for “biggest” means the most snow over the widest area. We’ve had bigger storms here on the farm in the last 13 years, but those storms were more localized than this one. This storm left a wide swath of snow over a foot deep across most of the state.
The snowdrifts are almost over the fenceposts by the back pasture and buried a hay wagon.
The door to the chicken coop is pretty much drifted shut! However, we’ve had much bigger drifts in previous years. No school for two days for the kids – now that the winds are down to the 25 mph range and the blizzard warning has passed it is not nearly so blustery, but the temperatures are plunging below zero tonight.
Last weekend Martin had his first gig out of home/church. He was invited by his piano teacher to play at the Mason’s Christmas party.
It was the first time for all of us inside a Mason Lodge, made more famous by Dan Brown’s latest novel.
Here’s Martin posing before his performance.
OK. This is probably the last thing out of the garden this year – kale.
Here Martin samples the crispy kale. Just de-vein the kale if desired, sprinkle with a bit of olive oil and apple cider vinegar and bake for a few minutes, turn and bake again until crispy – a great alternative to potato chips!
Once again, it is time to offer the bounty of the farm for holiday gift-giving. Many customers love the local, made in Iowa, non dust-collecting nature of the boxes. The boxes contain various combinations of jams made from organically raised fruit from the farm, honey from the farm, real goat milk soap made on the farm from scratch (not the harsher glycerine type), and beeswax candles made with wax from other central Iowa beekeepers (our bees don’t produce enough for all our candles).
The large gift box contains two 4 oz. jam samplers, one 4 oz. honey sampler, two beeswax votives, a four inch beeswax pillar, and a half bar goat milk sampler soap bar along with a gift card offered for $25.00.
The medium gift box contains two 4 oz. jam samplers (or one jam and one 4 oz. honey sampler), a beeswax votive, and a half bar goat milk sampler soap bar along with a gift card offered for $15.
The small gift box contains two 4 oz. jam samplers, one 4 oz. honey sampler, along with a gift card offered for $10.
The mini gift box contains two 4 oz. jam samplers along with a gift card offered for $7.50.
In all gift boxes, choice of jams and honey are interchangeable. In addition, 4 oz. jams are available for $2.50 each. Specific jam requests are available first-come, first serve – this year we have red raspberry, golden raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, strawberry rhubarb, cherry and plum.
We offer delivery to our workplaces or church, pick-up at the farm, or shipping to your destination with a shipping quote upon getting a shipping zip code.
Today is gift box assembly day. Tomorrow we’ll post photos of this year’s offerings.
Martin brings up the jam from the basement.
The products get labeled, wrapped, and boxed on the dining room table – Emma is wrapping the goat milk soap.
OK, the 60 degrees earlier in the week are but a memory. Yesterday was the first snowfall. Evidently, the city of Ames forgot where they parked their sanding trucks – I left work a couple hours after it stopped snowing and thought the roads would be fine – I navigated to the busiest E-W street in town, thinking it would have been cleared first. Cars were not even getting up the small rise by the University on Lincoln Way. Eventually, I found my way out of town without getting rear ended or sliding off the road
The top of the well pit, holds the snow and ice.