Wood for Winter

Spent quite a bit of time this weekend picking up and chopping firewood in preparation for the winter ahead. We don’t get too harsh of winters here in Oklahoma, but they are cold enough that we try to stack 2-3 ricks each year just in case.

Can’t wait to sit by a warm fire and read novels all winter. 🙂

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Farm Update: Chicks Move Outside & Canning Fall Beans

Lots of activity on the homestead this week. We moved our 6 new chicks from the brooder out to the transitional chicken tractor before they make the final move to the big coop with the rest of the flock. We do this intermediate stage to help them grow to full size before putting them in with the other birds.

New chicks move outside to the chicken tractor

Utilizing the tractor also allows us to get them physically side-by-side with the larger flock (the last week before integration we’ll push the tractor right up to the chicken run where the other hens run around), yet maintain a barrier to prevent the larger hens from pecking on them while still young.

They will still have to go through the process of learning their place in the pecking order once they move in with the older hens, but we’ve found in the past that this process makes their integration into the larger flock very easy and almost without incident.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we’re starting harvesting from our fall garden. With almost 8 gallons of beans harvested, we started the process of snapping and canning everything.

Snapping fall beans

The first day took three rounds of canning and we still have one more round to go.

Canning fall beans

When everything was finished we ended up with 24 quarts of canned beans.

Canned beans

Row covers have worked well when the temps have dipped into the mid-to-lower 30’s at night. I expect we’ll probably get another harvest this weekend and estimate around 2-4 more gallons.  So, if my math is working today, that put us somewhere around 40+ quarts (maybe over 50) when done.

We’ll end up sharing some with neighbors and friends, but that should definitely be enough to last us through the winter.

Route 66 5K – Week 3

We spent most of this week hidden away in the Ouachita National Forest camping with my family.  It’s always amazing to turn your phone off for almost 5 days, not look at a screen, and get covered in campfire smoke.  I sincerely look forward to our trip every year. A perfect time of relaxation and reflection.

Before leaving, the local weatherman predicted that we’d have a frost while we would be out-of-town. So we hurried to get some row covers setup and put over the beans and tomato plants to try to squeeze a bit more production out of them before we closed down the garden for the year.

I arranged for a friend, who was already helping check on the chickens, manage the on/off process of the covers while we were gone. A few leaves on the beans got nipped, but the tomatoes took a pretty big hit. However over the past week, we were still able to harvest almost 8 gallons of beans (with new beans still growing). I’ll call that a win and hopefully we’ll reach over 10 gallons before the harvest is done.

Just some of the initial fall bean harvest.

As for running, I had a good week. Still no injuries, but did not get in my long run this weekend. However, we did a 3+ mile hike around the lake on Friday, plus some additional hiking throughout the trip, that I count as a good replacement.

Run Log:

  • Monday: 19 mins
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: 22 mins
  • Thursday: Mild Hiking
  • Friday: 3+ mile hike
  • Saturday: Mild Hiking
  • Sunday: Rest

I weighed in on Sunday when we got back and I was down to 206 lbs, which is a 7 pound weight loss the first week of eating cleaner in addition to my training runs.  Pretty dang good. Hopefully, I won’t plateau just yet as I’m trying to hit an even 200 lbs by race day on November 18th.

Now that I’m back at home and on the grid again, I can start focusing on getting back into a routine with writing on my screenplay. Didn’t put any words on the page last week. So, I’ve got some making up to do.

Route 66 5K – Week 1

This week started off in a whirlwind. Monday found me up early and running around town for various meetings almost all day. This forced me to squeeze in my training run over lunch on the treadmill down in the shop. A quick shower and back to work I went.

On Tuesday I was up early so that I could be in Oklahoma City (1.5hr drive) for a work meeting by 7:30am. Thank God it was a rest day.

The rest of the week slowed down and I was able to get my runs in without any problems and capped it off with a gentle 1.5 mile run on Saturday.

Run Log:

  • Monday – 10 mins (treadmill)
  • Tuesday – Rest
  • Wednesday – 13 mins
  • Thursday – Rest
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – 1.5 miles
  • Sunday – Rest

 

Spent the weekend doing some chores around the house including box-blading the driveway, brush hogging the front and back pasture, hand raking about 1/2 acre corner of the back pasture, picking up fallen tree limbs, and various other outdoor activities.

Homestead Meditation

So, in addition to the 1.5 mile long run workout on Saturday, all the added activity gave me a bit of cross training at “Earth’s Gym.”

So far, no injuries or signs of my Achilles flaring up. And…I’ve already lost 4 lbs.

I consider it a good start.