Stockpiling for Winter

The leaves are turning yellow already. The birds are making their pit stop in Fairbanks as they head south. I’ve had my first cold of the fall. Yes, it is Fall in the Interior of Alaska, and I’m freaking out. We are not ready! Though, we never are ready.

We’ve been busy preparing for winter by putting up food. Stocking up on summer yummies so we can enjoy it when the snow blankets the ground. We are pickle kind of people. In the past few weeks, I’ve made pickled beets, pickled cauliflower, and pickled zucchini. This weekend, pickled carrots, pickled green tomatoes, and more pickled beets. Also, freezing and dehydrating kale for use late this winter.

 

I’ve also been out picking this blogs namesake, Alaskan blueberries. Smaller and tarter than the cultivated varieties that most are used to. The picking was slim this year but happy to have some in the freezer. Even have some blueberry-basil vinegar brewing right now.

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A few weeks ago, we raided our hives. A bit earlier than normal but we wanted to give the bees time to stock up on honey for winter. We want to attempt to overwinter them. We shall see how it goes since even 400 miles south of us (where we plan on overwintering them), winter is still long and cold. We got 3.5 gallons of honey which may seem like a lot but still doesn’t feel like enough when we plan to use it in place of sugar and would like to give some as gifts. I think we may have to get a 3rd hive next year.

 

A hawk was loitering by the coop this morning so no one will be free-ranging today or tomorrow. It appears that everyone out here wants to eat our birds which reminded us that we need to get them processed before someone else eats them. The ducklings are now rowdy teenagers, the drakes have got to go. The roosters are attempting to cock-a-doodle-doo. That is the next big to-do in our preparation for winter. It is a bummer because I have been enjoying our fresh veggies out of the garden. Dinners have been splendid lately.

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12 thoughts on “Stockpiling for Winter

  1. I think I’ll quit complaining about feeling overwhelmed here. I just THOUGHT I had a lot on my plate! You don’t have a full plate, you have an entire buffet. I also am still in what is usually our peak hot weather (August & September are usually around 100F average temperatures, if not higher). Good luck with all of that work!

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    1. I’m going to start to use buffet! I joke about needing a bigger plate – now it’ll be need to expand the buffet!

      While you are melting in Texas, us Alaskans will be digging out our parkas. 😕 So not ready for winter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know if I could handle an Alaskan winter😲. The mild writers of the American south leave me feeling like a meat popsicle (I’ve seriously thought about getting a Canada goose parka for our 40 degree days)

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  2. We’ve had a record amount of rain this year…and my veggie patch completely rotted out and I didn’t get a SINGLE THING from it. I’m super disappointed. Even when it was not raining, the ground was sopping from all the rain we’ve had. Last year we had a drought, so I suppose this is better than that but I’m so bummed not to get a single fresh anything. The farmers are hurting this year.

    I’m super jealous of all of your crops! And I keep toying with the idea of getting ducks – we have chickens. Do you keep them in the same coop, do you find them friendly, and do you like duck meat/eggs or do you have them as pets/gifts? I have never had duck meat or eggs, but I LOVE ducks…

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    1. We had a really rainy summer a few years ago and our garden was dismal. Disappointing when you put so much effort in. And hard for the farmers when it is their livelihood.

      The ducks and chickens are sharing a coop for the summer because the chickens hate their coop. They do fine but since dicks are a big wet mess, long term best to have separate space. The ducks are great but more work. It took me a bit to get use to the eggs since they are fatty. Now I find chicken eggs too watery. Duck meat is really taste.

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      1. Yes super hard on our farmers – corn didn’t even go in until weeks later than it should. I can imagine they will feel the hit and now it is down to 16C so they may lose more crops due to the coolness. Its been a crazy year.

        Thanks for the info on ducks! For now, I am not ready for a second coop so we’ll stick with our hens.

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  3. Woo hoo!! I sure wish it was turning into fall here as this next Heat Wave starts tomorrow with six days over 95 and I’m not happy about it! That being said I’m not a big fan of tremendous cold either so, um, yeah. It was crazy as we had taken our flow frames down after doing that massive harvest of honey and then the bees just started overflowing they few weeks later so we added a second box of empty frames for them to start building on so they wouldn’t end up swarming! It’s been such a weird summer here! Really crossing my fingers for your bees to make it all winter … Hey why not just bring them in the house Hahaha ….

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    1. For us, it has been the most typical summer in years though a bit warmer than normal. And Fall is a bit early. You laugh about bringing bees in – we thought about it but house and garage not cool enough. We shall see how thy do this winter!!

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  4. Ooh, seeing your honey supply rekindles my dream of having beehives of my own. I am a big fan of mead brewing (as well as using honey for pretty much everything) and I would just LOVE to be able to brew my mead on honey from my own hives.

    Also, those blueberries of yours, they look pretty much like blueberries do over here in Scandinavia! Those are to us just normal blueberries, it’s the big American versions that are strange… and I prefer the flavour of our small ones any day. ^^

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    1. I bet the blueberries there are the same or very similar! The rest of the world is missing out.

      Having honey bees is amazing. Honey in everything. Honey wheat bread. Honey in the tea. Spoonful of honey. It’s a very rewarding hobby!

      Liked by 1 person

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