Winter on the Farm - Part II - A Simple Way to Thaw the Deep Freezer



One winter chore that is actually best to do towards the end of winter is thawing the deep freeze.

By the end of winter the supply of fruits and vegetables we froze in summertime has depleted and there is less to work around in cleaning out the freezer. Plus, with the cooler temperatures, it is easier to leave the freezer lid/door open for extended amounts of time without worrying about your food thawing during the cleaning - or about the electric bill as all your cold air escapes. (We keep our deep freeze in the garage.)

We were recently offered a half of a cow at a great price that we couldn't refuse - a day before it was to arrive! I had to hurry and make room for the meat in the deep freeze. At first I was just going to move things around, but then I realized that all the frost that was built up on the inside of the freezer was just going to be that much harder to thaw later when I had the time because the freezer would then be FULL.


       The "minor" build up. I didn't think to take pictures before I started.

I dreaded the idea of unloading all that was in the freezer, letting the freezer thaw and drain, drying the freezer out, and then putting everything back in. Plus I didn't have the time. The meat was coming in a few hours.


I got a plastic spatula and dust pan from the kitchen and some gloves.


 Moved all the items from two sections of the freezer to the other sections.
Used the spatula to gently chip the frost build up of the sides of the freezer.

 Swept up the "snow" with the dust pan.


Moved food items back into the clean area and repeated process in the next section.

Overall, it took less than an hour, and I had a beautifully clean deep freeze.
By the end of the day the frost-free freezer was also holding our beef for the year.


Any suggestions on how to prevent the frost build up to being with?

Crochet Hat Sizing Guide

For those of you who crochet, hop on over to my other blog, Little Monkey Shop, and check out the Crochet Hat Sizing Guide I created.
Feel free to share!

How to Make Almond Butter

My daughter Hannah is sharing how to make Almond Butter on her blog Spinach is GOOD for You.
Enjoy!

Happy Valentine's Day

  
A perfectly LOVEly Valentine's Day Breakfast or Snack.

Chocolate Raspberry Granola

 Ingredients
4.5 cups Oatmeal
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried Raspberries
Directions
Turn oven to 350 degrees F
Melt butter in a glass measuring cup. Add in honey and use whisk to mix well.
Measure out Oatmeal into a large bowl. Pour butter/honey over and stir until oatmeal is coated.
Butter a 9x13 pan. Pour oatmeal mix into pan.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to brown evenly.
Remove from oven. Add in chocolate chips and raspberries. Stir well.
Cool completely before serving. Store in a tight container.
Will last for several weeks - Maybe :)

Winter on the Farm - Part I


Someone recently posed the question - "What does your farm look like in the winter?" That made me start thinking about what we do here on our hobby farm in the off season.

Honestly, not much -  compared to all our "busyness" in the spring and summertime. I spend more time reading, cleaning, crocheting, and sewing in the winter months than I do in the summer. But, on sunny days, we do get outside to get a few chores done.

 

Today, Bella and Cade helped me in the garden beds. We have 17 raised garden beds. We have found these much easier to take care of than the HUGE garden space we had before. Bermuda grass knows no boundaries!

A few weeks ago on a spring-like day we went out and weeded 4 of the empty garden beds. We aren't ready to plant anything now, but we can cut down on our work in the spring if we work a little at a time now on keeping the weeds from taking over.

I recently read an article in Hobby Farm Magazine about the importance of planting cover crops over your garden in the winter. Usually I do, but with the house up for sale, I wasn't extremely motivated this past fall when we closed up the majority of the beds.

The article suggested that another idea was to cover your beds with compost and or leaves to add nutrients to the soil.

 

So, today we cleaned out the old chicken and rabbit house. We took all the droppings and leaves that had been composting for over a year and spread them over the beds that we had weeded.

It didn't take very long. We shoveled the compost into a wheel barrel and trotted it back down to the garden area. We dumped the compost onto each bed and spread it around with a shovel.

 

Covering 4 beds took us about 45 minutes and was much better exercise than the Elliptical. Plus we got a weeks worth of Vitamin D.


Even the 2 year old was a helper!

Follow me next week as I continue to bring you Winter on the Farm Part II.

What do you do on your "farm" in the winter?