January 16, 2013 Farm News

Hello;   I have all but finished the new 2013 Devon Acres brochure. The last thing needed to do is to read it over carefully to check for any errors and to be sure that what was written does make sense, then get some new ink cartridges for the printer and away we go. Aerron and I spent a good part of yesterday gathering a large pile of wood which today we  hauled back to the wood shed with horses and wagon, doing it in two loads. Enough snow melted this past week to allow us to get the wagon back their. The wood is a mixture of pine, basswood, cottonwood and a bit of manitoba maple and buckthorn- the European version. It is all well seasoned, reasonably dry and will burn just fine. Hardwoods are of course better if you are only interested in energy density; oak, hickory, walnut and the other “hardwoods” having a much higher number of Btu’s per weight of wood. One BTU is the amount of heat require to raise the temperature of water by one degree fahrenheit, oak etc have about 17 t0 20 thousand Btu per pound weight. Enough thermodynamics. More to the point perhaps is this question: Is it really worth it for us to bother with all of the small stuff that we spend so much time snapping and cutting? We’ll have to look at the economics of that question but also at energy input factors involved.  But maybe I’ll not get into that , it might involve time that might be better spent snapping and cutting small pieces of wood.

Aerron this week took advantage of the mild weather and restacked straw bales around his water pump at the well and carefully recovered the temporary structure. This will now be much better at keeping the frost out. The driveway was a real muddy mess during the big melt and I would have liked to have gotten more concrete pieces down to make it passable but just ran out of time to do it. What we have put down is doing the job expected and it is unfortunate that we didn’t get more of the concrete in place before freeze up.

Here are a few pictures taken just yesterday, Wednesday, January 16 2013, near middle of the winter, no snow, lots of nice sunshine and almost warm  ( if you could get out of the wind)  and a few days earlier was of course even nicer and it actually was warm.

The pile of wood, two wagon loads worth, our cottonwood is in the trees behind at the bottom of the hill.

The pile of wood, two wagon loads worth, our cottonwood is in the trees behind at the bottom of the hill.

The cottonwood , showing where the last living trunk broke from the main trunk. The bottom of the break is abour 6 foot from the ground.

The cottonwood , showing where the last living trunk broke from the main trunk. The bottom of the break is abour 6 foot from the ground.

The total height of the standing trunk is near 25 feet. I was standing about 10 ft. away on the fallen trunk.

The total height of the standing trunk is near 25 feet. I was standing about 60 ft. away on the fallen trunk.

The horses at breakfast, the mare Marie nicely showing her winter coat.

The horses at breakfast, the mare Marie nicely showing her winter coat.

Warm sunshine, a dog, a cat and a chicken, hard to believe it is the middle of January.

Warm sunshine, a dog, a cat and a chicken, hard to believe it is the middle of January.

Cows and sheep and - spot the goat.

Cows and sheep and – spot the goat.

Same scene but the sun came out and extra cows have moved into view.

Same scene but the sun came out and extra cows have moved into view.

 

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