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The Grasshopper and the Ants

I suppose the irony of the first snow this past weekend was that I had just finished reading the classic tale of the grasshopper and the ants to my son during the school week. Somehow I was caught off guard by the drastic change in weather and spent most of my weekend scrambling around our little homestead trying to tie up loose ends for the impending winter weather while also clearing space for the new pellet stove and its fuel.

It is funny how in the course of a week how quickly things can change. Earlier in the week a friend of the family had stopped by and helped extend the chicken run, nearly tripling our original space. It was something I had been eager to accomplish for some time and was very happy to finally see it done. Mother Nature was not going to let me pat myself on the back for too long though and she quickly followed with temperatures below freezing for two consecutive nights. According to the farmers almanac this year is supposed to bring more of the frigid temperatures and snow we saw last year. Anyone living in this area or who has read my blog for sometime knows that last year was a record setter. Brrrrr!
New run. Nearly 80 sq. ft.

My son and I lit a fire in the yard and spent Saturday and Sunday harvesting the last of the crops. We gathered a large number of green tomatoes and Swiss chard. A few winter squash and some random culinary herbs. We cleaned out the rabbit pens and the chicken coop and provided them all with fresh bedding for the fall. We have a number of rabbits heading to the butcher in three weeks so we will have to rearrange the sleeping quarters again accordingly.

There is still work to be done but I feel much better heading into the infancy of winter already. As soon as the pellet stove is officially installed and all the garbage is hauled off to the dump we will be looking much better. After the rabbits are put in the freezer and the pens are set for the winter cold temps. and plenty of snow are welcome to come. Next year a little more grasshopper a little less ant.  

Tobias Whitaker blogs for Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine. Click on the Mother Earth News logo at the bottom of the page for all of his post. You can also find him on Facebook at Seed To Harvest: Bossy Hen Homestead which is a central location for his homesteading blogs and his homeschooling blog, A Mile In Her Shoes: Tales Of A Stay-At Home Dad found here 


  1. Yeah, same here - getting things ready for winter. Harvesting the last of the garden, except for the kale, and doing some fence, gate & building projects that have been waiting for all summer. New chicken run looks good, and I can see the two Swede pullets in there! If you have a way to add fall leaves to that run, they'll make it into beautiful compost.


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