Saturday, February 13, 2010

Heat wave threatens outdoor freezer

Before I begin, on my morning blog reading rounds I came across a great post by Bruce on his Meat blog, (click here to read), that I think everyone who buys meat at the store and cares about where their meat comes from should read. We think that when we pay the extra money for organic and pasture raised meat that our dollars are ensuring a safer product and we can eat that steak without remorse knowing that the cow lead a happy pasture life, well that ain't so. The best way to know how your animal, meat was raised is to buy from small local farms.

We are having a heat wave in Fairbanks. My thermometer is reading a few degrees above twenty, but it feels much warmer. It is so warm out that I'm a little worried about all of our frozen goods stored outside. Our chest freezer was working going in to winter, but when it was really cold  the cord split and needs repaired. We have a smaller back up chest freezer that is not in use at the moment so I think we are planning on moving it to a protected area where it can be plugged in, then transfering the frozen goods, thereby freeing up the current freezer for repairs. We also have a refrigerator that doubles as a freezer in the winter. I plugged it in last night, but that will really only save the freezer department items if it gets too warm. Luckily, with everything well frozen, the temperatures should remain safe within the insulated box.

 Our chest freezer contains most of our meat; local beef, local pork and our own chickens. This fridge is full of chicken stock, soups and some frozen berries and milk. Whenever I make soup, I make enough to freeze at least a few quarts if not more. In the winter I just set them outside the door and then eventually move them to the fridge. I have about sixteen quarts of frozen raw goat milk stored up for two month dry spell coming up. Currently, I'm milking when I see a full udder on Rose, a few times a week. Her nine month old doeling has full access to her. Rose should be drying her off by now. I should be drying Rose off by now, but I can't without confining either Rose or her daughter to a stall full time for a couple weeks. In the future we shouldn't have this problem, when we built the structure this fall we planned to cut out a door in the back stall that has access to a large pen next to the existing doe pen. This will make it much more convenient when it is time to dry off a doe.


Our big plans for the day include getting the kids outside to play, cleaning out the chicken coop,( which is going to be lots back breaking, stinky fun) and watching a friend's kid, which our kids will love. I trimmed all the does feet this week, which is something I can't do most the winter because it is too cold. Now I need to work on the buck's feet, a chore I usually procrastinate. For those of you here in interior Alaska, happy warm weather. For those of you on the east coast, sorry you are getting our weather and snow...cheers everyone.

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