Ramping Up Production

I used to call my garage my ‘three car mud room’, and this time of year the garage is more like a mud room than a garage at all. The third bay has never been used as car space. It houses the big freezers, extra storage space and had been the area used for the butcher table until we took over the square footage with bundles of firewood and kindling last year.

The garage has become more of a multi-use area. Instead of parking my car in the garage, the pickup gets preferential treatment so the bed is dry when we want to load and tarp the firewood orders. Even the pickup got ousted from the garage this week because we needed the space to finish drying off firewood so that we don’t run out of product in the upcoming month before the weather turns a little drier. Since I am away from the farm this coming week, the garage option was the perfect solution to all the rain-soaked but seasoned wood.

The barn has been busy across the river with splitting firewood and kindling. The split wood was then stacked neatly into cribs. The cribs were moved one by one across the river and county road and placed in the garage with dehumidifiers and fans running to finish drying the soggy outsides of the cured wood.

After all the hustle as a family unit, we were able to get over two and a half cord of wood nestled into cribs settled into the garage. I can already see what is ahead for me when I return to the farm at the end of the week. I anyone tries to find me, I will be out in the bull barn bundling at full speed.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. I encourage you to check it out, get your information in on the FOLLOW button spot, and get every story in full color. I would be grateful if you did want to do any cyber shopping to use my links on the stories on that site. By using my links, I get credit for directing people to shop and may make a small commission without any cost to you! Your support helps support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

Advantages Of A Busy Schedule

This is another post about meat production, so I wanted to warn you in advance.

I am tickled pink and quite pleased with myself today since my busy schedule has me avoiding the task of playing ‘mother hen’ as the guys cut up the aforementioned elk.

Since the harvest, the animal had been skinned, quartered and hung to cure and dry. It is now ready to haul the quarters, one by one, into the garage where a strong table will be set up. The spot is the exact spot that the pickup had been parked to load full of firewood for delivery. Since Mike can’t deliver firewood and cut up meat at the same time, I get the pleasure of the delivery of orders while he tends to the process here at the farm.

In our case we use a group of at least three people to process a whole elk, while I get to do cleanup, mess control, lunch duties, and basic ‘gopher’ tasks (I don’t mind at all missing out on most of those duties for this day of processing). One works on boning out the rib cage (a time consuming and tedious task), another works on cutting the thick roasts and steaks from the animal (knowing the cuts and making the proper cuts), and a third is needed to keep the knives sharp (can be fraught with danger especially with the long 14 inch knives) with to keep the process working along.

After the meat is extracted, the roasts and steaks are wrapped in dinner sized packages for the freezer. Some of the boned out pieces of meat are used for stew meat packs with the majority of the meat getting ground up for burger before packaging. It tends to be a long day.

It is also the very rare exception that Marilyn has the day off from her busy schedule as well and is going to accompany me on my delivery voyage. A helper speeds the delivery times considerably since one person can stay on the truck while another moves the wood bundles from the tailgate to the display or pallet. From all angles, this day is working out wonderfully well for me.

Now I’m just hoping that my family doesn’t see this post before the day is done so I can get away with an easy schedule of work!

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. I encourage you to check it out, get your information in on the FOLLOW button spot, and get every story in full color. I would be grateful if you did want to do any cyber shopping to use my links on the stories on that site. By using my links, I get credit for directing people to shop and may make a small commission without any cost to you! Your support helps support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

Twice This Week

Being a producer for the Oregon Woodland Co-Op has given us the opportunity to clean up our forest after our storm damage and subsequent logging. We have been using the wood that is not viable to make poles or lumber by removing the excess scrap wood left in the forest. We are cleaning up our forest by removing the wood that would dry out making fuel for a wild fire. In the beginning we anticipated this project being on a fairly small scale but we are finding that the more we clean up the woods, the more we find that can be done to make our forest healthier.

We are still leaving plenty of debris piles for those small creatures of the forest along with the rotting wood needed to promote the spores, fungus and underground creepy crawlies. Continue reading

Racks, Stacks And Cribs

While the end of last week was spent processing wood chunks into small enough pieces to be considered kindling, we have moved on to the next step. Now have a crib full of kindling pieces along with the green garden cart, our tan pull behind cart and several tubs filled to the brim. My garage/holding area/kiln is filled with kindling as we heat up the coils in the floor, run fans for circulation and crank up the dehumidifiers to dry the kindling before we can begin the next process of bundling.

For those of you who are old enough to remember, there used to be a commercial that played on TV for years. There was a housewife who needed a powerful cleaner tackle the task of her house duties. The scrub bucket was sitting by her feet, a mop right next to her, she twisted the top off of the bottle she was aiming at the screen and took a deep whiff of the cleaner before delivering her line. With near jubilation she remarks, “smells just like a Carolina Pine forest!”. The line doesn’t truly fit our non-pine area of the country, but the sentiment is right on.

That single line of dialog has stuck with me for years and even decades. I use it when I walk into the woods after a period of being away. I declare it, sometimes loudly so all the cows can hear, after the barn has been de-mucked, lime sprinkled and a new fresh layer of wood chips added to the loafing area. I speak it out loud in the house after the floor still is drying after being mopped, it doesn’t matter if I am the only one home or not or for that matter if I used a pine, lemon, orange of bleach smelling cleaner. And now I speak it out loud every time I walk through the garage. Any time there are good odors from wood products, that dialog comes forth.

The smell of wood drying is pleasant and very strong right now with all the fiber in the garage at this time. Although visitors remark about the garage smelling good with only the regular pallets of firewood bundles in our inventory, I was nose-blind to the subtle odor until we got this influx of drying kindling. I’m going to enjoy the smells while I can for soon the garage will be back down to only our regular weekly inventory levels.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com with all the pictures! I encourage you to check it out, get your information in on the FOLLOW button spot, and get every story in full color. I would be grateful if you did want to do any cyber shopping to use my links on the stories. By using my links, I get credit for directing people to shop and may make a small commission without any cost to you! Your support helps support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

 

Rushing With Kindling

Last year was our first year producing firewood for the Oregon Woodland Co-op with October being the anniversary of our first delivery. We should have remembered that at the end of December last year we were scrambling to keep enough kindling split, dried and processed into bundles to keep up with demand, but we conveniently pushed that thought aside as we concentrated on the premium hardwood bundles that are a new addition for our project this year on the farm. Continue reading

A Little Me Time

The dry day that Mike had been waiting for had him on the day-long route to get a pickup load of grain.  I wanted to take advantage of a day without the supervisor around so I took the opportunity for a little time to attack the log deck and get a little firewood cut.

With the two dogs, my trusty earplugs, metal toed boots, and a freshly sharpened (thank you Mike) chainsaw, we moved to the log deck in the close landing. When I am working with the saw, the dogs are busy scouting around so I don’t have to worry about them. They stop by every once in a while to make sure that I can see them for a moment or two of check-in time before scooting off in another direction. Continue reading

A Mixed Up Tuesday

From all the hub-bub of last week to the weekly firewood delivery, everything seemed to be on an unusual schedule. The normal Tuesday firewood delivery was made on Sunday this week because of stores knowing that they would be slammed before the Christmas holiday. That left our normal Tuesday delivery day feeling a little deflated, so we decided it would be a good time to begin refilling the pallets of bundled inventory for next weeks orders.

We started bundling up the kindling and have now used up all the dry kindling pieces that we have available so I hope the pallet that we have made will be enough for the next round of orders. Next we moved on to premium wood of cherry and maple, we refilled the pallet plus have the tow-cart full and ready to deliver to the garage. I ran out of daylight so the cart will be hauled to the garage by the Gator on Thursday and stacked on the premium pallet.

If/when the weather dries up a bit, we will be cutting the blocks for making the new batch of kindling that needs to be moved into the garage for drying and curing. The logs have been cut since early summer so the drying process will not take very long, but only as long as I have the stacks in proper rows so the curing will be uniform where the fans pull the moisture away quickly. It will take several days to fill a crib with kindling so that it can be put by the drying fans and dehumidifier, then drying for possibly another week.

In the meantime, I still need two more pallets of regular firewood made up and stacked in the garage before we send in our inventory availability. We usually send in our inventory on Saturday in preparation for the scheduling guru to send out the loading and delivery schedule to all the producers for the Oregon Woodland Co-Op. (Just a small note about our personal guru; Lynn does an amazing job as the liaison between the stores and the producers. Each week she compiles our individual inventories, checks with each of the stores to find our their needs, and doles out the orders to each producer. To match the orders with the inventories is no easy fete. Our guru has to keep in  mind the method of delivery(truck or trailer), how much wood can be delivered by the producer, where the stores are located in relation to each producer and traffic issues like road construction closures, just to name a few variables.)

All in all it was a pretty good Tuesday even though there was no delivery.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com with all the pictures! I encourage you to check it out, get your information in on the FOLLOW button spot, and get every story in full color. I would be grateful if you did want to do any cyber shopping to use my links on the stories. By using my links, I get credit for directing people to shop and may make a small commission without any cost to you! Your support helps to make the website available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com