Winter is Coming

I know we all want to throttle the first person who says this in the summer, but it’s something we do have to think about quite carefully here at the farm. It’s been very hot for the last few weeks, in the 30s, so we’ve been skinny-dipping in the river up in the mountain when we’ve been goat-herding, we’ve been swimming in Lake Iskur (with costumes!) and generally enjoying the sunshine. We have also been swimming in a veritable tsunami of courgettes, hence the new recipes! 

However, once the summer fun is over, the goats will be stabled in the barn (they hate cold and snow) and will have to be provided with hay to feed on. We will no longer be able to rely on the sun to heat our water with the solar panels and we will need the full-force of our wood burner to keep the -20 degree temperatures at bay. So, this week, Kevin went to collect 50 bales of winter hay. These needed to be loaded onto the tractor trailer, driven back to Alino and then loaded into the top floor of the barn straight away to avoid it spoiling.  All in 35 degree heat. It’s quite some feat and he did us proud. 

At the same time, the delivery of our annual 15 cubic metres of wood has started. Ordering the wood in the summer means we get a better price and it has time to dry before it is needed. You don’t want to be looking for expensive, wet wood in February when it’s snowing! After several unsuccessful years with unreliable axes and chainsaws, we pay for the wood to be chopped for us by the professionals, but we still need to stack it all. At least we’ll start the winter quite fit, before the pork casseroles and rakia take their toll!