Preparing for Cold

I’ve been lucky this year. Most years the cold comes before I’m ready, water lines freeze, equipment freezes to the ground and maybe it all gets buried under the sneaky disguise of snow. Then I spend infinitely more time with picks and hot water doing what would have taken minutes, days before. This year has been gentle, it was 40 degrees today and all the water lines are draining, equipment is moved to its winter home and all the little bits you wished you didn’t find with the snow plow are stashed away.

I have been thinking hard about a different kind of cold: the type you control with electricity, compressible refrigerants and insulated walls. This spring we turned our “small” 10’ x 10’ walkin freezer into a packing freezer, with shelves and labeled boxes so we can easily and quickly find almost 100 different products we have to offer in our online store!

As we prepare for the winter with no chickens or beef animals in the field, we have boxes of meat scattered across the north country…2 pallets in storage in Vermont, 1 pallet in the freezer at Essex Farm and a stack of boxes at North Country Creamery. Thank you for all your help in storing our pasture raised meat until the grass is green again. Not to mention the tower of boxes taking up the walkway in our freezer here!

I’ve been combing Craiglist and eBay for months now, looking to see if I could find a used walkin freezer. New they cost well over $10k, plus shipping and installation. But I think there a many folks out there like me, since I haven’t been able to find much. Just last week, a listing came up for a freezer down in Brattleboro, VT and I jumped on it! Then I convinced my good friend Steven from North Country Creamery to take a ride with me and help me disassemble the freezer. And man, it’s a good thing he came with me, it was not a job for one person!

Our first challenge was that the freezer had only been turned off that morning. So many of the joints and interlocking pieces of the freezer panels were still frozen together! With some leverage, hair driers and elbow grease we got the panels apart, loaded them onto the trailer and managed to get home before midnight!

The freezer is now assembled down in our barn, and the weather has been warm enough for me to be able to properly seal the panel joints with caulk! Next week I’ll have the HVAC guys come down to help me connect the refrigeration and we’ll be able to store most of our inventory on the farm! Thank you Steven for your help!!!

2 Day Meat Shipping – This is your last chance to place an order for delivery before Christmas! Place your order today (Sunday) before midnight to get delivery this week. Our next delivery for 2 day will be shipped on 1/11/2021!

Tangleroot Farm CSA Delivery – We have been so thankful to collaborate with our friends at Tangleroot Farm. They are offering discounts on signups for their door to door CSA delivery for next season, if you live in the Essex or Saratoga area check out their share offerings for next year. Place your orders today (Sunday) before midnight to get your LAST Tangleroot delivery for this year!

Syrup Shipping – We have had great enthusiasm for the syrup shipping and thank you to all of you who have placed orders so far! Please let us know if there is any breakage! I have still not ironed out all the details on the back end, so if you see any shipping charges that should not apply or the like let me know and I’ll fix it! We also sold out of pints (16 oz). We will bottle more syrup this week and have them available for delivery before Christmas, just not this week! Thank you!

Shipping gifts to multiple friends – I’ve had a few inquiries about how to easily pay for and ship some syrup gifts to friends and family. I’m working on a post about how to do this on the customer end, but in the short term, feel free to email me with a list of the orders you would like to send and I’ll set it up for you. (As some of you have already done!)

A family christmas tree adventure…..

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