This winter we were busy in the store room and pantry

We finally ground all of our 2014 elk and deer meat and made it into burger and sausage. The end of February could be the longest we’ve ever waited to get this task done.

The pile of spices we use for the sausage.

The pile of spices we use for the sausage.

We had a total package weight of 214 pounds, originating from 150 lbs of elk & deer meat. We wound up with 82 lbs of burger, 82 lbs of Italian sausage, 28 lbs of bratwursts & 28 lbs of breakfast sausage.

Spices all ready to go into the Italian sausage.

Spices all ready to go into the Italian sausage.

This may seem like a ton of meat to some of you, but you must realize that we give a lot away. It is a labor of love.

Jeremy and Lou Ann getting ready to start in on the first phase of meat grinding.

Jeremy and Lou Ann getting ready to start in on the first phase of meat grinding.

We are very happy with the way everything turned out this year. It takes years to dial in sausage recipes, so we’re pretty excited to finally have the flavors we enjoy. At some point in the future I will post the recipes.

Elk and deer meat in two phases- ground & ready to be ground.

Elk and deer meat in two phases- ground & ready to be ground.

My husband, Jeremy, keeps amazing records. So I have him to thank for the consistent improvements. And we have our good friends to thank for helping with the process and always making it a party!

Jeremy and Jon mixing the Italian sausage. Brrrrr on the hands!

Jeremy and Jon mixing the Italian sausage. Brrrrr on the hands!

I still have a few things hanging on from last years garden. The long keeper tomatoes are still alive and some are holding exceptionally well. They don’t have the most incredible flavor, but they’re just fine for salads and sandwiches. The garlic is storing very well, almost no sprouting and I still have a half a shoe box full.

Heirloom garlic from the women of the Salmon River. Originally from Francis Zaunmiller Wisner.

Heirloom garlic from the women of the Salmon River. Originally from Francis Zaunmiller Wisner.

The peppers are all dried out and I’m using them almost daily in some meal (chopped fine or processed). The winter squash is holding up great. I still have a flat of small to medium sized assorted varieties. They all still taste wonderful.

Now that's a load of squash!

Now that’s a load of squash!

Last year was a bumper crop for apples. We store boxes of them in the store room and eat them all winter. Right now we still have boxes and boxes of apples and they are holding really well. They are good to eat fresh, baked and in smoothies. We also give our chickens a few apples every day; which they love.

SFR Apples

Our potatoes are also holding really well in the store room, just a few eyes sprouting. I have two varieties- a purple Peruvian type and a German gold type (from my good friends Heinz & Barbara). My neighbor, who was born and lived his entire 80+ years here on the Little Salmon River, always told me that Good Friday is the time to plant spuds in the garden here. I’ve got three rows planted out there and I was only a few days behind. He’d be proud!

Mounding spuds in 2014.

Mounding spuds in 2014.

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Little garden yogi