Welcome to February 2015
February in the 1850s resembled the same activities that took place in January.
Winter activities on the farm basically sum up to doing everything that many people were much to busy to take care of during the spring, summer and fall months!
The warmer seasons were always more productive on a farm and therefore, some things would get pushed aside until winter.
One such thing usually pertained to fixing fences, buildings and the home.
A popular winter activity included stock-proofing the fields. This meant ensuring that the livestock could not escape the fields themselves which allowed for farmers to release their livestock onto harvested fields. The remaining crop shreds left in the fields could provide the livestock with forage for part of the winter months before hay and feed needed to be supplied as well.
Another activity included making post and rail fences - the posts would need to be implanted in the ground before the frost got too deep but the rails could be installed during the winter months.
Lastly, a rather important winter practice was called coppicing - which basically means woodland management. Farmers would tend to their woodlands during the winter months and this would then allow for lumber for buildings and fences to be provided. Coppicing also provided the farmer with their supply of firewood for the winter months. The main source of heat for pioneer houses was the fireplaces and therefore an ample amount of wood was necessary. Having had to clear the land completely upon settling in this area - many pioneers had an 'unlimited' supply of woodlands surrounding their farms.