What are you doing to get ready for winter? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 113 Old 09-22-2005, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I have 8 pints of spagetti sauce cooling on the counter. I have three quart sized bags of dried tomaotes. (great recipe anyone? I have one for dried tomato pesto that's killer!)

I'll also dry leeks for soups and stews and make my own potato leek soup concentrate for a quick soup on cold nights.

We're going berry and apple picking this weekend. We typically spend $100, but make many 1/2 pints of jam, enough for us for a year, and for gifts. I'll dry apples, make pie, apple sauce, and anything else I can think of! I'm meaning to make some zuke bread for the freezer and want to try green pepper jelly, just cause it's green! :LOL

The girls and I are gathering and stacking the cord wood my DH cut and split. We need another cord to sell to a neighbor and 4 for ourselves. DH is too busy at work this year to get caught up. (that'll be 6 we sold this year.)

I would like to get going on the window quilts I've been meaning to make. Maybe next week.


I want to start fresh herbs for the window sills, cause I love them.

I moved the goats to a new, more sunny location today. I need to get them ready for the cold, too.

So, what are you doing???
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#2 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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(bump)
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#3 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 02:01 PM
 
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NAK
I haven't started yet But can you tell me how you make the soup concentrate? Potato leek is one of our favorites and I never thought of trying to do that.
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#4 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 02:02 PM
 
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Unfortunately, we don't have winter here. we just have summer and not summer.
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#5 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 02:05 PM
 
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A lot of

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#6 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 02:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodWillHunter
Unfortunately, we don't have winter here. we just have summer and not summer.

Ahhhh, the land of my dreams.....


I have NO clue what to do. We moved this year from Sunny SC where it only snowed every two or three years to Upstate NY (about 15 min from Canada in the snow belt of Lake Ontario) and they say that it gets incredibly cold and very snowy here...We even had to buy different coats than what we were used to. So, I have no idea even where to begin. I have never cooked and frozen foods specifically for later use so I don't even know what to cook!!! Clueless...that's me!
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#7 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 03:12 PM
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I would love to get some freezer stash of food going - unfortunately we have a small freezer....But spaghetti sauce sounds like a great idea to freeze!

Tell me of these window quilts of which you speak???? We live in an older house, with crap windows, and a bad heating (provided the landlord ever turns our gas back on), and they windows all leak air...we are going to get the landlord to put the storm windows on, but anything we can do to save us some money would be awesome....

I am thinking about doing some bread dough and freezing that. Nothing warms the house up faster or makes it smell better than baking bread.

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#8 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 03:30 PM
 
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We are hauling in firewood. So far we have brought in 3 cord from the National Forest and have scavenaged 1+cord from some burn piles from our property with more to be gotten out.

We need to get about 3 more in. We want more than enough, hate being cold :LOL Who knows what kind of a winter we will have. Last year was mild. Hmmm maybe we need more than 3 more cord. We dont know how much wood it will takes to heat this house so we are just planning on 5-6 cord being its not a big house.

Ya know I know know why women dont cut firewood Cause all the sawdust gets down your bra and the poor baby ends up nursing splinters :LOL And nursing pad hold all the sawdust in :LOL Sure is fun otherwise

We have canned tomatoes, pear sauce and apple sauce. More sauce and juice will be coming along soon. Hopefuly we will make grape juice also.
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#9 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 03:50 PM
 
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I want the potato leek soup recipe, too!

We will go apple picking soon and save them through the winter. We are also making a list of supplies for each car and a few more preparedness items (ie. a crank radio). We are also getting the blankets for the beds ready.

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#10 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Leek soup concentrate:

I got some great chicken bullion cubes. FOr every 2 cups of finished broth that I want, I mix 1 bullion cube, 4 oz. of water (it's supposed to be 2 cups, so I 1/4 it), as many dried leeks as I like in a pot of soup. I cooked it just a bit, cooled it and froze it zipper bags, (lay them flat till they freeze, easier to stack!)

When we want soup, I boil some potatoes, don't strain them. ( i know how much water to add in "MY" pan. Sorry this is vague, but about a 1 1/2 cups of water to recipe above. I make a much bigger pot!) I add teh frozen concentrate, lots of freshly ground black pepper, and throw the whole ting in the blender. Put it back in the pot, add some 1/2 and 1/2 or light cream.

Yum! ANd no leeks to chop or broth to make. I added pepper to the broth part too.


Quote:
they say that it gets incredibly cold and very snowy here
:
Oh, baby, buy a good snow shovel! You'll have FEET of snow. ANd a tip from someone who knows? Spend money on BOOTS. Get Sorrels. THey're a bit pricey, esp for the kids. Start looking now. THey are the only thing that keeps your toes from frezing off. They last years and years, so the kids can pass them down.

Coats? Oh, man. You're going to have wool sweaters under those coats, hats waterprrof gloves...Get handwarmers, little things that go in your gloves and get hot when you shake them. THey make all that sledding and skating a lot more fun. ANd post often. I can't wait to hear your delight/horror at the first REAL snowstorm, like in November.

Adina, have you tried canning? Tomaotes can be canned using a hot water bath, meaning you just need a big ole pan, not a pressure cooker. You'll love lining the jars up on your shelf. Esp when you're nesting.

Window quilts and the patterns to make them are at JoAnns Fabrics. Probably other fabric stores too. They hang like a mini blind, fit into slots you fasten to your sash on the sides of your windows. Pull them up in the daytime, down at night. They have some special fabrics to insulate them with. Perfect for just what you described.

That plastic that goes on with double sided tape and a hair dryer works awesome too. It's pretty transparent, really blocks the cold air and is much cheaper, if you don't want to try to do all the windows. Also, I wouldn't make the quilts unless I was sure I'd be there for years. Alot of work.

I love baking on a cold day! Freezing dough is a great idea! Mmmm, and some refrigerator cookie dough in the freezer would be good too.
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#11 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 04:40 PM
 
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I've tried twice to make apple sauce, one to make spaghetti sauce, both for canning. I found it wasn't worth the time and effort I put in. And all the apples I bought last year, that we picked ourselves, went bad in storage.
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#12 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 05:56 PM
 
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RE the window quilts. I've been doing some thinking about this and I came up with an idea that might be a bit cheaper on materials. I hope it works, and I'm going to try it on my living room this weekend to see how it goes.

Get two tension rods that fit on the inside of your window. Cut a piece of fleece (since it doesn't get ratty and it's a good insulator) to fit plus 4" for casings. Sew casings at either end and place on tension rods. During the day the bottom can be rolled up and the rod placed at the middle or near the top to let light in and rolled down and secured at night.

I thought these would be cute in a snowflake print or something that coordinates with your bedrooms. Mine will be hanging under my mini blinds so everyone outside will be able to see them. Right now I have some blankets thrown over my windows in my bedroom to block light and heat/cold but they are ugly and I can't really roll them up during the day to let light in. They work great, but really aren't all that practical.

I'll make one sometime this weekend and see how it fits. If it's successful I'll post pics and a price list for the materials I use.

Other than that, I've been thinking about getting throw rugs for the wood floors throughout the house. I really want to fix up the fireplace but we can't really spend the money right now. The landlord could really care less if it works or not, and I don't think she wants to spend the money either. It would have to be inspected, possibly repaired, capped and then we'd have to purchase fireplace doors for safety (I keep small children). I figured about $500. We may not have a choice with the cost of natural gas going up though. I just love a fireplace in the winter.
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#13 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 08:31 PM
 
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I sent my man out to cut some fire wood.

It's good to be the queen.
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#14 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 09:26 PM
 
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I am decluttering my house (it shrinks in the winter when we are all closed in :LOL ), taking out the sweaters and cold weather clothes and getting them all ready to go, making my lists ahead of time to have an affordable holiday season, trying to put aside some $$ for pellets for the pellet stove and our oil bill that is sure to be huge, and trying to get some casseroles in the fridge.
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#15 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 09:31 PM
 
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You all are hardcore! I haven't done a thing.
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#16 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 09:42 PM
 
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Tell me how you dry your leeks, please?
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#17 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 10:06 PM
 
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Ahh thats what I need to do is pack up all summer wear and get out the winter stuff.
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#18 of 113 Old 09-24-2005, 10:12 PM
 
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We have already stacked 10 cords of firewood - now we have to go hiking and start collecting kindling. I need to check all of the kids to see how their winter clothes/boots fit and order good mittens, hats etc. We live between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay and get seriously dumped on with snow in the winter.

I have done a little canning, but not nearly as much as I used to. I have plenty of fuel for our coleman stove should the power go out - just cook out on the porch, or on the woodstove if necessary. I will stock up on water and canned goods. I always make sure I have plenty of flour, powdered milk, butter, etc. for baking in the winter - it's a nice way to spend a cold day. We will have plenty of toilet paper and canned food around too in case we get snowed in for a long stretch. We have cross country skis and a sled of we need them to get around, but if it gets that bad, there is no guarantee the stores will be open!

I like to do a big fall cleaning as well as spring cleaning, so when the time comes to close up all of the windows and be inside more, it is a nice clean space - for a few days at least :LOL
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#19 of 113 Old 09-25-2005, 01:46 AM
 
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I've been fermenting veggies. I have a few quarts of saurkraut, and 4 or so of cortido; 5 qts of cauliflower, red pepper, and pearl onion or garlic (I ran out of the onion after 3 quarts); 4 qts of ginger carrots; 6 qts of garlic-dill pickles; and 7? qts of beets. I got some grape leaves from a friend, and I'm going to do more jars of dill pickles. I tried the ones I made (you have to wait two weeks) and they are tasty, but mushy. The grape leaves are supposed to help keep them crisp. I was buying the veggies for what I thought was pretty cheap; 2 lbs of beets for 95 cents, for instance. Just a the grocery store. This week, the same store has all the same veggies on sale -- 10 lbs of beets for $1.95. I'm so bad at shopping the sales.

Went through my food storage, cleaned out, organized, to see what I need. Hope to buy some honey soon. Bought oldest dk winter clothes; no jackets or boots yet, though. Trying to finish the duvet cover I started last year for our down comforter. I hope to move the kids (well, our two older boys) from the north-facing master bedroom to the other small, south-facing bedroom. The master bedroom is so hard to heat, it is chilly all winter unless you crank the heat (we have electric).

We might actually winterize our vehicle this year -- it is nicer than the one we had before, and I would like it to last a little better. I have a feeling our last one died prematurely due to neglect.

Clearing out the back "yard" (little fenced-in area behind our townhouse) -- we still have some leftover renovation materials out there, and I would like to have room for the kids to play in the snow there.

Justice2, you don't need to freeze foods etc. if you don't want to. The grocery stores sell fresh foods all winter long. (I'm sure you know that!) It is cheaper to preserve fresh stuff in the fall, but it isn't necessary. (Though having food stored is a good idea anywhere, as an emergency can happen any time.) I would plan on making sure you have good winter tires on your vehicle and maybe get a check up and ask your mechanic what you should do to winterize (I have no idea, as stated above. I have seen winter oil advertized, though). Get winter driving lessons, from a friend or a professional. My dad, who grew up in northern ontario and does all sorts of driving in all weather (he drove logging trucks, for instance) goes out when they have the first good snow to an empty lot and practises his winter driving -- skidding on purpose to practice regaining control, for instance. (He would also skid the car through a 180 every morning to turn around in our driveway when I was a kid :LOL ) Have sand and a shovel and blankets in your car. Salt or grit for your walkway. Though you get freezing rain in SC, right? So maybe you are prepared in this area already. Hmmm, I don't know if you'll need to plug in your car -- we did in Ottawa, but we haven't so far in southern ontario. For coats -- I dunno, I live not far from Lake Erie -- my "winter coat" is a fleece zip up from MEC; I have a rain jacket to go over it if it's really cold. It just doesn't get THAT cold here. Snowy, yes, but cold, not so much. My kids have warmer snowsuits, though, obviously, and I do *own* a warmer winter jacket, but I haven't used it in years. Good mittens or gloves are important, though. If you tend to have dry skin, your hands might suffer if they get cold. Mine get chapped/cracked and bleeding in the cold weather. I like a nice warm hat, I hate cold ears. And good sunglasses for driving -- glare off snow is brutal.

Sealing windows was mentioned -- you'll want to make sure any drafty areas are sealed up. Many people use a -- oh I'm blanking on the name -- usually a stuffed tube of fabric that goes in front of the door, on the floor, to keep out the draft. And a good mat inside for wet boots. And somewhere to hang/dry mitts, scarves, hats, snowpants....

For winter eating, soups and stews and chowder and chili are good. And cocoa. Mmmmm.... you can make it in the crockpot to be ready for you when you come in from playing in the snow. And you'll want to make jack wax in the spring.

And enjoy fall, while it lasts! My fave season

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#20 of 113 Old 09-25-2005, 03:03 AM
 
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I will be moving back to cold weather in December. I am just denying the existence of winter. make this thread go away...ok wait some of this stuff sounds fun!

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#21 of 113 Old 09-25-2005, 08:35 AM
 
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What a great thread !

I'm also making window quilts - just using fabric on hand, multiple layers (with batting in between if I have enough) - I'm not entirely sure how I'll affix mine to the window frame, but I'm thinking of a tension rod in the top, and then somehow weighing down the bottom (sew in some weights or a small rod) then a few hooks to be able to fold them up during the day.

I'm also thinking about what we can wear around the house - with the natural gas costs expected to be so insane, we're pretty much planning on keeping the house warm enough not to freeze pipes - which means plenty of layers. We have some great wooly throws that I imagine will be in heavy use.

We'll go over the house to make we've done all weatherproofing possible, but when it's a house built in 1890, I imagine there's only but so much to be done.
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#22 of 113 Old 09-25-2005, 09:09 AM
 
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K, see the idea of window *fabirc* (be it quilts or fleece) sounds WONDERFUL. How do you sew? I mean from basics. I can thread a needle, but not tie the knot. I have a friend with a sewing machine that I could probably borrow...but no clue how to use that things AT ALL.
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#23 of 113 Old 09-25-2005, 09:13 AM
 
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We are getting a snow shovel. I am looking into boots as well for us and the kids! We are getting a block warmer for our car (very popular around this area, as it gets so cold that the car won't start burrrrrrrr). Snow suits. Lots of sweaters. I actually have to unpack our winter clothes this week. Our highest day is 72 (today) and our coolest is 58 (the high for Friday). It's really freaking me out cause it's still September and 90 degrees where we are from! My dearest friend is giving me good ideas on some meals to freeze and mentioned buying bulk powdered milk for cooking and such...does anyone have any experience with that?
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#24 of 113 Old 09-25-2005, 09:29 AM
 
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Bought coats and a fleece pouch, so far thats it. I have a few weeks before it gets colder.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#25 of 113 Old 09-25-2005, 10:31 AM
 
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um, what do you mean get ready? we really have no winter. in nov, dec, jan there are days where it maybe only 50 and the sun is shinning. and i hate that type of weather. i'm going to L.L. bean to buy myself a coat.
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#26 of 113 Old 09-25-2005, 10:32 AM
 
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why would you make a bunch of food and freeze it? this is for mamas in colder areas.
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#27 of 113 Old 09-25-2005, 10:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chersolly
You all are hardcore! I haven't done a thing.
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#28 of 113 Old 09-25-2005, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Irish, I have a really easy way to do applesauce. Just core and slice the apples. (Get a thing at the store that you push over the apple and it cores and slices at the same time. They cost about $3.) Do not peel. Cook the apples with a little water, so they don't stick at tfirst. Add sugar or honey if you want, and maybe cinnamon. That's it. When they're mushy, I throw it all in the blender. Voila, pink applesauce! (The skins make it pink) You can pack it in zipper bags and freeze it.

Apples can be tricky to store. You need to pack them in sand, etc. It's a lot easier to cook them or dry them.

Frog-I dry the leeks in my dehydrator, just slice them and throw them in. I LOVE my dehydrator! I used to dry apple slices over the wood stove. (You gotta pick off the dust to eat them! )

Shantimama, 10 cords! Holy mackeral! THa'ts a lot of wood. We only burn about 4. I like to clean in the fall too. The house gets to feeling tiny if it isn't clean.

Jannan, why doean't it say 'senior member' under your name? And I guess we freeze meals so that if we can't get out, we can still eat. Personally, I can alot, just freeze berries. And that's cause we love berries and pick them ourselves. Also, some of us have extras at this time of year, or are shopping at sales. My DH gets laid off in the winter. I like to have lots of food so I'm not worrying about how we'll eat while we're 'poor'. Hmm, and taunting us with your warm temps? Bad girl!

Winterizing those vehicles? I'm not sure about the oil, but you do want to check your battery, be sure your radiator fluid is good enough (mechanic can check it, tell you what temp it's good to)

Oh, and I found old clothes, rags, are better under your tires than kitty litter, sand or anything else.

I'm waiting to hear how all those window quilts work out before I start mine. (Ah, another reason to procrastinate!)
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#29 of 113 Old 09-25-2005, 11:37 AM
 
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yep, 10 cords is a lot of wood, but we would rather have extra to continue to dry out for next year than run out mid-winter. We just installed a new high efficiency woodstove like we had in our old house and once the thermometer drops below freezing, we will try to heat with wood as much as possible. This house is well insulated and the layout of the house and location of the stove mean it shuold do a good job. We have an electric furnace, so anything we can do tokeep those bills down will help! I am home full time so keeping the fire burning isn't an issue.
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#30 of 113 Old 09-25-2005, 11:43 AM
 
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Just went apple picking. Got a huge barrel of apples for $7! So I'm making/canning applesauce. I also made apple crisp but eating it on an 86 degree day wasn't quite the thrill it is in late fall.

Dh and I are doing a MAJOR decluttering effort. Clearing out anything not worn in 2 years. Purging the attic, the basement. Finally tackling the study after 5 years of built up clutter. Old toys, you name it. My living room looks like a wreck right now but I'm hoping to have a garage sale soon or I might just take everything down to Goodwill (it would be several trips). I listed some furniture already for free on Craig's List and the last of it will be gone tomorrow! YAY!

Lots and lots and lots of bulbs to plant. Waiting for the weather to turn just a bit cooler (still mid 80's here) then I'm planting more daffodils (I did 200+ 2 years ago), crocus, tulips, and hyacinth. Around 300 bulbs total have to go in. I also planted some perennials but did those 2 weeks ago so they'd get established before the first frost.
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