“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” -Laura Ingalls Wilder
The past few weeks have been a blur and the next few promise to be more of the same. It’s a busy time here on the farm, especially since it’s our first Autumn. No big posts are on the horizon but I like checking in and keeping everyone updated, so here is what we have been doing…
>Celebrating not one, not two but three birthdays. PJ, my mama and Kevin are all another year…wiser!
>Preparing for two new arrivals. It is very exciting and extremely nerve-racking, all at the same time.
>Anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first little calf, trying to soak up all the information and knowledge that we can about birthing and milking. All the while, knowing that we won’t truly “know” anything until we are in the thick of it.
>Picking, reorganizing and constantly shifting sheep breeding groups, on paper, in the hopes of getting spring lambs with the characteristics we are looking for.
>Desperately trying to get the girls back to laying after a sudden cold snap that made them stop, overnight!
>Trying to come to terms with the fact that we now have not one but two roosters in residents. Which is quite funny considering we paid extra for sexed chicks. (As long as they continue to behave and be respectful they can stay. If that changes they will quickly become dinner!)
>Working on getting Mum and Poppy to eat out of our hands and to let us give them a good pat or scratch.
>Thinking that the time spent last week carefully monitoring the weather for frost advisories was a complete waste of time. We were trying to strike that balance of soaking up more time to ripen the produce without losing it.
>Feeling fooled when we awoke to a frost, considering the weatherman said it wasn’t supposed to drop below 40 degrees overnight. Our best guess is the windstorm that unexpectedly blew through brought with it a windchill that dropped temperatures below freezing.
>Feeling sad that I lost all of the remaining basil to said frost.
>Feeling irritated that a good amount of squash got compromised by the frost and now, rather than tucking it away to use later in winter, I need to process it immediately.
>Prepping for next year’s sweet potato plot and how we are going to fight what ever it was (rodent?) that gnawed on almost half of our crop, which rendered that half inedible for those of us of the human persuasion.
>Patting ourselves on the back for buying the pigs because they, my friends, ate all of those previously nibbled sweet potatoes after a careful trimming by us. In the end, we will eat that produce one way or another!
>Processing bushel after bushel of apples from our local apple orchard. Juice, applesauce and apple butter, oh my!
>Watching Kevin’s first go at hard apple cider bubble away upon the kitchen counter…teasing us!
>Searching for a local provider of organically grown pears and striking out.
>Desperate for those pears because I whipped up a delicious dessert this week and I need to tweak it so I can share it here.
>Finding others around us who are striving to live the way we are and feeling comfort in the fact that there are kindred spirits “nearby”.
>Considering adding a breeding flock of heritage breed turkeys to our motley mix of livestock.
>Contemplating other heating sources to use in the house, in order to alleviate our dependence on oil. I personally wish for a woodstove to sit beside and knit (or just create in general) at.
>Composting, plowing up and preparing to plant next springs garlic plot.
>Using the last of the previous years venison just as opening day of bow season arrived.
>Sending the hunters out with high hopes, feeling like it is still too early to expect any venison to be coming back in with them.
>Remembering that we have to stop at the local sugar house (who also happens to be a neighbor) to stock up on maple syrup since we’re almost out.
>Walking around our little bit of woods thinking that we should mark our own sugar maples and try our hand at tapping them this winter, just for fun.
>Savoring the last warm weather days that are sprinkled throughout fall, while also looking forward to the coming winters activities.
>Working hard at re-instituting a family rhythm that allows us to feel connected and grounded during these busy days we are now living.
>Feeling the pull of our quiet, winter routine and looking forward to attending to indoor activities that desperately need to be done. As well as, giving time to each of our individual creative outlets that we have missed so much during this busy summer and fall.
What is new and exciting in your neck of the woods?