Saturday, December 30, 2017

End of December on the Homestead

It is a snowy and cold end of December day at our place. We have so much snow! The drifts are piled high, we have been digging around gates to keep our critters in their proper places, and there is about a foot of snow accumulation atop the wood pile. Winter has proclaimed its arrival with confidence!


Jack, my Christmas puppy, is nine weeks old already and has fully made himself at home on our farm and in our hearts. He is a smart and active little guy! He weighed thirteen pounds at his first puppy checkup this week. He is learning to sit and stay and come to his name... and he loves his treats and his squeaky fox toy. {smile}


The outdoor critters are faring well. They spend most of their time in their spacious pens and warm shelters by their own choice... and they do seem to enjoy standing in the warmth of the sunshine when it peeks through the gray winter sky. We carry warm water to them and fill up their beds with extra hay for comfort.





All is well in the barnyard. And we have *lots* of snow in the back pasture...


Overall, 2017 was a year of maintenance and rest at our place. A year of reflecting and thinking and planning... what direction do we want our farm to take?

In our early years of homesteading, we were building and fencing and experimenting with gardening and raising a vast variety of critters, striving to become as self-sufficient as possible, by the grace of God.

Those were good years. Busy years! A lot of work and very satisfying, too.

The past few years have been quieter around our homestead. We have become a farm sanctuary... we haven't been producing our own dairy products or gardening. I haven't done much canning. I stopped making my own laundry soap, even.

The rest was nice... and perhaps necessary. But now we are ready to get back into homesteading. Perhaps not at quite the same intensity as before now that our buildings are built and our fences are up and our homestead is paid for. Thank you, God! But we want to spend more time making things and pouring energy into the simple life that we love.

This week, I made yogurt for the first time in ages. I washed the fabric I bought to make myself another skirt. Later today, I am going to be making a batch of laundry soap. We have been talking about buying some chicks this spring. And we are watching for the just-right-for-us dairy goat to add to our barnyard, so we can produce some of our own dairy products again.

I'm excited about those things.

So we are heading into 2018 with a re-ignited desire to get back to basics at our place. To do things for ourselves and produce some of our own food (not meat... our animals are safe here) and grow a bit in self-sufficiency. To put to use the knowledge and skills we have learned in our seventeen years on our homestead.

Sounds fun, yes? I think so.

Happy New Year, friends. I wish you many blessings and much peace and joy in 2018...