Winter is finally officially here and yet there is no snow to be found. As we come to the end of the year, we sit here around the table at our homestead and we discuss what plants we are going to be planting this year, which month to begin our seedlings and where we should build our green house so it has enough light until we transfer our seeds. In the next month we will be making a list of all the seeds we have and what seeds we need in order to plant a large garden to supply our family with enough food to last until the next season , with the cost of food continuing to rise we try to teach our children the benefits to all our hard work, and by growing our own produce we do not have to question whats in it, nor do we wonder where it came from! No GMO's on this homestead, just natural organic seeds grown in the earth that we are provided with and animal compost.
Everyone's needs are different so the amount we plant may be very different from your homestead but cucumbers are a must for us, the children love homemade pickles and relish and they are always the first item we run out of on the homestead. Tomatoes and squash are tied for second as the garlic is already in the ground, even though we only got 86 bulbs planted this year it will have to do as we did not have enough time to rip a large area before frost came. On top of that we are trying to begin some Apricot trees and Cherry trees from seed so we have them outside in pots in hopes that they will sprout in spring, sure they will take 3-5 years before producing us with any fruit but it will be well worth it to have our own trees.
Moving here was a quick and overly rushed decision and therefore we were unable to bring our greenhouse structure with us but it was made quite simply and kept the heat in enough that during spring and summer you would literally sweat buckets, so we will try to make a larger replica of our old design. Here on the homestead cheap and simple is the best way to go, so we tend to re-use a lot of items in order to suffice.
Up until we moved here our main source of heat was oil or propane, so splitting fire wood for the occasional wood stove fire was done by axe and a manual foot pumped log splitter. Yesterday we broke down and decided it was time to purchase a log splitter to help us split the logs we find lying in our forests, as now our only source of heat is our wood stove. We know its not the off grid way, nor is it helping reduce our carbon footprint but when you have eight young children to care for and enough chores around the homestead to fill your day the last thing you want to be doing is swinging an axe in the cold temperatures of the evening or in horrible weather.
So after a long day of assembling the heavy 22 ton log splitter and splitting two cords of wood, its now time to make dinner and prepare for another day of Christmas baking on the homestead.
Well December has almost come to an end and like all the children I was hoping for a white Christmas, which in the last few years meant a lovely white blanket of snow. This year however meteorologists are talking about a weather bomb, sure it would be the year that I move miles away from home that we would get a winter storm and not be able to have family attend, just my luck. So now our work around the homestead gets a bit busier as we roll the last couple bales of hay into the barn, make our animals bedding just a bit thicker to insure their warmth and unpack all the wool blankets, candles, flashlights and do a quick shop for bottled water just encase we do get hit by the storm.
With eight children on the homestead we are pretty prepared for anything. This past fall I canned as many preserves as I could before we up and moved, I always buy in bulk when it comes to such things as flour, sugar, coffee, tea, pasta....well you get the idea, and our freezers are full of our chicken and beef that we butchered as well. So all and all no matter what winter brings us, with our cupboards full, the wood stove burning to keep us warm and act as a back up stove top, water and lots of blankets for warmth I believe we will be set.
Today I took the time out of our busy schedule to sit down and finally make our own domain, being that I haven't used the computer much in the last four years it took most of the afternoon but I did it. I had started a blog before but found that it wasn't as personal as I would like it to be so I searched until I found what I thought we needed. Now you can visit us our adventures on the homestead, and visit our recipe page. Isn't technology wonderful.