Monday, February 15, 2016

Around the homestead- reflecting back on a good year and new year goals.

It's so hard to believe that it is 2016. The older i get the quicker time seems to move.  We are now almost 3 years post fire, and life is pretty much back on track. We have found our new normal, and are slowly turning this house into a home.

For Thanksgiving this year, almost everything came from the garden. i did purchase a Tofurky roast, which is more of a novelty than anything. It wasn't necessary for our meal, but we enjoy them and like the idea of a very 'traditional' thanksgiving meal even though we are vegetarian. Our meal included roasted roast vegetables, butternut squash soup, Acorn squash stuffed with apples, pecans and honey. Fresh salad, garlicy greens and pumpkin pie. 

My hens took a little time off to molt and rest over the winter, but now that the sun is returning they have begun to lay again. i'm really thrilled with the variety i'm getting now. Still just missing the blue. i took this photo in the snow and the colors really just popped.  i don't think i'll ever get tired of taking egg pictures. 

Just like every year, i had a lot of issues in the garden. We had a really wet  rainy summer, and it caused the diseases like Septoria leaf spot, early blight and powder mildew to spread like crazy. i harvest quite a bit, but it felt like i lost a lot as well.  Even though i was canning all summer, the canned goods were just stored in boxes and hidden away in the basement, so i really didn't know what all i had.  It kind of left me feeling like i had wasted the whole summer for nothing.

Then Kenan put in these shelves in the cold storage area downstairs and we pulled out all the canned goods and set them up on the shelves.  This is the first time ever i've had a pantry to store all of my canned goods. The shelves are  24" deep, so i can store a ton of food.  i also have my potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, onions and garlic in the baskets.  Below the shelves are storage bins with holiday decorations and craft supplies.  It's a pretty amazing feeling to see it all laid out like this and to really recognize all of the hard work i did over the summer. 

This spring we are planning to get a real greenhouse, fence the garden and really try to improve the soils in our gardens. We are also going to work on improving the goats area, and setting up our cistern to be solar powered. Kenan is also talking about getting an overflow tank for cistern.  That way we would have an almost unlimited supply of water for garden irrigation.

 We had also originally talked about putting in a second well, since ours is low flow and really doesn't produce enough water for our household, especially as the kids get older and want to shower more often. However after doing a bit of research, we are instead going to try to tap into two artisan spring heads that are behind the house.  The goal is to set up a 1500 gallon potable water tank using solar powered water pumps.

So yeah, we have a lot of plans for the year.  i will try to document our progress, but it seems more and more difficult to find the time to put together these posts. Even now in the winter when i have more time, i spend it working on dolls, jewelry or in the glass shop.  i'll be posting about that eventually as well. i'm really excited about the work i am doing this year, and look forward to share


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