Spring, Summer, and Fall are definitely very busy seasons on the homestead. Spring means farm babies and getting the garden in, summer days are full of managing the garden and livestock, and fall days are spent hunting, butchering, harvesting, and putting up food for winter. Winter is definitely the least busy of all the seasons, but it too has its important work.
For us winter means planning – gardens, breedings, goals, new projects, etc. It is a time for cleaning, sorting, and organizing. It also is our chance to get in a lot of mending, sewing, and other heritage arts. It is basically the time we can get around to all the indoor things that don’t fit in the other seasons where we are outdoors most of the time.
Cleaning and Organizing
We have been going through closets, storage, cupboards, shelves and drawers tidying and organizing and purging. It feels great to get rid of stuff we don’t need, and to know what we have, why we have it, and where it is.
The girls and I have been doing a lot of mending and sewing. I have been making several new skirts for the three of us. I was particularly happy with this brown corduroy one that I made for Sunshine:
Sunshine has been trying out different patterns for pin cushions:
Little Miss has been helping me with the skirts, and also knitting some boot cuffs for a friend.
Three weeks ago we started our first kraut fermenting in the new 3-gallon crock we got for Christmas. We used a new recipe, one that came with the crock. It included red cabbage, onions, potatoes, marjoram, thyme, salt, and olive oil. It can ferment up to 8 weeks, but you can try it out after 3 weeks. So we took some out this week and tried it. It was SO good. And I don’t generally like sauerkraut, but I really like this recipe. So yummy. Now we can take it out of the crock as needed and let it continue to ferment as well.
Goat Kid Prep
We got out the lambing, kidding kit and checked it, cleaned it, and restocked what needed restocking. You can read about what we put in our kit by clicking here.
Heidi is our first goat due and she is due February 14, which is about 3 weeks away. We have been told that the tendons near the tail are the most accurate way to predict when a goat is getting ready to kid. Heidi’s tendons have started relaxing just today and her udder is filling. We are not sure if it is just the start of a three week process of those tendons relaxing, or if potentially she is going to go sooner. Time will tell. Once we learn these particular goats’ signs and symptoms it will be easier for us to each year. We know our sheep, Fiona, very well because we have gone through two lambings with her and she did the same thing both times.
We are beginning to prepare for an incubation. We don’t have fertile eggs at this time because we don’t have a rooster, but we are going to incubate some Blue Laced Red Wyandotte eggs from a friend. The plan is for them to hatch right at the same time that the chicks we ordered from the hatchery arrive so we can brood them all together. We haven’t done an incubation in about 2 years, so we are pretty excited! The eggs are coming from a lower altitude, and we have learned through experience that our high altitude definitely effects hatch rates, so it will be interesting to see how it goes.