I’ve been meaning to write about what we’ve been up to around the homestead over the winter, and now it’s going to be spring in a couple of days! We’re in that in between time now where we’ll be working in the sunshine in t-shirts during the day, but still need to start a fire in the woodstove to warm up the house on cold nights. Today Jeff and I finished unloading a whole truckload of soil. Garden season, here we come!
You would think that the homestead would be quiet in the winter, but there’s so much to get done in the wintertime. It’s not the whirlwind of fall with so much to harvest and process all at once, but it’s an important time for building infrastructure on the homestead and preparing for the next growing season. While not busy with dehydrating, canning, and freezing everything coming in from the garden… the food preservation continues as the marathon applesauce making of the fall turns into the marathon sauerkraut making of the winter. We’re always fermenting something around here.
We started a project in the fall that went into winter, and continues still. We had a few trees on the property removed, and the clean up from it was a huge job. (With more to do still.) My dad and stepmom came for a visit and brought their wood splitter, it was immensely helpful for that project, and we were very grateful. We had snow in December, which was an exciting event around here. We had winter storms and Jeff prepared by getting our generator under cover and better set up to use whenever it was needed.
Some storms were pretty crazy and one day we went to town and the road flooded behind us (with the back way also being flooded and blocked with downed trees), so we couldn’t get home until later that day when the water level receded. Another week there was a landslide between us and a nearby town. I wondered what crazy road closures were going to happen next.
We did our annual winter bonfire, and got a lot of clean up done around the yard. Winter is our rainy season, the only time it’s safe to have a bonfire in our area. Bringing in firewood, taking care of the quail, and doing projects around the yard kept me getting outside no matter the weather which I always ended up appreciating. Jeff and I moved one of our quail pens to a different location and built a new roof for it. Then we worked on our watering system for them. We’ve been busy with another building project that I look forward to sharing with you soon.
I did a much-needed pantry organization project, and we set up some more shelves in there because we always need more storage space. With all the food preserving we do, it needed to be better organized so we could more easily see what was there without things getting buried and forgotten about. We’re pretty good about eating up what we work hard to set aside, but it’s easier to navigate when there’s some sort of system to where everything goes.
We’ve had a good homeschooling rhythm this winter and every day I’m so grateful to be able to homeschool with B. He and Jeff discovered a new hobby they love doing together- cloning plants. They cloned all kinds of flowers and fruit over the winter- lilacs, figs, hydrangeas, goumis, seaberries, geraniums, and thornless blackberries. I might be forgetting some. Now we just need to build another greenhouse so we can start a nursery business. 🙂
What else were we up to this winter? We worked out in the shop a lot. I won’t elaborate on that because I’ve shared regular updates here so you could see what we were up to, and what was newly posted in our handmade shop online. Let’s see… I got the hardy kiwis trimmed back! (There’s still plenty that needs pruning, but I’ll celebrate each thing that gets crossed off the list.) Our friends came to lend a hand one day and helped us with so many things around the place- trimming fruit trees, clearing blackberries, and removing some trees. We also dug up our dahlia bulbs and got them separated out. It was amazing to Jeff and I how much we could accomplish with help, and made us want a group here all the time.
Jeff had eye surgery in February to remove a cataract. He was relieved to have that over and done with. For Valentine’s Day we gave B an orchid flower. He had really been wanting an orchid plant and it was Jeff’s idea to get one for him. (They are my plant guys.) I heard orchids were hard to keep alive and felt a bit intimidated, but currently B has two orchid plants and they are doing well. Well, this is turning into a book and it’s past my bedtime, so I’ll wrap things up. It’s March and lots of seeds are being planted, and we’ve been busy in the garden. This space has felt quiet and I look forward to hearing what you’ve all been up to! I’d love to hear if you feel like leaving a comment. Thank you for joining me here.