Most of our winter days are filled with schoolwork and indoor activities. Being from the South we really haven't gotten into much for the outdoors here. We still have our farm chores that need to be taken care of...and added chores of hauling in wood and shoveling (plowing) snow. This place is absolutely beautiful in the winter. I find myself wanting to learn to cross country ski, or ice skating, just because I could still be outside. I honestly don't know what keeps us from doing these things, but we just haven't.
Today our morning adventure was a bit more than usual. It's really windy...which is typical. However today hit the fence to the sheeps pen just right and sent it flying...allowing Annie and Oakley to make a run for it. They didn't go far, but they did visit with the horses and give the kids and dogs a good run trying to get them back in. Since we are depending on the wood stove for the majority of our heat there was an extra load to bring in. Oh and the wind took a trash bag out, which the dogs then thought was an open buffet. It makes for happy kids.
I do get a lot of time to think, plan, wish, dream, and so on when stuck inside. That is both good and bad. I've decided that no matter where I end up I want to have a farm. This is the life that I want. I enjoy having the animals, the fresh eggs, the fresh meat, wool and so on. I know that I truly do want a dairy cow...I'm thinking a Jersey...with a calf to raise for meat. I also then want pigs...at least 2 to go along with the turkeys, chickens and sheep. I know that a goat would be smaller, and maybe a better answer, but you can do so much with cow's milk...especially ice cream!!!!!
From there then my thoughts wonder to my garden. This is actually when my mind switches back and forth to moving to a warmer location. I want to be able to have a full garden in order to can, as well as be able to enjoy fresh through the season. Here there is only one season. There is no spring cool weather crop, summer warm weather crop, and fall cool weather crop....just one season of cool weather crops. I'm learning what to grow and how. I haven't mastered it by any means. I think the peppers and tomatoes are the biggest things that I want to grow that I haven't been able to. I would also like fruit trees, and melons....but those would be for another time and place. I hope to at least double my garden beds, install an outdoor sink, and maybe an actual greenhouse in the near future. Then I can fence it all in to keep the moose from eating it. (Guess no different than deer.)
The more I read the more this seems right. The more it challenges me to want to make from scratch...everything from our food to our clothing and everything in between. The phrase I read today that has stuck in my head from "Folks This Ain't Normal" (Joel Saltin...excellent book) is something like this....Coke cola is considered safe for you but raw milk is not. Crazy thought...don't get me wrong coke is one of my down falls, but I can understand the thought behind it. There is nothing in coke that is good for you...it has no benefits whatsoever....only calories and junk to put in your body for flavor. Whereas milk....well you get the picture. There are just some things that don't make a lot of sense. I made bread today...I used flour, salt, yeast and sugar...(and a sourdough starter) I know exactly what is in it. I don't have preservatives in it...it needs to be eaten within a few days...or frozen....never gets there anyhow. It hasn't sat on shelves for 2 weeks and been shipped across country from bakery to store. I know how clean or unclean my kitchen is...and all that is included in the process. I am thinking that I like that feeling and I would like to know that about more of what we eat...and what I feed my children. I look forward still to the day when we sit down to a meal and everything is from scratch...from our farm....that will be a day of accomplishment. The only thing that probably won't be is the sweet tea. (I'm southern just some things I can't give up)
So as another short day passes by (the light is out longer) I'm getting closer and closer to a full spring/summer/fall of increasing the life on this farm. I've also come to the conclusion that it may not be an exact farm that I'm building...but a homestead. I can only pray that someday the rest of my family will catch onto my dreams and help me to put us into a place where hubby don't have to work, and this is a lifestyle that we would enjoy. I don't know how....I'm so used to a "normal" life that it would be completely different. I do know that it takes a lot of work....and a family to help make it work.