Monday, January 25, 2016

Half way to Spring

We are right in the middle of winter. It has been a very mild winter again this year. We have had very little snow. What snow we had turned to a layer of ice all over the homestead. This morning it is in the mid 30s and windy. I keep hoping for snow, but the clouds just keep sailing by. If we don't get enough snow we will miss the Iditarod start again. It's crazy to think that the East coast has had more snow than us here in Alaska. Just a quick up to date with the homestead, it isn't much further along than it was last year. We have added turkeys, which has been a lot of fun. We have a tom and three hens. The kiddo's have named them Fred, Ginger, Peanut and Pocahantas. They have grown a lot since last spring. We also added a mini coop as I call it. It really isn't that small. It is meant to be able to separate the new chicks from the older ones once they are big enough to be outside. Until then we will be using it to separate breeds so that we can have some buckeyes, orpingtons, or leghorns that aren't crossed. We increased our garden beds this year as well. As for this spring the plan is to enclose the garden area so that we can get some fruit trees, and hopefully keep the moose out. We are also going to finish getting the pasture area cleared so that we can start fencing it in. The next livestock animal we want to acquire is goats. I also want to get bees. Those are the short term goals for this coming year. As for schooling we have been moving along. I have one that graduates this year, always a sense of accomplishment and pride for their hard work. We have been working on so many different things. Thankfully having them at home they have been able to learn all types of things, not just from books. We have just started a pioneering unit this month. We are reading the Farmer Boy at the moment. I also have them learning life skills from baking bread, making cookies, mixing homemade cleaners, to gardening. I want them to be ready for all aspects of life when they are ready to leave home. Some days we spend the majority of the day in the kitchen and if someone walked in they wouldn't see it as "education" but I know that they are learning. Other days aren't as fun and we really do concentrate on getting the book work done. I am so thankful to be home with them again. We are making up for some lost time, spending more time together, and doing more together. We are relearning how to do things as a family not just individuals. I think that has to go right along with where homesteading has been steering us. My blog is Farm to is on it's way slowly. I have named it BBB (Blessed Beyond Belief). I am working on my skills on a daily basis as well as building my children's skills. As a family we are on a journey to be homesteaders. I have to remind myself that it is a daily thing, small steps, will get us to where we are headed. Do I have all of the livestock, barns, and routines that I think makes a homestead? No. We do have a start. Am I jumping in without planning and thinking things through this time? No. It was too heartbreaking last time. I'm reminding myself daily that it is a constant journey. I have to take joy in the small steps. Today we are making sourdough bread. I've collected 6 eggs, 3 warm enough to keep for the incubator (that we will start tomorrow). My turkeys are happy and gobbling, my chickens are all running in their run. My littles will be helping me plant seeds later today, and then doing a sheet in their gardening notebook. My preschooler may just color a tomato and pepper, my 2nd grader will maybe draw a plant starting from the seed....or even do a seed with a date, and then draw a sprout once it sprouts with a date and so forth. I'm very thankful that I have stepped back away from working outside the home. It isn't easy, but every minute is worth it. I'm looking forward to this year. It has just started and already have so many things unfolding. Maybe now I will be able to keep up just a little better.

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