Friday, November 13, 2015

8 Months

During this time each year, garden work is down to a minimum, daytime is shorter, work largely moves indoors, and we find ourselves being drawn to the corner of the house where the wood stove now glows at the end of each day.  For the first time since March, I find the time to write, despite my best intentions to be consistent with this space, year-round.

Today, I simply want to say, "Hello," and, "I've missed you," and "Here's what we've been up to and here's what's coming to the blog."

One of our two homesteading classes.
Planting the garden and milking twice daily dominated this month. We welcomed a new brood of pullets (future laying hens), and I co-taught two Intro to Homesteading workshops.

It's been such a pleasure teaching various classes with my friend, Lauren Dahl.  We have covered several gardening topics, home detoxing, non-toxic skincare, among other things.  I've wanted to share notes and recipes from the classes all year, and I plan to do just that throughout the next month!

Gigantic spinach!
Jeremy and I traveled to the Carolinas where he officiated his aunt's wedding on the gorgeous, Ocean Isle coast. Back home, the garden started to explode with springtime goodness.  Peas, parsnips, lettuce, carrots, and the biggest spinach leaves ever to come out of our garden!  Lauren and I taught an organic gardening class in my garden, mainly using the Back to Eden method. Be on the lookout for a post on what we shared at the class.

We wrapped up a beautiful year back to homeschooling and started planning for the following homeschool year. The days grew longer and I found myself in the garden every spare chance I could get. There was a dance recital, birthdays, a second family wedding that Jeremy officiated, our sixteenth anniversary, and our oldest daughter started rehearsal for the new Bethel Music Kids music video (BMK)!  I also taught a food preservation class, where we covered four methods (canning, fermenting, freezing, drying), and notes from this class are coming right up!

The big watermelon and the 3-year-old's new camera face.
Our girls all rehearsed for a summer musical, on top of Bekah's continuing BMK video rehearsals.  Family from Georgia visited for what felt to be way too short, but our time was precious with them. The garden was producing full speed ahead, and the majority of what we ate came from it, including a huge Moon-And-Stars variety watermelon!

Tartine's spelt sourdough! And an intoxicating Bavarian cream cake.
The girls' summer performance was amazing, filming began for BMK, and, because of the extreme August heat, the garden all but stunted for six weeks. Autumn planting began.  We took a family vacation to San Fransisco before school started. I made the pilgrimage to Tartine Bakery, voted the best sourdough in the country, and several of their loaves are 100% whole grain.  Oh, it was amazing.

School was full speed ahead, all the kids' extra curricular classes came back, filling up the schedule, and the van felt like a second home to us all.  We started pulling pumpkins, yams, and Brussels Sprouts from the garden and I officially caught the Autumn love-bug, even though the highs don't leave the triple digits until November.  I had the privilege of speaking at the Flourish Health Summit in Napa and was so happy my mom could come along!  We shared the best meal of our lives at Bouchon Bistro and I wanted to officially live in Oxbow Market.

Heirloom Boer Pumpkin!
Lauren and I taught a year-round gardening class and I can't wait to share all the info with you! The only thing is, our planting timeline will only apply to our area, but I'll try to find a place to search for your area's planting guide.  The milking goats were dried up and then bred.  We are expecting about six kids the beginning of March, and more milk than we'll know what to do with. I'm determined to be a consistent, avid cheesemaker this go-around. We celebrated more birthdays, surprised our animal-loving ten-year-old to a birthday trip to Wildlife Safari where she said it was the best day of her life.

My favorite month of the year is here.  The trees are gloriously red, yellow, and orange, the mountain tops are once again covered in blankets of snow, and cold weather has prompted baking to re-commence here in the kitchen, making the home constantly smell like heaven. I turned thirty-six, and am filled with thankfulness for being alive during this time in history.  There are people to love, foods to eat, a roof over our heads, and plenty of work to do, because, I am determined to do everything in my power to make this world better than before I entered it.  I say let's all get thinking, find out what we want to be about, follow our dreams, and work hard at it, starting now and never stopping.  Happy November, friends! It's good to be back.

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