Monday, September 12, 2011

back into a good routine

Finally I feel like nesting and cooking and cleaning, it's not that I haven't been cooking or cleaning, it's just that now I have more time to devote to it.  This whole last month has been beautiful and sunny, and I've been outside both working at the nursery on weekends, and working on our growing farm.  Now that the kids are back in school as of last Thursday, and husband is leaving for work early, I have some much needed time to work on things.  I have missed looking at other blogs and writing in mine.  The tiny bit of computer time that I've had, has been spent checking my email in the evening and that's about it. 

If you've been following this blog, I just wanted to say hello, and let you know I didn't intend to be gone so long,  guess I just needed a break and didn't realize it.  I'm feeling inspired, and have even spent some time catching up on other blogs I follow.  I should know by now that Fall is always the time of year I begin to feel more creative.

Many things need my attention right now, especially my house. I have painting to do before the weather turns cold and wet, and cleaning and organizing that need to been done, kind of like Spring cleaning, only in the Fall.  I'm harvesting crops today as tonight is a harvest moon, picking the rest of my green cabbages for sauerkraut and kimchee. And this morning I picked a giant zucchini, that grew out of control over our hot weekend, I'll make a couple of zucchini breads.  There are black berries and filberts to harvest and greens to continue to sow.  The garden has taken off with all the gorgeous weather, we are still picking strawberries, aronia berries, carrots, beets, onions, broccoli, kale, lettuce, potatoes and turnips. The pickling cucumbers are almost ready to harvest, and the delicata squash is growing like crazy.  The vegetable garden is the best this time of year, in September it shines.

In the rabbitry I have a new 9 week old American Chinchilla coming tomorrow.  I decided to go with American Chinchilla's instead of Silver Fox's after seeing them at the fair this year.  About a week ago we sold Peppermint our Angora rabbit, a real nice lady came all the way from the San Juan Islands to buy her,  she is going to be bred and will use their fiber.  Several weeks ago I also rescued 2 rabbits from a house near my work, some people moved and left them.  The 2 rabbits looked awful and I've been watching them come back to health with good food and care.  Pictures will be coming soon.  I am planning to just stick with the 2 breeds for now, the Champagne d'Argents and the American Chinchilla's, both are meat and fur breeds in the 9-12lb range.

The goats are doing great, I'm still milking both Joon and Zolena, and get about a gallon a day, between the 2.  We've been drinking it, baking with it, and making yogurt.  I've also been in contact with our Nubian's breeder to discuss a good buck to breed Jersey to, as we're getting close to that time.  Our newest baby goat Snowdrop is still too young to leave her mother, but we're looking forward to her coming here around early October.   Fencing is my next big expense, as I want to increase their paddock size considerably.  About a week ago, we laid out the corner posts for the new goat barn... patience!

I'm still working weekends, but that will wind down around the end of October, and then won't start up again until the first of April, the nursery business is seasonal around here.  So all through the dark and cold winter you'll probably find me here writing more.  I'm planning to make soap in a couple weeks, and will use the goat's milk.  I'm also planning to make a variety of cheeses, and breads, and will write about both.  Jarin has  resumed building the cabin, so some new pictures will be coming of the progress there too.

Here at Applegarth farm, we have been working at getting more self sufficient than ever these last 10 years, starting with gardens, then bees, fruit trees, rabbits, chickens, and now goats.  I can finally tell you, our land and animals are sustaining us, as well as we are sustaining them.  It is one of the best feelings I've ever felt, to eat everyday the freshest food, that we've grown, planted, harvested, and milked.  To start a fire and heat and cook with wood we've cut, chopped and stacked. With small steps you can look back in time and see how far you come over the years.   Day by day the choices we make determine our future.


bluetick said...

Welcome back and we all can understand how we all need a break from time to time. Glad to hear your farm is progressing nicely and it is nice to see the fruit of your labor finally coming on.

Look forward to seeing how the cabin is coming and can't wait to see the goats again.


Jewel said...

Thanks Tracy, It feels good to slow down a little and take time to reconnect with some of the pen pals I've made across the country. The cabin got put on hold while survival (making money) took over. Now we have a buyer for it, so it's going to be fun to watch it take shape.
Happy Fall!