Category: This Month On The Homestead

35

This Month On The Homestead: Starting Seeds and Picking Flowers

April 2021: The End of Sugaring Season Final maple syrup count: we made 19 quarts this year! Our sugaring season is over, thanks to the weather warming up, the trees starting to bud out and–crucially–the fact that we ran out of the filters we use to sift sediment out of the syrup. We boiled sap much later in the season than in past years as the gradation in syrup color reflects. We canned five different...

60

This Month On The Homestead: A Patch of Grass, A Gallon of Maple Syrup and Some Lambs

March 2021 Grass! Grass! In March, we found a patch of grass and stomped around on it for five hours straight. It snowed again a few days later and stole away our grass patch, but we were warmed by the memory of our early spring reverie. Join Me on Zoom on April 28th Ok this is not related to homestead life, but I’m going to be LIVE at the Bigelow Library in April! Actually over...

33

This Month On The Homestead: Tapping Maple Trees and Tapping Into Self Care

February 2021 = Maple Syrup Prep! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, it’s the best we can do while it’s freezing cold and snow’s covering everything because… we tapped our sugar maple trees. Yep, walked around and lightly struck each tree. Maple syrup coming soon: by which I mean in a month. Nothing moves quickly out here, which I am on board with, as everyone who has ever emailed me can attest...

52

This Month On The Homestead: Bonfires In The Snow and Leisure Cilantro

January 2021 We are in the season of snow every day. Maybe a lot, maybe a trace. There’s no forecast to tell us what’ll happen: we look outside, we bring in more fire wood. It dips into single digits every night and still, we go outside every day. We hike, we sled, we cry (mostly the kids; sometimes me), and we love the cascade of monochrome. There is no beauty more distilled than fresh glitter...

62

This Month On The Homestead: Pancakes, Snow and Tractor Stuff

December 2020 Christmas at home and online, daily hikes, snowshoeing, baking cookies, fires burning in the wood stove and wrestling children into snowsuits. These are a few of our December things. And Bernie’s visit to the Glamour Shed. Pandemic “Homeschool” Continues My ‘give them real jobs’ approach to “homeschooling” continues with countertop wiping, laundry folding, egg scrambling, dishwasher loading, vacuuming, sweeping and… scribbling on any important paperwork they happen to find. All day long Littlewoods...

43

These Two Months On The Homestead: Halloween, Thanksgiving and of course, Wood Stacking

October AND November 2020 Oh yes, you get a double dose of homesteading because I neglected/forgot to write this up last month. But who even noticed?! It’s a pandemic! We had an election! This Month On The Homestead‘s timeliness does not rate. Fall in Vermont blows in with intention. No balmy leaf-crunchers here, fall is a rapid descent to winter. In a year that’s felt like a decade, November alone spanned several years. Wood Stacking:...

49

This Month On The Homestead: Pumpkins! Need I Say More?

September 2020 Our pumpkin crop is in! We (by which I mean I) harvested, rinsed, dried, and carried all the pumpkins from the patch to the house in mid-September. Started from seed in our kitchen last March, our pumpkins thrived and were–somehow–not eaten by a varmint. I now have pumpkins on every windowsill, each table, in all rooms (bathrooms included) and I am NOT SORRY. I love me a good pumpkin and the fact that...

31

This Month On The Homestead: Carrots, Sunflowers, Tomatoes, and Sugar Wood

August 2020 This month on the homestead, last month on the homestead, any month before that… it’s all running together in a stream of continuous, monochromatic green. Nevertheless, I’m thankful to be here, grateful for this space for my children to roam, not to mention I can go outside and scream into the void anytime I want. For example. August is abundance month, the final burst of life before we turn inward for a fall...

83

This Month On The Homestead: In The Garden, Picking Berries, Preserving Beans

July 2020 July is the month we settle into our summer routine. July is when we think the warmth and abundance will stretch into an infinite calendar. We forget about things like cars stuck in snowdrifts. July is intoxicating with its allure of an endless supply of cucumbers. So intoxicating that I almost give away our winter coats. This July especially, as we remain isolated and socially distanced, we are on our land, in our...

83

This Month On The Homestead: Who Wore It Best? Plus a Fire Pit and Some Radishes

June 2020 The first of the first comes ripe in June and oh how we feast. Or rather, oh how the kids feast. If anything actually makes it inside, it’s a summer miracle. Here’s what the girls ate straight from the garden in June: Snap peas!!! Ya’ll, I am on fire with this garden. I mean, on water? To be clear, fire is not ideal for a garden. I’ve been babying our pea pods for...