Category: This Month On The Homestead

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These Two Months On The Homestead: October Apple Cider and November Snow

October and November 2021 These are the tipping point months. The months that descend into true, deep, orange fall and coast through a rough outline of winter. Leaves are loud in October–they change, they fall, they take up all the space, they are glorious. November brings a more reserved beauty, forcing us to notice the contours of denuded trees, to hear the tingle of ice-encased branches tapping their nearest neighbors, squeaking out the soundtrack of...

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These Two Months On The Homestead: August Apples and September Sugar Wood

August and September 2021 The harvest frenzy starts in August and doesn’t let up until October. These months represent the bounty of what we grow, what we harvest and what we preserve for winter. As I write this in mid-October, I’m ready to put the gardens to bed. Ready for the welcome blanket of snow that signifies my outdoor labor is done until spring. Welcome to my series documenting life on our 66-acre Vermont homestead, which...

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These Three Months On the Homestead: May Flowers, June Berries and July Chickens

May, June and July 2021 I have not disappeared into the woods. Or lost my internet connection. Or forgone my enthusiasm for inundating the internet with chicken photos. I’ve just been…. busy! Not even an interesting or original excuse, but the plain truth. I didn’t anticipate or prepare for the fantastic upending of our routines brought by this summer. As I shared in my last Monthly Expense Report, it was a summer of visitors and...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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:...

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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...