Our Homesteading Year in Review

| 12/31/2015 10:34:00 AM

Tags: gardening, seasons, maple syrup, foraging, Becky Sell, Wisconsin, pig, butchering, preserving, smoking, deck, wood stove,

Transitional TraditionsAs the final days and hours of 2015 tick down one by one, I have to look back on this busy year and just marvel at all the was accomplished. In the moment, in the the craziness of life, it seems as though very little was getting done. However, the fruit of our labor is plain to be seen as we are finally able to sit back and breathe a little.


I think the easiest way to sum it up is to go from month to month:

January: We ordered our seeds in preparation for a large preserving garden. There are few plans online or in the books for how to plan and order a garden of the magnitude we were hoping for: 500 square feet, give or take. A lot of my winter hours were spent sketching and erasing on graph paper just what we would plant and where.

February: We waited until the end of the month, then began racks and racks of seedlings in an indoor greenhouse. It was just one of those cheap stands you can get at any hardware store, but the seedlings sprouted right away. New for me was beginning flowers indoors. I was hoping for a cottage garden this year; a mix of veggies and flowers for a lovely destination garden.

March: Our seedings were doing well, but getting gangly. I needed to get them some substantial sunlight and soon. Luckily, spring began right on time in March, so while the seedlings grew, we scrambled to get our sap buckets ready for the annual sap run. The rest of the month was filled with five gallon buckets of tree water and various attempts to boil down the sap into sweet sticky syrup. It was also this month that I gave up homeschooling and sent the oldest two back to our public school. The younger two were still home with me but with the removed stress of schoolwork, I was able to dive head first into Spring. In March, we began plotting out and fencing in our cottage garden.

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