Sunday, November 14, 2010

We find these amanita mushrooms every November:
Here's one of our 11 year old's watercolors for her art class:

It has been a while since posting, I think because I am still catching my breath after finishing our house inspections and feeling like we are sort of done with our house. Also homeschooling is in full swing as I juggle schooling three kids at once. It is going pretty well; I've realized that our 8 year old needs to skip up to a more complicated math book and I an really excited that our 5 year olds reading has really coming along. Our 11 year old is also doing very well with her studies, art, dance and piano. The garden is winding down but we have lots of cool weather crops in the ground like beets, chard, kale and cabbage, and lots of onions, garlic and squash stored. Today I hope to plant some garlic (late as usual) and I am going to roast one of our home raised, home slaughtered turkeys. A little early for it, but it will be good!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I just built my own house and all I got was this stupid piece of paper!

Today we had our final building inspection with the county, and passed of course! I took the kids to a park today so they wouldn't be in the inspector's way, while Brian spent several hours panicking, waiting for the inspector to show up. Everything was great, and we got this little piece of paper saying we were approved. Kind of anticlimactic actually. Now we get to spend the rest of our lives doing bits of finish work, cob and glassing in a sun room/greenhouse, building a rainwater catchment swim pond... but at least we are finished with the county. I brought Brian home some beer and pizza to celebrate, and now he is back to work!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Just posting some quick garden photos and then back to braiding large amounts of onions!

Brian planted about 100 kohlrabi plants this year. Does anyone really need that much kohlrabi?
Lemon cukes!

Friday, July 23, 2010

We have been super busy lately: trying to keep on top of the weeds, caring for the animals, and trying to get some last things done on the house so we can get our final inspections done on the house before Brian goes back to school. He's put a sink in the mudroom (great for washing produce, garden tools and muddy kids) and is almost done with our shower! Here are some garden pictures from this evening:

Our daughter is the one who takes all the photos in our family. She has the nicer camera and enjoys photography, so almost all our blog photos are hers. Unfortunately that means we don't have as many pictures of her to post!
She started her own blog to post some of her photos and the art she is working on for drawing class. You can see it here.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


It is pretty hot today, mid-nineties, and should be just as hot or hotter tomorrow. This morning we rushed around watering plants and giving extra buckets of water to the animals. They need lots of water on days like today. Now we are mainly working inside.

A few days ago we harvested our garlic. I have been braiding the softneck varieties and hanging bunches of the hardnecks. I easily use at least one whole garlic bulb per meal (bulb, not clove) so we need lots for eating, planting in the fall and for gifts.

Yesterday we beat the heat by going to our favorite spot on a nearby river. It was beautiful but the water was really cold!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Turkey day

Yesterday we butchered our three turkeys. It went well; poultry is pretty easy to turn into food. It always amazes me how quickly it goes from being our animal to something we can put on the table. Our four year old was especially fond of the turkeys so he wasn't happy that we were going to be eating them. I really liked our turkeys; I think they imprinted on humans because they really liked us. As chicks they would peep when we left the room, and as they grew they would follow us around. I know they have a reputation for stupidity, but I found them to be really sweet, though a little simple. It is never easy killing one of our animals, but at least I know that our meat had a great life roaming free and a fast death.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sorry the blog has been so quiet. Between all the work that needs to be done on the house, land and garden, plus my homeschooled kids' social life, there just hasn't been much time. Finally we have some sun and the plants are really growing! Unfortunately so are the weeds...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

After 4 1/2 years without a computer, we finally have internet. It took us a very long time to get the internet lines put in (we had other priorities!), and have been blogging from our library or a family member's computer, but last week our local communications co-op came out to hook us up. We are pretty excited but also a little cautious about its potential as a time-waster. Here are some pictures our daughter has recently taken:

Monday, May 31, 2010

Countdown to the market!

Our first market of the year will be this coming Saturday, June 5th, from 10-2! We have been having very cool, wet weather, and it is supposed to be raining Saturday, but we will be there! We should have our goats milk soap, lettuce, greens, radishes, green onions, possibly strawberries, and more. All grown organically and hand made by us! Please come out and support the market!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wet, wet, wet!

We've had lots of rain this week. Everything is very soggy, and the slugs are loving it! I am liking that I don't need to worry about watering though. We had a busy weekend working on house stuff; Brian poured and tiled the mudroom floor and I worked on lime plastering. I just couldn't bring myself to get soaked working in the garden, and I don't like weeding when the ground is so saturated any way. Our new chicks and baby goats are growing fast, and the turkeys are getting huge! Here are some new garden photos:

Friday, May 14, 2010

More kids!

This week the boys came running in announcing that there were two more baby goats in the goat house! Our oldest goat, Nettle, kidded for her fourth time. She is a pro-mama, so she was already licking and talking to her babies, then birthed her placenta a promtly ate it up! No mess to clean up for us. I have a good connection with her so I sat down next to her while she licked her babies and nuzzled me. My other milk goat, Rose, is a little less lovey, so I give her lots of space to bond with her kids, but Nettle is happy to let me be with them. Her udders were pretty full and low, which makes it harder for the new kids to latch, so I helped them get the hang of nursing. I was struck by how peaceful it is spending time with my animals. I need to remember that feeling the next time they sneak through a fence or when I struggle to trim their hooves!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ugh, Slugs!

We have been blessed so far with very few pest problems. We get our aphids here and there but nothing terrible. But here in the cool, moist Pacific Northwest; slugs are always an issue. They can cause serious damage to our new sprouting seeds in one night. We had some tomatoes in our cold frame and Brian pulled them in when he saw some slug damage. Of course that meant bringing lots of slugs, beetles and even a snake into the house with the pots! I just know that the weather will warm up, the plants will get bigger and the slugs will be less of an issue, but right now they are driving us crazy!

Monday, May 3, 2010

We've had a pretty busy week. We had a birthday party for our two older kids (turning 11 and 8) plus some friend's kids as well. So we spent more time doing land and house clean up and cooking, and less time weeding and planting. Sunday was our day to plant and weed in the garden so we put in more beets, cabbage, zucchini and summer squash. It is that funny time of year when the sun shines and we are roasting, and then it goes behind a cloud and it feels too cold!

Here are some recent photos of baby goats, chicks and wild boys!

Friday, April 16, 2010


We had some new goat kids born early this week. I expected our goat Rose to kid on the 15th, but the trio came a few days early. I had hoped to catch some birthing pictures with my camera, but she had her babies without us knowing! What a fun surprise. Now we are waiting for our goat Nettle to kid in a few weeks. It is a big change having to milk twice a day again. I enjoy milking but it was nice to have a little break in the goats last months pregnancy. Hopefully we can post photos soon.
We have been busy taking care of seedlings, planting potatoes, and making new garden beds. After a month of colds, the flu and travel to see family; we are ready to have a weekend to get a lot of work done. So we will be planting, planting, planting!