A journal of our day to day; homesteading and homeschooling in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Keeping busy during never ending winter days
We have been having the craziest weather ever here in the Interior of Alaska as well as the rest of the state from what I hear. Usually our snow is gone by now and we are approaching "Green Up;" the day that you look at the hills and they are spring green. Instead our temperatures haves been between twenty and a little above freezing for the last several weeks. Not only that but we've been getting snow almost daily for the last week. It has been very pretty; large white feathery flakes drifting down. If this were last spring I would be really down right now. Miraculously I'm doing alright, biding my time, knowing it can't last. I told the kids we are just skipping spring. Summer is going to come crazy fast.
I never thought we'd have to do so much work to hive bees. I shoveled a lot of snow to get these girls set up. Partially because I moved them from their previous home in the greenhouse, to a location at the top of our garden, going for out of the way but an early sun spot.We've been keeping busy between caring for our new doeling Dahlia, several flats of starts indoors, new chicks in the hallway and we've checked on the bees once now.
I turned in our fourth quarter work samples to the homeschooling office today, and that felt good to be done with "my homework" for the school year. I plan to continue lessons up through mid summer so we can take off for late summer and a harvest break.
I've been having fun in the kitchen lately. I don't know about you guys but I tend to get excited about changing our eating habits and I go through phases of this or that, but then I fall back into old habits. Six years ago I had gotten the books Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz Elix. Both of these books had me sprouting and fermenting our foods and trying to eliminate most processed foods out of our diet. Lately I've been noticing that we've been adding back in too many processed foods, namely white flour tortillas and Anne's mac and cheese have become staples for my kids lunches. I've also been making bread weekly that is more than half whole wheat and often has other grains as well, but it isn't sprouted or fermented.
I started reading some articles by Weston Price which led me back to reading through my almost forgotten cook books. As a result I'm trying to sprout or ferment most of our grain products again, with the hopes that our bodies will be able to digest, process and gain more nutrition from the grains we are eating. I've been playing around with some of my current recipes, granola bars, corn bread and tweaking them so that instead of making them on the fly I start soaking the grains or flour a day ahead of time. I also got a sourdough starter from a friend and today I made banana sourdough muffins - which the kids loved. Today I started soaking some flour to make homemade flour tortillas for tomorrow. I'm hoping to get in the routine of soaking and planning ahead before summer is in full swing. I'll share my recipes when they are fine tuned.
We are a family of four (with one more on the way), living in the Arctic Boreal Forest above Fairbanks, in the Interior of Alaska. I write about our simple life and trying to keep our life simple in a day when the typical American life is anything but. When I first started writing this blog I had a toddler and a baby and we were a growing homestead. I wanted to share our day to day and all the lessons we learned along the way, from mixing our own chicken feed to goat kidding season and cheese making. As our children have grown, home schooling has really taken over and I have had to examine every aspect of our lives to keep our days simple yet fruitful. These days you will still find me posting and sharing pictures of our chickens and garden, berry picking and salmon processing. I also hope to be writing about home schooling decisions and lessons as well as other interests and hobbies the kids and I explore. Reader interest and feedback is what keeps me writing, so please leave lots of comments!
The here and now of our homestead is what I'm writing about. Compelled by a sense that we are participating in something significant, heading back to our roots... this is my attempt to share what we are learning along our journey. For those of you on similar paths, whether you are raising kids, a flock of chickens, a couple goats or run a farm, well I'm hoping to learn from you as well, so feel free to put in your two cents!