A journal of our day to day; homesteading and homeschooling in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Friday, January 24, 2014
Our winters are so long and cold that sometimes I feel guilty raising children here. I dream about land with a creak that runs all winter. The kids and I walk through the pasture, and along a path through the woods where we sit and listen and observe the wild life at the creek. My dream homestead get's snow, but it doesn't stay for six months, and it gets cold, but not so cold that we can't play outside every day.
This has been an unusually warm winter. The best part has been that the kids have come outside with me almost every day which is so healthy and positive for us all. It isn't just the warmer temperatures because even on the few days that have been twenty below zero, they still followed me out and insisted on playing outside. Part of it is their ages. At five and seven they can move easier through the snow. They can move briskly which keeps the toes and fingers from getting cold. Some days they come with me and help milk goats and help gather eggs and carry feed to the chickens. Other days they go off and play make believe on the hillside. They sled. Noah plummets down the hill on his skis. We get the doelings out most days so that they get use to being around us. I don't have to worry about them being rough with the kids, as I do with a couple of the older goats. On days where we finish all our chores and are still warm and comfortable outside, we get the goats out for a walk down the driveway.
This is Denali, the kid's favorite and therefor the friendliest doeling. She is very personable and follows us around wherever we go. She looks like she has pretty great conformation from what I can tell. We've been waiting for a strong doe out of Xanadu for years now, and I think we may finally have one.
When we get the goats out they nibble mostly on Willow and any Spruce boughs that are low enough to reach. They eat Birch leaves that have fallen, dried Fireweed that sticks up above the snow level, and Usnea moss that grows on the sides of the Birch trees. Sometimes the kids and I wade into the snow to bring them back dried rose hips. We may not have green grass, but at least we have Boreal forest browse for our browsers; makes for healthier goats and healthier milk.
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!