A journal of our day to day; homesteading and homeschooling in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Sunday, February 2, 2014
Kids, geese and summer dreaming
A couple weeks ago, during our warm spell I was going about my chores and looked up to see the kids sitting side by side watching the geese play in their pool of fresh water. I grabbed the camera quick here are three of the resulting pictures. I thought to myself, what a great form of entertainment - so much healthier than the television. We had at least seven days where the roof dripped into baby pools and there was no ice on the top in the mornings. It was a mini vacation in the middle of what is usually our coldest month of the year. Of course the roads were terrible, but I almost always enjoy an excuse to stay home for several days straight.
Each morning we hauled buckets of fresh cold water that had melted off the roof the night before. The geese were in mid winter heaven. We are pretty certain we have a pair of Geese. For the longest time we thought we had two females because they were so much friendlier than our Toulouse geese. We've heard that the males are more vocal and have a higher pitched voice. Our smaller goose is much more vocal and higher pitched. He also puts himself between us and the other goose, who is bigger, much quieter with a deeper voice. I am already envisioning Daisy and Dilly leading a troupe of goslings around the property this summer!
I placed my seed order with Fedco last night. As usual I really didn't NEED much. I needed carrot, cucumber and kale seed and that's about it. I ate six bunches of kale this week in the form of kale chips. I am sooo addicted to kale chips that I'm beginning to think I need a garden of kale - way more than the six plants I usually grow. I'm excited about a couple new hot pepper varieties, and more of a diversity of heirloom flowers that I have never grown. We are going to attempt musk melons this year, as I've heard farmers say that they have much better luck with musk melons here than watermelons.
Yesterday I sat and looked at old issues of Backwoods Home, and other various homesteading/Hobby Farming magazines. I was mostly interested in the articles about Heritage Turkey and Chicken varieties. We are thinking about turning one of our two chicken coops into a place for some Bourbon Red or other Heritage Turkeys to winter over. Certainly not as productive as chickens - but we really don't need thirty some layers. I'm interested in diversity. I like turkey personalities. Dustin is able to butcher them easier than ducks and geese. We like the darker meat and having a variety of poultry meat. I'm also looking for a chicken breed that is a decent layer and has a meatier carcass. Anyone have some recommendations? I think we usually keep the higher egg layers which is nice until we hatch our own eggs and end up with 70% roosters.
We are gaining light daily and it is noticeable. We've been having clear sunny weather. The kids and I are skating with friend weekly on a local outdoor skating rink. This week it was sunny out whereas the last couple times we'd been it had been so dim even in the middle of the day. The house is not filled with sunlight yet, but soon. For now we are reveling in the the change of light. The humidity is higher than usual as well, which makes for frosty everything, frost covered hillside, frost covered trees and shrubs; making for a picture perfect Winter Wonderland.
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!