|We had a lot of snow in January|
January's house project was continuing work on our small second bathroom. Dan installed a new water heater, turning the tiny, old pantry into a utility room. We began to think about future water conservation systems and started making plans for remodeling our kitchen. In January we got our "big snow." This was the month I lost Charlie. Our outside project was preparing the overgrown field for our first planting of field corn.
|Things always look better on the other side of the fence|
In February, we finished remodeling the bathroom. We started to tear into the kitchen, but decided we'd better do the back porch first, to use as a temporary kitchen. I also started this year's garden plans, deciding to try a companion group garden.
|Our experimental wheat patch was coming along.|
In March we worked on the back porch: put in new back door, leveled the floor, and installed a kitty door. We also interviewed electricians about moving the circuit breaker box. I worked on my goal to conquer the wire grass and I moved all my strawberries to 2 new beds.
|April was kidding month|
In April we continued to make progress on the back porch by installing a laundry sink. We planted our field corn and added two Hugelkultur beds to the herb garden. In April, our first goat kid was born, followed by Surprise's Easter twins.
|Fort William, our log buck barn (complete with Pygmy bucks)|
May's kidding was less successful as Jasmine gave birth to a stillborn. We sold our grade goats and used to money toward buying two Pygmy bucks. To prepare for that, Dan built a log buck barn. I discovered I could make whipped cream from goat milk. Hot discussion topics on my blog included 2nd year egg laying, and immunities and goats milk. In the house, we installed folding attic stairs in the back porch ceiling.
|My companion group gardening|
experiment was going well
In June we harvested our small experimental patch of wheat and fenced off a section of pasture for the bucks. We started preparations for the electrical work on the house, and I made my first experiments with cheesemaking. June also seemed like a good month to rearrange and inventory the pantry, in preparation for this year's harvest.
|Homestead mozzarella on homemade pizza|
In July, we made our Kinder herd name official. All month I had to compete with the goats for the blueberries. The field corn was out of control. In July, I mastered the art of mozzarella making, we revised our homestead master plan, and had my 1st broody hen.
|We had 2 home hatched & 16 mail order chicks|
In August I showed you our new chicks. It was the month we started serious work on the kitchen: milling our own load bearing ceiling beam, removing a load bearing post (in the middle of the kitchen floor), and replacing it with Dan's beam. This month we had a horrific storm that knocked out my computer. We finished fencing part of the woods for a buck browse, and lost our Pygmy buckling shortly after that.
|Calico popcorn, part of September's harvest|
September was the month we relocated and installed a new kitchen back door. I bought new kitchen windows to replace the old, and we got the first one installed, but not without difficulty. An extension of that project was new exterior siding on that section of the house. In September, we harvested our field corn and started the fall garden.
|By October, the pantry shelves were full|
In October I began to work out some of the details for my kitchen plans. We finished the electrical upgrade and painted the new siding. We had a bumper crop of pecans, and I got my first Meyers lemon. I also tallied my first food preservation totals for the year and we planted about a quarter acre of winter wheat. Our 1st frost was Oct. 30th.
|In November we took major steps in the kitchen remodel.|
November was the month I lost Katy. Dan finished the chinking on the buck barn. In the kitchen, we tore down the odd, old wall cabinets and moved the pantry door. We bought a water filter and I learned how to can green tomatoes for frying. All month long I foraged for persimmons for the first time, and got about a quart of pulp to freeze.
|In December we got the|
wood cookstove installed
December was mild but wet, and a big month for working on the kitchen. Dan rebuilt a section of the kitchen floor to level it for our woodcook stove, we tore out the last of the kitchen cabinets and got the wood cookstove in. We also installed the second new window, insulated that wall, and put up the drywall. I wallpapered the dining nook. In addition, the chicks were 5 months old and creating a ruckus. Dealing with that seemed to mark a change in our homestead journey.
That's our look back at 2011. 2012, here we come.