|The living room was warmer and lighter after the bay window was built.|
Our winter house project was the front porch, which by January meant replacing the old living room windows. In their place, Dan built a bay window. It was the month we lost Gruffy, and it was the month I started planning our first forest garden hedgerow.
|The hedgerow now divides our front one acre pasture into two sections.|
In February we got to work on that hedgerow. It was also the month we chose to be roosterless for awhile, never suspecting we'd have a volunteer day rooster ready to take over the job.
|Helen and three of her quads|
In March my first Kinder kids were born - quadruplets. We got the hedgerow fenced and gated, and planted. Our indoor project of the month was finishing the window seat for the bay window.
|Our first hive of bees.|
This was bee month. We assembled our hive kit, painted and named it, set it up, and installed a 3# package of honeybees. We also had our year's second goat kidding - a pair of twin doelings.
|Black Australorp chicks|
In May one of my Buff Orpington hens went broody. Dan and I were wanting to try something new, so I ordered 16 Black Australorp chicks for my broody to adopt. Mrs. Broody and I had a battle of the wills in regards to her nest location, until she finally said, "Forget it." That meant hand raising the new chicks with no mama. Subject to much speculation was whether or not Polly Pig was pregnant. It was also the month our walk-behind tractor died.
|Two of my new doelings with one of my home-born girls.|
June brought a hot start to summer. I worked in the garden and fussed with my bees. The big news was expanding my little Kinder herd with three new doelings from Illinois. I had plenty of milk coming in and resumed mozzarella making.
|Six newborn American Guinea Hogs|
Polly surprised us with six piglets in July. I hadn't even been sure she was pregnant. We worked on the house some, getting another new window installed plus trimming out the new front door. The big news was that we bought a farm tractor!
|Prototype goat chow maker|
Dan's big project in August was making a goat feed chopper out of our old yard mulcher. He also finished the living room so that we could use it again. In critter news it was the month Valentine (aka Meowy) came to live with us, and I traded one of Polly's piglets for six Muscovy ducks.
|Ozark Razorback Cowpeas|
It was a busy month in the garden: summer garden harvest, planting the fall garden, and starting on a hoop house. In all his spare time, Dan also made a little progress on the front porch.
|Our pullets started laying just in time for a winter egg supply.|
October is the month we get ready for winter. Firsts included Australorp eggs, raccoon stew, and a new method for planting winter pasture. I had just read Masanobu Fukuoka's The One-Straw Revolution was able to modify one of his techniques.
|Hoop house under construction|
First frost came in November so it was the month of finishing the summer harvest. It was a very rainy month so little got done outside. I spent my days trying to get Critter Tales ready for print, so I didn't do much blogging.
|Dining room windows are in and needing trim (both inside and out).|
In early December I was finally able to announce the release of Critter Tales and hold a giveaway to celebrate. During the month's first cold rainy days I cleaned out the freezer and worked on jams, jellies, and pizza sauce. Warm days followed, and when it wasn't raining we were able to make much progress on replacing our dining room windows.
And that's been our year! How about you?