Sunday, January 18, 2015

2014: A Year in Review

Hey, look at me...the cool kid putting up my year in review post 18 days after the new year! Since it's about time for those new years resolutions to have fizzled out, grab yourself a cookie or two and check out what happened last year!

The new year started off COLD! And snowy. And I had an incredible case of cabin fever. As in, I was looking for villas in Italy and farms in France. I was convinced we needed to move to Europe. If you ever get bored, search for French farms. You can get some nice ones with 200 year old farmhouses.

But, I digress. 2014 for us was the year of the chicken. This was the year we were finally going to make the plunge into the world of poultry. It started by Dan planning and building a passive solar designed chicken coop. We had intended to get 20 Buff Orpington chicks from a local farmer, but she had some issues with her hatch. We instead for 3 chicks. While I had hoped to keep a flock of just Buffs as we read nothing but good things about them, I got bit by the feed store bug and ended up bringing home 8 assorted chicks. A local friend and her family were moving across the country, so we adopted their 10 hens. It was fantastic because we started with eggs right away instead of waiting! I recently wrote a blog for Grit about our foray into chickens. Check it out!

The garden wasn't anything to write home about this year. We had hopes of fencing in the garden, but any efforts were immediately crushed by the chickens. Once they got a taste for the was all downhill. We did harvest 80 pounds of potatoes and dried beans. I guess those are things that are unappealing to our flock!

We have been in fresh eggs since we have gotten our girls (and Rex!). Rex has proven to be an enigma, but is doing well now and has been taking good care of his girls. The girls have not taken any breaks from laying and we have learned that molting is rough. But, we are now those weird chicken people. My husband takes eggs to work and I'm already planning for a few colored egg layers for the spring!

When my kids give me the chance over the next few days, I'll be sharing with you our plans for the new year and a really cool website I've found!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! And happy anything else I might have missed in the last few weeks! Things got really crazy over the holidays with family visiting and time has gotten away from me. But, I'm back! And ready to share new and fun things with you all!

This past week was COLD! We are so fortunate we have a woodstove because the sun was pretty darn shy this week. Between keeping the woodstove stoked and making sure the chickens were fed and watered proved to be a tiring week for me. But, the temperatures are rising and the chickens were out pecking around today. We were out planning out our vineyard and fencing options for the garden. It is shaping up to be a really exciting spring between garden fencing, remineralizing the soil, and putting in our orchard and vineyard.

I hope to get a year end recap up this week - you know, only 2 weeks late. And I'll share with you an exciting Christmas gift. And our new years goals. Wow. I have a lot to catch up on! But, it is all exciting and I hope you'll check back to come along for the ride.

Although the sun hasn't been out much, there have been some pretty awesome sunsets. That's one of the best parts of living on the hill!