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Snapshots of Winter

One of the defining winter events began in September when we left on a family holiday to the west coast, leaving the male goat frisking among his female friends as if we didn’t know any better.  Fast forward five months to a February cold snap and we were welcoming soggy kids at a rate of about two every six hours.  When you are on guard and catch them within minutes to get them dry, they survive the initial arrival, but then begins the rest of the work- making sure mamas are producing enough milk and sharing it about equally with all their kids.  Without warm weather and green grass, drinking warm water several times a day becomes the primary way to ensure milk production, so Mr. Farmer got his workouts carrying water from the house in 5-gallon pails 4-6 times per day.  Needless to say, our preference is having kids in April.

We put several deer, pigs and cows in the freezer, some for us, some for others.  We make lard from the pork and smoke hams and sausage in our backyard smoker.  However, when leaving it for a few hours on a Sunday morning, we added one too many pieces of wood to the fire and came home to a blackened mess- nothing was destroyed, just a little too hot for a bit too long.  And the smokehouse was bent out of shape.

Quite a few moments of enjoyment came out of the mild weather, like skating on frozen puddles in the yard, t-shirt weather in January, helping with construction projects, and only using up about half of our winter’s wood supply.  Happily, we started the winter with the woodshed completely full, which is enough for two winters, so we’re all set for next year, even if it would be a bad one.

Another interesting part of winter was watching an underground fire that started in the pasture this summer continue under the snow for most of the winter.  There were piles of flax shives from the old feedlot days and a fire for another purpose got down into these in July, burning a continuous hole in the pasture through the winter, resulting in some very interesting landscape views.

One of our daughters is beginning a flower farm, so apart from a couple of months in Europe, she has been spending her time prepping beds, planning what to plant and working toward having lots of beautiful homegrown flowers to sell this summer.

Our oldest son with his wife and two children have spent many precious hours with us, not just visiting, which delights Opa, Oma and all the aunties and uncles, but also in creating a video series about the farm.  They have started a film production company called Sunrise Films, taking on projects like weddings and a series called “How Do They Homeschool”, as well as shooting footage for  “Dawn”, the story of Morning Sound Farm from the beginning.  This series has been picked up by Abundance Plus, so it won’t be available without a subscription for the next little while, but you can see a trailer for it on their youtube channel, or go ahead and subscribe to see each episode as it comes out.  You may see them here filming more content when you visit this summer.

Winter is always a beautiful mix of cozy indoor time, loads of homeschooling/ read-aloud/ games/ writing time, family gatherings and catching up with friends, hockey, a minimum of daily animal chores (when all is going well), individual projects in art, video, sewing and a decent quota of rest.  The perfect recipe for being ready to spring into action.

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