Friday, January 2, 2015
Happy New Year 2015!
We bought our pellet stove and had it installed! This old house is drafty and cold, but our stove keeps our parlor and living room the warmest, and gives us a toasty place to warm up in when winter is its coldest. This is now our primary heat source and, so far this year, our only heat source.
We've had some animals give birth and some animals pass. We lost Steve our sheep and Josie our alpaca, and Ollie the fall prior. We sold some of our non-producing goats to a land owner for clearing brush, a life I'm sure they will enjoy. So we currently have Jester (sheep), Blossom (alpaca), Mabel, Flora, and Apple (dairy goats); Itty and Frankie (angora goats), as well as our chickens and turkeys. Our plans are to add a sheep and hopefully have a better year with dairy so we can milk again and produce milk products. We also want to add layer chicks and, of course, meat birds.
We worked four new hives last year to replace our lost hives of 2013, which turned into 3 hives at the end of summer, and finally down to one hopefully healthy hive as of this writing (knock on wood) due to two freak die offs. We did get more honey in 2014, enough to sell a few jars! We'd be extremely happy to have a hive make it through the winter, and our plans are to add hives and hopefully catch a few swarms!
We started some remodel work on our house: ripped out carpet, removed some wallpaper, and sanded down some woodwork. There is so much to do - work that gets done when we have time and money to do so. We plan to refinish the living room and parlor woodwork, and then we can paint and refinish the floors before (or maybe during) starting on the rest of the house!
We placed some raised beds with terraces along the driveway in the front. Our gardens did alright but the weeds were a constant battle. Every year our gardening footprint grows and we get a little bit better :)
And now on to our/my hopes for 2015!
Finish the barn! Finish the siding, paint, and fix up the inside pen walls, feeders, and doors.
Redo the coop! Remodel or rebuilt our coop to house turkeys, layers, meat chickens, and baby chicks. We need easy access, higher fences, and windows...
House...clean up the basement, remove unused wiring, fix old wiring, remodel rooms, anything and everything we can do to make our house more of a home!
Professionally, I hope to keep working on being a better teacher, and build up theme and project-based learning for the classroom and eventually maybe our farm school!