2012 has been a year of great change and growth for us as a family as well as for our homestead. Things slowed down quite a bit in June 2012 when ownership of our house and property changed hands and we officially became the owners. We needed to greatly reduce the amount we spend on homestead needs as well as cut our bills dramatically in an effort to not end up being “house-poor” with the majority of our expendable income going to paying off the house.
Installed a cork board and towel bars
Measuring cups were added to shelf for easy access
Made our first Lacto-Fermented ginger ale
The Harbor Freight Greenhouse arrives and we break ground to start building it.
Cookbook shelves are installed in the dining room
Mini Apple Orchard is planted
Open pantry shelves are installed on kitchen cabinet peninsula
Measuring spoons are installed for space saving and efficiency
Greenhouse construction continued until the end of February
Greenhouse blows over after 70 MPH winds
We make our first homemade butter
Muscovy ducklings arrive
A new area is prepared as a permanent new place for toppled greenhouse
Simone helping to prep area for new berry bushes
Garage is painted
Sunken garden beds are created
Site work continues to prep for greenhouse
Greenhouse is moved and permanently fastened in place
Utility/sun room is turned into a temporary greenhouse to start growing veggies
First apricots are ripening
The first winter garden raised bed is laid
Muscovy ducklings are two months old
Super moon is captured
Prepared our first Foie Gras Torchon (life will never be the same! I can’t wait to make more)
Our first French Breakfast radish was harvested
Lacto-Fermented our first grape leaves
Angora rabbits were sheared
I started taking fermented cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil
We lost our battle with squash bugs when they consumed more than 100 squash and cucumber plants, decimating our crops this year
Artichokes in bloom
Dom and I move into the master bedroom
Simone tastes and approves of our homegrown peaches!
The bees were busy collecting pollen
Shoshie got her drivers license
We started making our own toothpaste
Yes, that’s 18 1/2 pounds of cucumbers which we tried to harvest before the squash bugs got to them
We start making Lacto-Fermented Vegetables
I started making Lacto-Fermented beet kvass…I never looked back!
Time spent at the park
Simmi painted herself
Lots of love and friendship
Muscovy ducks are now 6 months old and moved out of the courtyard
Potatoes are harvested
Ducks become proficient in hiding their eggs from us until we found a large cache of over 30 eggs hidden in tumbleweeds and a compost pile
We officially stopped our garbage service since we don’t consume enough garbage to justify paying $30 per month. This was a major milestone for us. We also started monitoring the amount of energy consumed and found that since June 2012, our electricity consumption dropped by over a whopping third of what it used to be! It has helped to lower the cost of electricity even more, which became another milestone for us. Right now, our energy consumption is less than any other time on record for us. Last year at this time our energy bill was through the roof!
Dom went on a scavenger hunt around the property to find all the missing boards to put the red gate back together, and he found every piece! After it was assembled, it was painted and hung.
We made a maggot farm for the animals. A maggot farm is simply a bucket with drilled holes around it and filled with meat scraps. The flies enter the holes, lay their eggs, maggots hatch, squirm out of the holes onto the ground, and the chickens and ducks eat the maggots and flies if they can catch them.
Made our first beeswax candles
Dom makes Mead for the first time (so good!)
Continue to harvest fruits and veggies
We finally got our labels and started selling duck eggs
Four Magpie drakes were slaughtered and rendered for fat (over a quart of fat was attained) and bones were made into an amazing stock soup.
Started decorating for Christmas
Started organizing the all purpose room for winter projects
Put our fireplace to more use
We started eating primal
Our nephew Anthony became a part of our household
I begin to feel amazing eating primal and the inflammation and swelling in my face and body begins to subside.
The perfect New Mexico grown Christmas tree was purchased
Our first homemade citrus cleaners were ready to use
Stinky injured duck is brought in to heal. She healed quickly and was released back to her flock one week later
Instead of purchasing Christmas wrapping paper, I used craft paper and stenciled each person’s initial onto the package, and used red yarn to tie it all up. I did have regular wrapping paper left over from last year, so we made use of it. From now on, it will become our homestead tradition to have homemade wrapping paper and homemade gifts.
We look forward with excitement to 2013, as the year we accomplish more projects with little to no money!
Have a very safe and Happy New Year!