Thursday, February 13, 2014


Lots of firsts, this week. —First batch of sauerkraut into the crock!

Our Sauerkraut:
2 Tblspoons salt/5 lbs shredded cabbage. 
Thump it with a heavy object in a pail
Dump it into crock
top crock up with water.

Our cabbage thumper is a block of wood roughly chopped into a mallet. We use a traditional cabbage shredder and chop the unshreddable bits by hand. The crock is a Harsch crock (which was accidentally dropped by the postman and has a large crack in it, yet works!)  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Helter Skelter

baby goats are sharing digs with the hens for now

Our first babies born to the farm! Mathilda gave birth to twins bucks, Helter and Skelter, early yesterday morning. Will found them when he went out to do his chores frisking about like precious, perfect little adult goats. I can hardly believe it. I'm a grandmother!

We are all smitten with Helter and Skelter. Birth is nothing less than amazing, and these little dudes are utterly adorable.

Matthilda is doing fine and is a wonderful mother. (I have a bruise on my forehead to prove it) We bring her "special" apple cores and carrot peels, because as Willy says, "That's how you say congratulations to a goat."

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

O Star of Wonder

Someday, I would love to end the Twelve days of Christmas with an awesome Epiphany party, a last hurrah before we settle into ordinary time. This year, we lit our "star" lantern to guide the wise men, we moved our little camels and wise men around the kitchen (a little each day, divided fairly between four children, because my goodness, it matters!) and did some Epiphany art collages inspired by this spectacular book by Niko Chocheli.

Although we never ended up having our longed-for Epiphany party due to a week (or was it two?) of Thomas Hardy-style Fate—stomach flu and frozen pipes on PRECISELY the same day! What a sense of humour! —we eventually enjoyed a visit from some beloved friends and were treated to a theatrical bill by these ridiculous sillies: 

In addition, we have two new mousers: Moppet and Mittens (or Provence and Aquitaine pronounced very French. It depends whom you ask.) They will live in the barn where they will be warm and well-fed on the mice that plunder our grain bins. And very far away from me, cat-hating farm wife.

 We have made a "beautiful wall" in the corner of our living room and begun a morning and night ritual of lighting a candle and singing (part) of the Byzantine Daily Worship, something we've wanted to do for almost ten years now. So excited for this new unfolding!

Home school trudges along. We love it and hate it. (Can't decide.) Will is teaching a couple courses this semester and packing in the studies. 

Good times in January!