January was a fun and productive yet cozy and relaxing month on the homestead. We started the new year off with planning for 2018, watching a little football and staying warm inside.
Weston’s hen from Draw Write Now Book 1 which teaches kids how to draw simple farm animals – it has quickly become a favorite!
We made a batch of sauerkraut (I’ve made it before but it’s been several years ago) Weston was my kraut making helper. This batch turned out a little salty but I was pleased with it. One of our goals for 2018 is to add in more fermented foods to our diet.
January is a perfect time for getting cozy with a book. I am an avid reader with a wide variety of books I’m reading at any given time! My favorites are the Bible, biographies, parenting books and agriculture related reading.
Here’s a few of the books I read in January:
A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elizabeth Elliot
Little House in the Ozarks: The Rediscovered Writings by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Heartfelt Discipline by Clay Clarkson
The Market Gardener by Jean-Martin Fortier
I’ve been experimenting with second ferments of Kombucha and getting pretty consistent with carbonation! It’s fun, yummy and we’re getting more probiotics in our diet.
I’ve been making elderberry syrup to help keep us healthy through the cold and flu season. So far, we’ve not gotten the flu and the colds the kids have have been very mild, only lasting about 2 days.
The most exciting thing for January was we installed a woodstove! It has been a dream to have a fireplace or woodstove in our home – so we finally made it happen. John David laid the brick hearth and installed the stove. It’s so cozy and quaint.
We had several very cold days in January so we spent quite a bit of time in the living room near the stove.
We had one weekend with spring like weather so we moved the pigs and John David created a separate stall in the barn in anticipation of piglets.
Weston is completely in his element. This is one of his Olive Egger hens that he raised from a baby chicks.
John David smoked one of the hams he had cured and it was absolutely delicious – the kids were all eagerly awaiting their first bite of ham! There’s nothing quite like quality food that you know the source of.
We had a few days of lovely weather and the kids harvested carrots that were planted in early fall. The carrots were very good.
This post is mainly a highlight of the good things that happened in January but there was some sadness. Our baby pig that was born back in September got out of his pen and fell into a watering trough and drowned on January 27. It was a very sad day for us all. Life and death are part of life on a homestead but there is a difference between purposeful slaughter and untimely death.
*Disclosure – This post does contain affiliate links to products we use and want to share.