Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dawn of 2011

2011 got off to a beautiful (but extremely cold) start with a hazy sunrise.

Because of freezing rain and icy roads last night, our New Years Eve party at friends' was postponed until tonight. Instead, Rog and I stayed home,  drank a little wine and snuggled up on the sofa,  reflecting on our accomplishments and adventures of the past year:

Highlights of 2010

  • Installed solar panels on the barn!
  • Acquired our sweet milk cow LaFonda; learned to handmilk; made cheese, butter, yogurt and ice cream galore.
  • Completed our second year as Farmers Market vendors selling wood-fired sourdough breads, pastries, cupcakes, sprouts, squash blossoms, herbs, 
  • Did a prairie burn,  removed a bunch of  buckthorn, scattered collected native prairie flower seeds on our way to prairie restoration.
  • Harvested our two steers - our toughest farming experience so far. The beef is wonderful, but I wept through the first few steaks.
  • Raised 50 Label Rouge chickens for meat -absolutely delicious!
  • Raised crazy, clowning guinea hens.
  • Raised 5 turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners (lost 4 to the  great-horned owl.)
  • Our laying hen flock expanded greatly, thanks to broody hens raising about 60 darling chicks.
  • Planted 8 hazelnut bushes, 2 more apple trees, a curly willow, yellow magnolia, many assorted perennials and 350  spring bulbs. Cut down big old silver maple and  box elder for solar panel project.
  • Made violet jelly, dandelion wine, elderberry wine, wild grape wine and honey mead. Cadence dried abundant nettles, sage and mint for tea. 
  • Grew mushrooms, mostly devoured on pizzas.
  • Expanded the little sprout-growing operation and  constructed a sprout-growing room
  • Bred our two cows, Lariat and LaFonda through artificial insemination - expecting calves this spring!
  • More adventures with bees- losing swarms, gathering swarms, harvesting honey.
  • Made progress on the granary renovation project - installed a little wood stove, wood floor, several windows, and an arbor of over the deck - using all recycled materials acquired through Craigslist. 
  • Rog- played lots of music with Blue Monk, Nodding Wild Onions, many other friends, and wrote some new songs.
  • Sue - painted a bench for the Farmers Market and sold a bunch of artwork.
  • Sara- moved to Chapel Hill to  pursue her dream of being a documentary filmmaker.
  • Cadence- moved to Mexico City to pursue her dream of being a mariachi musician.
  • Susan-- went on an unforgettable trip to Guatemala.  Wrapped up her position with SE CERTS to pursue her dream of being a farmer and artist.
  • Hosted a wonderful family reunion on the farm with Rog's mom, brothers and their families.
  • Rog and Sue - started Farm Beginnings program through Land Stewardship project to develop a long-range plan for our little farm.
  • Treasured the daily beauty, joy, and agrarian adventures of living at Squash Blossom Farm.


forever growing said...

Happy New Year to the both of you. What a beautiful sight to wake up to. All of the things you accomplished this past year, utterly amazing!I wish you all a most productive 2011. Pretty soon your daughter will be home and summer will be here, I personally cannot wait. Sorry to hear about the weather, I woke up and it felt like a late spring day, but that weather is headed for us I do believe. Enjoy your weekend and a very Happy New Year!! Lisa

gz said...

and thatis just one year....!!

Allison at Novice Life said...

What wonderful accomplishments! It gives me such motivation for our farm. I too would have wept through those steaks!

Lovely photograph.

katiegirl said...

You have certainly had a very productive year! I hope 2011 is even better for you all!

Sandra Sarlinga said...

Great and amazing year!
We live in North Carolina, minutes to Chapel Hill and attend South Estes Farmers market there! We are artisan bakers and sell all kind of breads, pastries, eggs, honey, etc. Maybe one of these days (the market is year round) we can meet your daughter there. We are Sandra and Fabian from The Farm Fairy, have a blog called Far Out Bakehouse and I'm a follower of your farming adventures because it is so inspiring and I can see us in every move! Keep up the good work!

Susan said...

Thank you for the new year wishes. 2011 is promising to be an exciting year. I wish you all the best.

Sandra--Thanks for introducing yourself. I am sending my daughter your blog address - I hope she looks you up at the Farmers Market! I can't wait to try some of your bread and Argentine pastry recipes. Susan