A New Year

After an amazing dinner with our daughter and friends we had a true to Wisconsin ringing in of the New Year… the annual burning of the brush pile!

nye bon fire

Yep it was 4 degrees but next to a fire that big, we were toasty warm!

At midnight there were a few…

nye fireworks

..fireworks before we headed back up the hill. After a Champagne toast with our NYE companions it was time to stoke the fire and climb into bed.

temperature

It’s been darn cold and hubby has spent large blocks of time taking down dead trees to cut up. Seems the firewood pile gets stacked high and before we know it it seems time to stack up more. Yes we do have a furnace but it’s great knowing we don’t have to rely on it, and of course wood also is available for free here, by the kind work of hubby that is!

Now that we are in January and a new year we are starting to think about Springtime planning. I have a list of items that I want to think through as far as new ideas for Spring, and we have a planning session coming up to prioritize together what we want to see at the top of the list. At the end of last season Hubby talked a lot about expanding his grapes in the future. I did make grape juice from our little bitty vineyard last summer and it was delicious but this year with more grapes we can try our hand at making wine for ourselves but also, hopefully we can sell our grapes to a very local vineyard who showed interest in our variety last year. Hubby was so busy with infrastructure, for my endeavors, so much of last summer, such as Pigs and Chickens, and he was amazing in getting it all done. This summer I would like to help him build up the vineyard he wants to have. Quite honestly, there are so many things I don’t know how to do that no matter how much I learn I will always be a rookie next to him, but that is okay, we each have very separate natural skills and that makes it balance out just right. It’s the Yin and it’s the Yang and it works. By definition, “Yin and Yang are not static or just two separated things. The nature of Yin Yang lies in interchange and interplay of the two components”. It works for us:)

I am also excited about doing some cold frames a bit more traditionally this coming early Spring so l can achieve Lettuces, Spinach, and Radishes very early in the season this year. Definitely I will need some modifications from my failed hay bale frames I used in late Fall early Winter, but I stand by it having been a good learning experience. Learning by doing has highs and lows, and each one in it’s own way, is a lesson learned.

… and back in the pantry, supplies are still good. Time to combine down the freezer into one freezer now that we have been using up some or our frozen goods, nice to turn off an energy sucking appliance!

jarred goodies

Some of the deliciousness we enjoyed at dinner the other night… As I was preparing the rest of the meal and had these set out on the table to have with dinner, I was taken by the beautiful colors that we are eating in the midst of what looks a bit like Siberia outside and none of it traveled farther than a quarter mile! Sauteed yellow and Green Beans, Pickled asparagus, local Strawberries and Peaches and yes that beautiful color is from straight up frozen local fruit, no sugar or anything added, just vibrant and beautiful all on it’s own. Additionally, I found a new way to eat Summer Squash, introducing Summer Squash Bread and Butter Pickles. They are sweet and a little sour and crunchy and great. So great that Mr. “I don’t really like Squash” LIKED them. I am going to pickle a lot of them next year, they are a treat!

While I gear up for the planning months before Spring and my excitement about Spring Chicks, and Piglets and cold frames ramps up, I am, at the same time, carefully looking at some exciting changes for my Granola business really granola. Seems like this could be an exciting year of growth for this small business that I am so grateful to own.

Starting a new year with healthy family, time for family and friends and enjoying the snow blowing and the fire warming has been just the right foot to start a new year on…

Finally, with all the sunsets I have posted they still amaze me so I can’t stop myself, these two different nights were beauties…

sunset

sunset 2

Now with the holidays come and gone it is time to settle into the quiet of Winter.

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