At the Wittekind Homestead: Update for 02/05/13

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a homestead update, and even though we’ve been dealing with the gloom of winter in Indiana, there’s plenty to do!

Despite the fact that we’re a quarter of the way into year four at the homestead, we’re still discovering the “character” that comes with our house.  January gifted us with an extremely expensive electrical repair, and it also appears that our phone line requires immediate attention.  Thankfully, repairing the phone line requires nothing more than a new phone jack, some wire, and a trip into the crawl space.  I’ll take that any day compared to the $1000 electrician’s bill that we acquired earlier this month.

On a more exciting note though, some friends came over on Sunday.  I made an amazing pot of venison stew, and we started something like 300 seeds for our two gardens.  I have the space to start seedlings at my house, so in exchange for the use of my space, they provided the seeds.  Most of them came from Stephen Scott over at Terroir Seeds, and I can’t wait to see how things go there.  We started two kinds of broccoli, cauliflower, three kinds of cabbage, Brussels sprouts, two or three kinds of spinach, and a couple of varieties of lettuce along with some peas.  We likely started more seeds than we can handle, but if that’s the case, that’s a good problem to have, I guess.

The same friends that are partnering with gardening efforts had hoped to help us add to our backyard chicken flock.  My husband had seen a shed for sale that would have made a nice chicken shed, and the price couldn’t be beat.  When we went to investigate though, the shed had been sold.  Given our current financial situation, we’re not in any position to spend hundreds (or even thousands) on a shed, so we may not get to add to the flock this year.  It all depends on what our friends want to do, and it depends on what kinds of opportunities present themselves to us.  It’s still too early to know.

Things are still a bit sluggish here.  I think my husband is mostly recovered from influenza, but unfortunately, he’s responsibilities didn’t end just because he had a doctor’s note telling him to stay home.  It’s bound to be busy, so we’re trying to do all that we can to support each other and make this work.  Personally, I’m excited about starting the seeds though.  It makes me feel like spring isn’t too far away after all.

What are the rest of you doing to close out the winter chores (or start the spring chores) where you live? How is 2013 going to be different? Have any of you taken up the 13 in ’13 challenge over at 13Skills.com? I can’t wait to hear about the great things that are coming for all of us this year.  Just remember that what we do matters! And as always, staying positive helps.

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