End of the year ruminati

Though it would appear to the outside observer that Green Acres Homestead is entering a time of hibernation, that could not be further from the truth.  This morning soon after dawn, I checked the temperature & humidity of the lit and heated greenhouse; went out to it and checked how the plants were doing, while carrying a poultry mash in a bucket.  When I approached the greenhouse to go in, the ducks and chickens in the closely located coop started calling for attention.  I quickly  went to the out of the coop, took a small water bucket and filled it in the unfrozen section of the pond thanks to an electric heated donut which keeps that section open for the very submerged fish to have enough oxygen.  The frozen water container get thawed and filled with pond water; the large feeding bowl filled with mash, and then the coop door is opened.  Out runs the chickens who greet me and peak at my boots, then on to their water and food.  The ducks are more tentative to leave till I walk away, and they to follow to join the chickens, quacking away.

In the greenhouse, I look for growth, disease, maturity, and hydration among the plants.  The citrus has been following and small lemons and limes are starting.  The figs are very immature and green.  The small pomegranate looks ready to start some fruit.  The other plants simply need some water and spray.  I sample some lemon verbena and stevia together. The lemon sorrel is also sampled. The mullein looks ready to start sprouting a growing stalk that hopefully produce the yellow flowers good for respiratory medicine, though the leavers are beneficial also.  The carrots inboxed the lower box have started to outgrow it use and one pulled carrot is about 8 inches, good for the Danvers variety. I notice the peas recently planted started to sprout and the small dill starting to extend upright.  There are other plants, and I quickly take a small yellow pepper which go into the bone broth I’m making later.  I must go back outside , away from the 72F. temperature and go outside and observe the hibernated bee hives.  I don’t open them put check around the opening to see dead bees removed and dumped out off the edge.  There were feed with foundant during a warm spell and there is no guarantee till spring time, they will survive, I can only be helpful.  Inside its time to cut the stored cabbage for making kimchee, look for ginger, yellow onions, and garlic in the root cellar that will added. I already have the hot peppers, daikon radishes picked and in the fridge, still looking good after  two weeks from the last greenhouse harvest. I have not started another batch of ginger kombucha or lemon ginger water kefir but i have local deliveries this week, I don’t need to run out with a good 2 week fermentation lag time.  I pull out of my personal supply, the Elderberry infused Syrup and take a tablespoon.  I then drink some of my homemade seltzer water, then pull out my fire cider, and down goes another tablespoon.  My son is starting to wake up to attend school and I’m trying to awaken him by now. All this has happened in the first hour of my day.  I work fast.  I made his smoothie already for breakfast, his clothes ready to put on, his outdoor ones on the couch, the backpack ready including his lunch .  He takes an half hour at most.  I will bring him to school, then return to hopefully see on-line orders, prepare them for shipping, and still give myself time to sit briefly with freshly brewed tea and look at the backyard and appreciate the calmest, before I go out to turn over the large compost bins.  There are expected  phone calls for appointments to make for providing products for next year’s weddings and other events.But I would not trade this life for another one.  I am Green Acres Homestead.