What a wonderfully white winter we are having here in the mountains…which is the way I prefer it, honestly. Winter just doesn’t seem right without the cold and the snow and cozy fires to warm up beside. January has been gracious to us, generously giving us a white winter that I hope stretches into February.
Many days you will find us strapped to our snowshoes, traipsing around the pastures or mucking around by the frozen creek. The kids have enjoyed searching for our ermine tracks, and luckily there are none to be had. I think we scared him away!
I was gifted another jar of water kefir grains in the fall and it has been fun experimenting with recipes again. Our favourite right now is blueberry kefir made from our own berries we harvested last August and froze in bags for our freezer. I am still trying to figure out how it affects my daughter’s blood sugars as it tastes sooo sweet, but I seem to recall that the fermented sweetness isn’t as drastic on raising blood glucose as raw sugar, which we completely avoid. Perhaps because we don’t eat any form of sugar that is why it really seems so intense. It is a learning process, that is for sure.
I am a little behind in our garden planning…I like to have everything mapped out by now and consult the biodynamic calendar for all the important planting dates. We are close to pruning time so I am motivated to finish up recording last year’s notes. Sunshine helped illustrate and colour this year’s Harvest and Homestead book…our fourth one! Such a fabulous journal and time capsule of our gardening adventures, wishes, and progress. (I thank Amanda for the idea in one of her books….so easy to make a book yourself)!
Winters around here usually include at least one power outage, which is quite delightful in its own quiet, slow-down way. Our water system is gravity fed and we use a wood cookstove for making all our meals, so we aren’t too affected by outages. And our January outage was only overnight, so our five freezers weren’t troubled with thawing all our food. I enjoyed a rare, quiet evening to myself garden planning…with candles and wine. Sadly, my husband was in bed early with fevers….such an icky winter of cold after flu after cold after flu. We are all healthy again….for now and I hope you all escaped the endless litany of sicknesses making their way all over.
January has been a lovely month of outdoor snowy play. We hope that it continues into February as the spring is still a long ways off and there is so much more sledding and skiing and ice-fishing to do!