We built our first yurt in1999. Ken lived in it year-round for the next nine years.
What We Do, By Season
Morning and afternoon livestock chores: feeding and watering, egg gathering. Building projects on and off the farm.
Mid-September through October - cool, crisp, clear, and colorful.
Harvesting and preserving and marketing crops: potatoes to the root cellar, apples peeled, cored, sliced and frozen. Carrots sliced and frozen. Corn blanched and frozen. Basil & co. turned into pesto. Tomato sauce and salsa. Spreading manure and putting the garden to bed. Butchering chickens, cutting, wrapping, freezing, and marketing. Canning chicken stock. Taking pigs to be butchered. Eating fresh bacon. Sunday afternoon walks in the colorful woods.
November and December - cool and damp and beginning to freeze.
Felling trees to eventually become next winter’s firewood. Taking cows and pigs to be butchered. Finishing up outdoor projects before the snow flies. Planting garlic. Putting the chains and plow on the tractor. Cutting saplings for yurt poles.
January and February - snowy and cold.
Shop projects (yurt parts, building and refinishing windows and doors, cedar hot tub construction, coffin building, timber framing. Starting cold weather greens in the greenhouse. Bringing hay to the animals and keeping their water from freezing. Keeping the yurt fires burning. Sunday afternoon saunas.
March through mid-April—mud and light.
Maple sugaring. Starting more seeds in the greenhouse. Finishing up the winter’s shop work. Chomping at the bit till the mud subsides. Glad to have off-farm work.
Mid-April through mid-June -change: warming, greening, planting, blackflies!
Preparing the soil and planting crops and cover crops. Walking the fence lines. Filling the woodsheds with next winter’s firewood. Tending the flower and vegetable gardens. Spring cleaning. Newborn calves. Moving and setting up sheds for summer raising of pigs, and egg and meat chickens. Burning brush and planting new pasture.
Mid-June to mid-September - warm and growing.
Building projects on and off the farm. Moving animals to fresh pasture. Weeding. Potato beetles. More weeding. Harvesting raspberries twice a week. Harvesting, cleaning, and selling garlic.