Here on the farm, November has shown us the many sides of Winter. From that first beautiful blanket of new snow laying untouched on the ground, to the crisp and crunchy days when the temperatures reach below minus 20 degrees celcius, to the the complete opposite, with days of rain and slush and ice. Our first month into Winter, and we have been shown it all.
November brings a special season with it as well, as hunting season opens and closes with the month. Here on the farm, we are blessed with all the wildlife that passes through, perhaps even making our land their home. With several trail cameras set up around our property, we get a first hand view of some of Mother Nature’s creatures in their own habitats. We have a particular doe and her babies who we see on both cameras habitually. They come and go through out all hours of the day and night. Having does around brings in the bucks when rut season begins. We had several different bucks on our cameras this year, some who needed some growing yet and a couple who would have done well in freezer camp. While we put in some solid weekend hunts this season, we did not bring down a buck this year here. I am thankful for the time I spent outdoors, listening and watching the world unfurl around me. There will always be next season!
We are not going into the Winter months empty handed however. Our hogs were sent off to butcher and returned to fill our freezer. I don’t think we could fit another pork chop or loop of sausages in the deep freeze this year. We are thankful for this meat, for the pigs we raised and loved here on the farm, who will feed us along with our family and friends. I am happy to know where my meat is coming from and how it was raised.
The rest of the critters on the farm have hunkered down and settled in for the Winter months ahead. While the chickens don’t wander out much in the snow, they keep busy in the run of the coop where they still have access to their dust baths, food and open space. The nesting boxes stay toasty warm with the insulation and heat tape, and we are still collecting a couple of eggs daily from the ladies.
The three little pigs have a trail worn from the door of the Pig Haus, out to the water dish and feeders and back. They also don’t do much exploring in the snow, but would rather spend their winter days snoozing in their nests of straw. They are quick to wake up when they hear the latch on the gate open for dinner time though!
It seems the donkey boys are the least phased of our creatures by the snow. Their shaggy winter coats keep them warm as they paw around to find the grass hidden under the snow. They have a well worn path to the feeder where they have access to hay daily and fresh water in their heated bucket. I often catch Sophie and Lily out visiting the boys, eating up all the tasty treats the boys leave behind for them. No, I don’t accept kisses from our lovely farm dogs anymore!
The coming of the Winter months means that the holidays are not far behind. I am in a full knitting frenzy here at the house as I get dishcloths ready for gifts again this year. I have a total of nine completed, one on the needles and a lot more balls of yarn waiting in my yarn basket. I am eager to get dishcloths finished up so I can return my other winter knitting project that I started last year, my first pair of knit socks! Cozy winter days beside the woodfire are the perfect atmosphere for knitting. I’ve also completed my first major project on my sewing machine. Sorry no sneak peeks, stay tuned post Christmas!
Winter days make the perfect days for crock pot suppers. We finished up our last venison roast, have done several of our roosters and I am anxiously awaiting my favourite winter dinner, chicken and dumplings! And none of these would be complete without a lovely pairing of home-brewed wine. The last of our summer batches have been bottled and labelled and are ready to go out to the wine room. The last batch was rhubarb and raspberry, which will be absolutely scrumptious to sample in a couple of months. The last bits of canning and preserves were also added to the pantry, and I don’t think another jar would fit. From jellies, apple butter, apple sauce and fruit preserves to pickling and chutneys, we should be stocked up for another season of giving.
The snow and cold means it’s also time to break out the Mukluks. My Manitobah Mukluks are my go to winter footwear for any and all Winter adventures. From walks in the backyard, breaking out the snow shoes or trips to town, they are a mandatory for footwear. I have so much fun snapping pictures as well to submit for the fun hashtag #mocmonday on Insta!
We make sure to take time to enjoy the company of one another too, as Dan and I both find ourselves extremely busy in our work lives. Our weekly adventures to the city for hockey games are the best date nights. While the poor Oilers may not be crushing it this year, we still love showing up to cheer them on and enjoy in a ceasar (or two). One of these days, my fingers are crossed we’ll be the lucky winners of the 50/50 draw!
Time for ourselves is also important, so settling down to watch a movie, getting cozied up in new winter sweaters or getting lost in a good book are not unheard of. Accompanied with a good cup of coffee or a glass of whiskey, we are ready here on the farm for this Winter.