Wednesday, February 3, 2016

January Wrap-up

I can't believe that it is already February! Time needs to slow down, especially for DS. He is almost five months and I am loving the stage he is in right now. All chub and big's adorable!

But alas it is time for the January wrap-up. Here's what we've been up to:

On New Year's Day we butchered our Icelandic ram. This was his second breeding season and he was starting to act like a jerk, for lack of a better word. He would chase us and try to head butt my husband. Part of it was our fault. When we bought him as a lamb we didn't teach him any manners. We knew we were supposed to treat him differently than the ewes, but he was so sweet and we couldn't imagine him ever coming after us. Well he did and with two little kids here I knew we could not keep him around, it just wouldn't be safe. So even though January is not the ideal time to butcher a ram we went ahead with it anyway. The meat was a little musky so we ground all of it up and made Italian sausage. It is delicious! While making sausage it a bit time consuming it was totally worth it. We used this seasoning recipe and added in ground pork fat since lamb is quite lean.

I rendered all of the fat we got off of the ram. Even though the meat was musky the tallow turned out very mild. It made a beautiful batch of lavender and oat soap. There was even enough left over for a few lotion bars. The lotion bars are divine! They are super moisturizing without being greasy and work as a lip balm too. I think they are my new favorite thing!

We have started planning for spring and purchased most of the seeds we will need. This year most of our seeds came from Baker Creek and a few from Johnny Select. Last year we got carried away and ordered way too many. This year we are focusing on growing what we actually eat and were successful at growing, not just what looks good in the catalog. It doesn't make sense to waste garden space on plants that we have no luck with. I'll do a more in-depth post about out garden plans soon.

DH has been working on extending our fence line with the help of my dad and DD. DD loves helping her dad when tractor rides are involved! We now have all seven acres, minus the driveway entrance, fenced it. This is such a relief as we now won't have to worry about any critters escaping into our neighbors yard. 

The east coast was hit by a blizzard a couple weekends ago and we ended up getting over two feet of snow that Saturday. The sheep didn't seem to mind but the chickens were not amused. They didn't leave the coop until Tuesday when I forced them out by putting their food and water outside the coop door. I guess I'm a tough-love chicken mama. Once they ladies got out and walked around they were fine and enjoyed being out. They were just a bit chicken (haha) to make the first step.

That pretty much sums up January. There aren't quite as many projects going on during the wintertime. It is a much needed break before the busyness of spring hits. My goal for February is to figure out what I need for milking and to start training the girls to stand nicely in the stanchion. I hope that if Sprinkles and Doughnut (our dairy sheep) get used to me handling them and get into a milking routine now, it will make milking them this spring much easier. Come March we will need to start the garden and be on the lookout for lambs.

What's happening on your homestead? Feel free to share or link in the comments below!

P.S. This post is linked up with Homestead Blog Hop and Simply Awesome Saturdays.

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe January is over already either. I'm not sure how that happened. We didn't get that much snow, but it was enough that me, my chickens, and definitely my goats didn't leave our homes for a few days. It was almost gone when I finally had to leave to the house to take care of them, but the goats still weren't coming out. And we've got big plans for March too! Except we're waiting on kids, not lambs. I enjoyed reading about your month, thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop!