Sustainability

114 articles in category Sustainability / Subscribe

butter-three

Until the goats freshened and we began milking again this past summer, I had a niggling feeling about the children’s nutrition. Sure, they were getting all of the usual traditional foods but the goats had been dry for several months and I was just starting to wonder. It probably had something to do with the little comments here and there about how good a glass of milk sounded or how much they liked yogurt.

And now, this.

butter-one

Twice a day I can’t quite believe my eyes when I strain the milk… and skim the cream. I really, firmly believe that raw dairy products provide nourishment in ways that most other foods simply cannot. When you have milk, you have a meal, I sometimes say as I put whatever vegetables, beans, eggs, or meat we might have onto the table. And everyone gets a huge glass of milk.

butter-two

And now, with that cream, has come raw butter and raw sour cream (and maybe raw cream cheese soon). While some of us can eat store-bought grass-fed butter and cheese from time to time when the dairy animals are dry, Stewart and Elijah cannot. Pasteurized dairy almost immediately makes Stewart feel unwell. So to bring these foods that are not only tolerable, but down right medicinal, to their bodies… and to watch them liberally eat of such nourishment has been a really fulfilling and almost overwhelming experience.

butter

When I see that milk pail, it is a twice-daily reminder that we don’t deserve any of it, and yet God in His mercy created this animal to produce such nourishment and placed her right in our own backyard by His providential hand. And she has been such an easy cow – no kicking, no fighting, and even though we have messed up along the way, the Lord has allowed her to stay with us and nourish our family and with such delicious foods at that.

Such mercy it all is. Such mercy.

I don’t know how long Mabel is destined to be a part of our homestead but I am so very grateful for what she has, quite literally, brought to the table.

boys

There is no denying the passing of time when one is a Mama. Days turn to years and years into a childhood and suddenly our firstborn is up to my chin.

feed-pig

The girls used to love helping me carry slop out to the hogs. I say used to because the hogs have been gone for quite some time – something I apparently forgot to mention here. Two were harvested and one simply got away and we are thankful for the unexpected provision of meat.

seeds

It seemed as good a time as any to plant seeds a few weeks ago so out we went with brassicas and beets and dirt beneath our finger nails. And now here we are, warm and no rain since and thankful I remembered to only plant half the seeds from these packets.

root-cellar

The big project lately has been the root cellar and the roof over it to keep the water away. The roof is now done, the gutters up, the steps put in. This room over top has many possible uses so we will see how it ends up.

new-chicks

And there are new chicks! A few broody hens all hatched out around the same time and so every morning I hear their little chirping from near the barn. It is no less than a miracle every time this happens; a direct provision from God. We are grateful.

Feeding-chickens

And so the flock thickens, as they say (they don’t really say that, do they?). But the chicken flock continues to grow and the young ones are more than eager to send feed flying in whatever direction it might be taken to supplement the weeds and bugs these birds spend their days finding.

The evening milking is barely happening before dark; the morning milking sometimes even sees a sweater. September is here with her golden light and whispers of fall but I think we will plant some seeds indoors this week while we wait for the last warm days of summer to pass us by.

How are things at your place during this last month of summer?