2015 winter preparations and recollections

We are pretty deep into winter now.  It is so lovely when the YIN energy of winter permeates the terrain and the human reality.  We are humbled at this time and reminded of our own fragility and our needs.  Many years ago humans figured out how to survive in this harsh climate and now we have our climate control, internet, grocery stores, personal mobility, etc.  These are all benefits of the modern world; things for which to be thankful.  At Earthen Heart we are striving for a lifestyle that is both low impact and high quality, a hybridization of modern and ancient ways, the right amount of “stuff” combined with a more spiritual connection to our natural and human surroundings.

We hope some of you reading this can share in our exploration to develop a more sustainable model for future generations to live harmoniously with all of life.  We know that many of you are already doing just that.

EH2015_1_9_41 This old apple tree has been pruned pretty hard over the last two years.

We shall see if anything fruits this year.

EH2015_1_9_1

The sycamores are a defining part of the land here at Earthen Heart and the prior owners, the Parker Family, appear to have named it Sycamore Hill as we found a couple old signs laying around.

EH2015_1_9_11

The circle is awaiting a Spring gathering.

EH2015_1_9_40This season, the 250 or so bushes of no-spray Jersey blueberries will be harvested and processed through a Blueberry Collaborative; a time banking initiative based on work exchange for berries and value added berry products.

If interested in participating, please contact Julian Lauzzana for more information:  jlauzzana@gmail.com  or (269) 447-1355

EH2015_1_9_16The patch is about 1/3 of an acre.  We prune this winter, pick and process in late Summer.EH2015_1_9_6This winter we continue to renovate the main farm house

which serves as the primary residence for community homesteaders.

This (above) is what the rooms used to look like.

EH2015_1_9_42This is what it looks like now.

It is going quite well.

Goal is to have rooms available as an Eco-B&B and for interns and visitors on a sliding scale of $0-$50 per night by late Summer of this year, 2015, just in time for blueberry season.EH2015_1_9_7All the hens and goats (except Artie who returned to her farm of origin) have become pressure canned meat.  They are nourishing the homesteaders this winter and becoming one with us as we consume that meat.  The goat meat makes great stew and the chicken is great “a la king” style. Current farm animals include only 3 ducks and one rooster.  Birds are the most likely investment as they are quite easy to care for, but they do seem to be a serious nuisance around grain planting time.  Feeder pigs are also being considered.  The journey with the goats has ended for now.  For me, it was a dream come true to own and care for goats and to learn about milking, making cheese, yogurt, caramel and harvesting the meat, but it is a relief to be free of that responsibility and to focus on other matters.