January First: A Year and Two Days an Official Resident Here

A year and two days have elapsed since officially settling into my home, although I’ve been here in the Hilltowns of western Massachusetts since mid-month that past December.

front porch, log home

Wishing all a wonderful New Year!


The ground was broken to build this house in late April 2015.  Due to a huge rock I didn’t want to spend on to blast, the house foundation was shifted northwest a bit, but otherwise, it’s the same house I designed in cooperation with a log home kit company.  My builder wasn’t exactly the fastest worker on the planet, and in small towns,getting inspections lined up is a matter of hurry and wait.  So, final inspections didn’t happen until sometime December 2017, although the essentials were working before that.  The cats moved in on December 11th or 12th, and I had surgery on the 14th, and didn’t get to go home until something like the 20th.

chickens december 23

Most of the snow was finally gone December 23rd, at least for now. Hens: Buff Orpington (probably Idril) to the left. Top right, a buckeye. Middle right, Goldilocks, my golden-tipped Wyandotte. Bottom right, Celeste, a hybrid bird with a lot of Australorpe in her. She was supposed to be a meat broiler, but…naw. Too sweet a lady.

Winter saw me recuperating from surgery, undergoing physical therapy through spring and into early summer.  I got my first two batches of day old chicks the first week of May, the coop, run, feed bin and tractor didn’t arrive until mid-June, when the birds were desperate to get out (and I was desperate to get rid of them!).  Yep, those were supposed to arrive a month earlier…  even hard working and quality-assured Mennonites can be delayed!

I established my herb garden, only one of my four apple trees (planted in late spring, 2017) survived, so no fruit this year.  My citrus trees wintered indoors and thrived outside when temps got warm enough.  Unfortunately, the prolific kefir/Thai lime bit the dust when they returned indoors this winter.  My fault – I’d parked it in a place where I forgot to water it.  I added a persimmon sapling to the front yard.

feast of the seven fishes

A really lame Feast of the Seven Fishes this year. Seven salmon roe eggs (ikura) nestled into a spoon. Don’t worry; I have PLANS for next year!!

Plans have been drawn up for 2019 – I’ve sited the future raised beds, with appropriate spacing.  A new apple orchard will be installed, but shifted over from the original plot (the surviving tree will be within pollination reach).

2019:  The leisure landscaping will go in (patio, pavilion for shade, fire pit, and related).  I have sited my future greenhouse (which is why my apple orchard will shift), a spot for a potential hot tub (which has shifted my previously planned future greenhouse), a quail housing set up, a general area for the livestock barn…  and in the front, those raised beds and some landscaping trees, and elderberry trees (NOT next to any cars or the driveway, mind you!) and an orchard for pears, plums and/or other stone fruit of interest.  Plus a tractor/gardening barn.  I also have hoop house ideas in mind, but locations have lots of possibility.  Not critical atm.  There’s space to play with.

As for the blog:

I’ve moved to posting nearly every Friday, for actual recipes for human consumption.  (As opposed to chickens or something.)  My goal is at least one vegetarian or vegan recipe a month; at least one Whole 30 (a stricter subset of Paleo) recipe a month (which will often overlap).  I’m hoping to make a quarterly dessert, which I plan to be either Paleo or Primal (the latter will allow dairy).  Yep, I remain extremely savory in my taste satisfactions.

I won’t post every Tuesday, but I want that to be the Homesteading track, or the Dining Out Track, or the Cookbook / Books on Food Track, usually.   I have several Tuesday posts in production atm, so for a short bit expect a relatively-full schedule.  Sometimes a regular food recipe might appear there.

end of year

Last photo of the last day of the old year. Looking out my back door. The empty chicken tractor awaits spring, and Blueberry Grove retains its blanket of snow. Sun is in the southeast, struggling to rise.


That’s All, Folks!  Happy New Year!



About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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2 Responses to January First: A Year and Two Days an Official Resident Here

  1. Hello to all your darling chickens! Your property looks beautiful! ;D

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