Taking a Break from the Homestead. This wasn’t intentional, and it’s not what you think. I wasn’t burnt out or overwhelmed. When I came in the house after doing morning chores I felt like I forgot something. The to-do list dwindled away. My only morning chore right now is throwing hay to our sheep and goats, and that takes about 5 minutes if everyone cooperates. I wouldn’t even have that chore if our pastures had enough grass (read about that here).
Everything Slowed Down
My goats dried themselves up soon after they got pregnant. I was hoping to milk them for a few more months, but they had different plans. Their milk production dropped so low that I didn’t feel that it was worth my time to milk them anymore. The most time consuming chore is milking, and it has to be done on time, rain or shine.
Our “baby chicks” are almost laying age. I was tending to them every morning, but they are finally big enough to eat and drink from our automatic set up.
The new fruit trees have adjusted to our biweekly flood irrigation watering, and most of them will soon go dormant. I was watering some of them every other day to help them acclimate to being planted, what a chore that was.
The turkeys have been butchered. We cooked our first one, and it was tasty! It was so fun to raise our very own Thanksgiving Turkey. We kept two to breed and hatch chicks for next year, but it’s only a fraction of the work (and feed!) to have them.
There are Seasons for Everything
My sweet husband takes care of all the evening chores, and keeps the chicken’s food and water topped off. We can’t do our daily farm walk, because the sun sets before dinner.
I didn’t plan any of this. There are days where I remember, “Oh no! It’s been at least a week since I have walked through the orchard,” but all is good. I know come February when the goats and sheep are due with their babies (7 all due within 2 weeks!) I will be ready to milk, make cheese, baby those young trees through their first summer, and tend to the young spring chicks.
Life works in seasons, and it’s best if we learn to flow with them. Seasons have a whole new meaning to me now.
What does a homesteader do while taking a break?
Read. Number one on my list, of course. Winter is the perfect time for reading. All Flesh is Grass and Teaming with Nutrients are two homestead books I plan to ready this Winter. The time we used to spend on our family walk are now used to read as a family.
Projects. I am working on sewing a quilt. Curtis is building our chicken breeding pens, and will work on fixing some fencing. We both have more time to devote to big projects, there is not better time. While this is work, it is different than the daily grind. Completing projects is very fulfilling.
Plan for the future. Look at seed catalogs for next years garden. Think about what projects you want to work on next Summer. Spend some time drawing up the layout of your property, or new kitchen. I love using this down time to dream, and think.
Relax, take a deep breath, and let go of the stress! Let go of the feeling of needing to be somewhere. Be present and enjoy the Holidays! Chase your kids around the house. Take a nap, and bake cookies. Enjoy the little things, and enjoy taking a break. Store up that energy for the next busy season, you’ll need it. Having a little farm has shown me that there are seasons for work, and seasons for rest. What would life be like without seasons?