Yes, it's been a long time since we've posted anything. Winter is supposed to be the slow time on the farm, but it just doesn't seem very slow lately. The combination of work (cabinetry for Ben, nursing for me), farm, and the boys fills more hours than we have available.
Ben is finishing my parents' new kitchen cabinetry, and is the primary farm maintenance person. Given our skid steer's propensity for tire troubles (flat tires, bent rim, sheared-off bolts, to name a few), that might as well be a full time job. Thankfully, the snow accumulations have not come anywhere close to the last few years, so that's one less time-consuming task. Once the new kitchen is fully installed, we'll post a few photos to show off his craftsmanship. They're really beautiful.
Updates on Abrahm: he's discovered the delights of "chapter books". We've plowed through all the E.B.White books (Charlotte's Web, etc), 4 of the Little House on the Prairie books. He's also discovered the intrigues of an atlas and an encyclopedia of animals. We visit the library regularly, and stagger out the door under the weight of many, many books. He's gotten very proficient with puzzles. We have a few Dutch and German puzzles, which are notably harder as they don't have the typical notch and knob shapes. Probably another reason why American kids are behind the global intellectual curve. He also maintains his passions for machinery and farm animals. He's also looking forward to the completion of a dogsled-building project that Uncle Will has undertaken on his behalf. He's been practicing his gee and haw, but I'm afraid they're not going to mean much to Cooper.
Samuel is almost 8 months, and thankfully is not yet mobile, as his brother was at that age. He's generally easy-going, and loves to eat. He must have inherited his father's metabolism, as he never seems to get much bigger around.
The farm is at a point where we need to make decisions about how much time we're able/willing to commit to it. To what degree do we try to earn a livable income, use the land to sustain ourselves, or keep going somewhere in between those two possibilities as we've done the last few years. We've decided to switch to growing just for farmers' market, rather than CSA, to ease the rigidity of time constraints. As we start to plan and build a permanent house (and the yurt becomes the wood-working shop), we need more time. And we need to have time to be more available to the boys, and to take advantage of Maine's outdoor recreation. If we're going to grow commercially, we also need a few years to do more intensive soil amendment and water management. Even without the CSA, there will be few idle moments...
We're gearing up for more forestry work (for firewood and for house-building lumber), and for maple syruping. I'll try to get a few photos into this post too.