Some exciting news here at our little homestead is that we've had our first community ritual in our new sacred space. My wonderful and talented husband with some help from my father and our friend Bob, cleared the space. Then my honey dug out a large stump and dug our firepit. We still have a lot to do. Our future goals are to level the space some more and build a stone wall around the perimeter. I'd really like to cap the wall, so that it can used for seating as well. We also want to plant trees in the different directions. I'm hoping that it will be a very special and powerful place for our own sacred work as well as for the benefit of our community.
Our ritual began with a blessing and consecration of the space - many commented that this was the most powerful part of the ritual. Next we did a ritual of renewal and new growth, preparation for the dark time of the year from Samhain to the Winter Solstice.
The newest news from the homestead is that our beautiful Ralph the Rhode Island Red Rooster is finally crowing. Unfortunately, he crows at very odd times. Last night he was crowing in the middle of the night. He also crows when I drive in at the end of my shift - I thinks it's the headlights and also the sound. He crows when he hears the back door open, he seems to be reminding us that he doesn't like being "cooped" up (yes that was on purpose :}).
The whole flock has also been wandering further than we are comfortable with. The boy found them in the neighbors' yard this afternoon. We're going to invest in some lightweight bird/poultry netting to block off that side of the yard. It is not meant for predators only to give them a visual barrier. We're hoping that will be enough and will just keep them closer to the coop. The coop is on that side of the yard, so I think they will have plenty of room in the rest of the yard, so they won't wander into any other yards.
I'm already missing local produce. We have lots of frozen corn and now some local potatoes to store. Of course we still buy our meat from a local farm that has a year round stand. I don't think we really have any place nearby that has off season produce, so we may have to move outside our comfort zone. I feel a little wasteful using gas to drive an hour to buy produce - it feels almost counter productive. Supporting a local farm is very important though. I'm thinking that cold frames are a definite in our future - I'd love a green house to grow vegis all year round, but I'm not sure where on the property I'd keep it. It would also be necessary to heat it for a least part of the year and a decision would have to be made about that. I've done lots of research and know I have a number of heating possibilities; one of my favorites is barrels filled with water painted black set in the sun to absorb heat that then will be radiated into the green house over night.
I suppose that's all for today. I don't want to over do it with my hands, so I'll sign off for now. Blessings for this wonderful introspective time of year. The Sun is coming!