2010 was a roller coaster of a year.
- B and I barely made it.
- I withdrew from my Ph.D. program. I realized that original research is not my passion, and that is what a Ph.D. program is designed to create - a researcher. One who happens to teach, yes, but a researcher first.
- I went back to work full time (praise Jesus that I was able to move from part-time to full-time very quickly after leaving school).
- We turned the front yard in to the Orchard, with the addition of 27 fruit trees. Another 10 were planted in the backyard.
- We put in 13 raised garden beds.
And a couple months later with some late summer crops.
- We got chickens.
We ended up with 5 hens and 2 roosters, unknown breed(s).
- And then ducks.
5 Khaki Campbell hens.
- We had a poultry run built.
- And learned to slaughter chickens.
We can't have roosters and knew this would be the outcome if any of the chicks were males. We named them Dinner and Supper.
- We took several trips, including one to Hawaii with my family.
- Where we got engaged.
- We adopted a puppy.
Everyone, meet Guinness.
- We lost all 5 chicken hens and 4 of the 5 duck hens to raccoons in what has been dubbed The Great Massacre of 2010.
- We learned emergency poultry care in a hurry.
Meet Lucky, our surviving duck. She likes baths.
- We reinforced the poultry run. We now have the Fort Knox of poultry housing.
- We got 2 Rhode Island Reds who had just started laying to restart our flock and keep Lucky company.
- We took up beekeeping.
Checking the hives.
Filtering raw local honey from a cut-out.
- I stepped up my canning.
Jelly from 30 pounds of wine grapes given to us by a friend when we cut a hive out at her house.
- I started learning to ferment.
Three types of sauerkraut.
Our first batch of mead, made with a new friend who is experienced in homebrewing. It'll be a 8 - 12 months before it's ready.
- I continued to cook a lot and develop recipes.
- I discovered homemade butterscotch.
This is a problem.
- With a lot of hard work, tears, talking, stubbornness, and grace B and I got to a place far better than we've ever been.
We are looking forward to 2011 being a lot better than 2010.
I will elaborate on all these in future posts, as one of my main goals for the year is to get back to blogging consistently. I have missed it and look forward to getting back in the habit.
Happy New Year!