Tonight is the longest night of the year. According to scientists, it is also the longest night…ever! The sun set here in the foothills of the Western Maine mountains at 4:04 this afternoon and we won’t see it again till 7:15 tomorrow morning. That is 15 hours and 11 minutes without sunlight. I’m so glad the solstice is here!
We’ve put up food till spring and with the pig coming back this coming week we will be set for meat. We did give up our 10 laying hens and rooster today to another homestead couple. They weren’t laying enough to make them sustainable. We’ll be getting a whole new brood of chicks in April. We have our grain and hay for everyone else and will be taking our last litter of rabbits to the butcher in a couple weeks. That means we will be overwintering 8 sheep, 6 of whom we hope are pregnant and our 3 breeding rabbits.
With the solstice, the days will be getting longer and the planning for spring begins. We’ll be looking at the larder to figure out what we want to put in the garden. I have the grain costs and we will be figuring up prices for broilers, eggs, pork, lamb and turkey for our friends and customers next year. My fingers are crossed that I may be getting a small woodstove for my wood working room. In lovely warmth I will be building the chicken, rabbit and turkey tractors so we can pasture raise everyone this year.
Life on the farm is a cycle. We’ve had beautiful growth this year, a regrettable death and a bountiful harvest. It is time for that cycle to begin again.
To our family, friends and fellow homesteaders. Have a blessed solstice and may your fire burn bright tonight and all winter. Be safe, be warm, Spring will be here soon.