❄️Happy Solstice❄️

❄️Happy Solstice❄️

Yesterday was officially the last day of fall and I thought I would send off my wishes for a happy holiday with a collection of photos from our autumn here on the farm.  

 

September: Ushering in the Autumn

What better way to usher in the spirit of autumn than with a squirrel.  At the end of August, a squirrel moved in under our outhouse.  We could hear it under the floorboards everytime we visited the throne.  

At first, I thought it was a tree squirrel, an unwelcomed pest to cabin owners all over the state.  I was sure the cats would take care of it.  After a few days of hearing the little bugger chatter away under the outhouse with no sign of interest from either cat, who love to eat squirrels by the way, I began to wonder what was up.  

Finally, the little guy showed himself and he turned out to be an artic ground squirrel; apparently they are not on the cat’s dietary plan.  He made himself at home in our yard and we watched him go about his days gathering food for his long winter’s rest.  We named him Remmy.  

 

Not long after Remmy’s arrival, the first frost blanketed my garden signaling it was time to harvest.

First frost, September 3rd.
Liam showcasing a rather large zucchini.
Future sauerkraut.
Curing onions and garlic under the cover of a spruce tree.

 

Simon and Zoe, the rodent squad, patrolling the edge of the strawberry beds.

Once I start pulling crops from the garden, I invite the chickens in to forage.

Happy hens help with garden clean up.

One early morning in September, a bull moose walked on to the farm as if he owned the place.  If you want to know how this visit played out, you can read about it here.

Early morning visitor stops by giving Fezzik, and me, something to think about.
Goats enjoying the final days of grazing as the colors begin to slowly shift.
Fall colors deepen by mid-September.
Fall is not only a time to harvest the garden but also time to harvest goat.
Raw liver, hmm, he’s thinking about it…..
…yep, he did it!
Our ducks enjoying a swim on the pond on a peaceful, fall afternoon.
This year Bjorn went on his very first hunt.  He shot this spruce hen with his .22 rifle.  He cleaned it and cooked it up for our breakfast the following morning.  Here is a link to Bjorn’s home video, My First Hunt.   
Wrapping up September with a hike for my birthday.

Growing tired of yellow yet?

October: Winter Sets In.

As gorgeous as the fall foliage is, a fresh snow is equally beautiful.

By October 13th, we had our first snow. It was time to pull the last of my carrots from the ground.

Last minute carrot harvest.
These two must have cuddled up to keep warm.
The kale, along with some parsley and sage, held out until Halloween, surviving overnight temperatures in the teens.
November:  Temperatures Plummet.

November generally brings the first cold snap and when it dips below zero outside it’s good to be inside making kraut.

Before, cabbages crowding my entryway…
…during…
…after, lining my kitchen shelf to happily ferment.

(I know, I know, I have crummy lighting for inside pictures, so let’s get back outside.)

The cold certainly couldn’t keep the boys inside, so, with a hot bucket of water and a mop they set out to turn our tiny duck pond into an ice skating rink.

Practicing one of my foundational homeschooling principles: do the best you can with what you have to work with.
December: Walking in a Winter Wonderland.

November’s cold snap froze up the creek near our property where we usually collect our drinking water.  When this happens we snowmachine down to the Nizina River, a mile from the farm, to fill water containers.  This December brought back warmer temperatures and even rain.  As you can see in the pictures below, the boys are dressed lightly.

Down at the river, Bjorn is pleased as punch these days he gets to drive his own snowmachine.
The local waterhole at the Nizina River.
The boys take time to play while I fetch water.

With the garden put up and jars of kraut lining the kitchen shelves we take more time to enjoy winter’s offerings.

Making time for one of our favorite winter activities.

Today we harvest our tree so I thought I would throw in a couple of pictures from our previous Solstice and Christmas.

Winter Solstice 2016, harvesting the tree.
Christmas morning 2016.

Wishing you and yours a beautiful Solstice and a warm, happy holidays!

~The Kellers

25 thoughts on “❄️Happy Solstice❄️

  1. I really enjoyed the pictures of your home and family. The EOA program will be sadly missed!!! Merry Christmas to all!!!

  2. Your writing is lovely. Like the stories and pictures.. Very glad you are posting , will miss the show and everything but this is just as good. The boys are getting so grown up , it’s going to be fun watching Your postings about your family and farm. It’s funny about the moose, they seem to be around except when it’s hunting season then you can’t find any..Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.and family…

    1. Carolyn,
      Thank you for your comments, I’m glad you are enjoying the posts so far. I look forward to the project ahead and keeping the connection to our lifestyle open.
      Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday.
      Alison

  3. Thanks for sharing your life with us! After watching the show for so long I feel as though we know you well! I hope we can continue to be apart of your wonderful adventure and watch your young sons grow into men! Please keep us posted on every one else there! I know I feel as though I have lost a part of my family by the cancellation of the show

    1. Valarie,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. It has been just this sort of sentiment that has inspired Jeremy and I to continue to reach out regardless of the show ending.
      Wishing you and your loved ones a warm and peaceful holiday.
      Alison

  4. I’m so glad you’re writing a blog! Your family was the best part of the show. I’m a fellow homeschooler and I look forward to reading more about your homestead adventures!

    1. Nicole, thank you so much. My journey into homeschooling has definitely been a wonderful and complex experience which continues to evolve….as I think it always should. I do look forward to diving into this topic in the near future.
      Warmest wishes and a happy holidays to you and your loved ones,
      Alison

    1. Yes, Jeremy likes the shock value of shaving his head every so often! And now Bjorn is following suit.
      Happy holidays, Ray, and thank you for reading. I’ve really enjoyed sharing.
      Warmest wishes, Alison

  5. Merry Christmas to you and your family, It has been a pleasure watching you and your family on EOA. I sure hope that the discovery channel gives your family your own show Homesteading in Alaska!!! I am shocked that they aren’t doing another season, the only reason I watch the show was because of your family and also like Gary and Mark. Well I am glad to see that you have this blog going and Jeremy doing live feeds now, it is going to be nice to see more of your family and to read your stories, Thank you. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    1. Merry Christmas Darla and thank you for your comments; I’m so glad you have enjoyed the show. I visited your website, what a lovely shop you have. I think it’s great you’re specializing in handmade products, my favorite. Best wishes to you and your loved ones in the New Year. Alison

  6. Well I am hooked. What a wonderful way to keep up with the Keller family ! Love the pictures !
    You write beautifully – – – are you considering a book about your life/adventures.
    Love to you all,
    Uncle Bill and Linda

    1. Hello Linda! It is wonderful to hear from you. Thank you so much for your warm words. Yes, I have considered writing a book. This blog will be a great way for me to exercise my writing muscles. One of our favorite sayings here in our home is: “there’s trained and untrained”. I’m in training so to speak. I’m working on some long-form articles to post hopefully not too long after New Years…but since I’m still in training, it’s taking me a bit longer than I realized.
      Love to you and Uncle Bill. Hopefully we can visit again soon. Alison

  7. Hi Allie and all! This is so exciting! I love your blog and hear you have had exciting changes since we saw you all here in Ipswich! We are all so happy for you! Bet we have more snow than you this morning! Well maybe not! Terrible single digit temps, wicked wind, snowsnowsnow! Flooding in many areas. Facing cleanup today Your photos are beautiful. Looking forward to keeping in touch with the Keller clan. Love to all and HAPPY 2018!! Judy and Don (will pass your blog on to Amy!)

    1. Hello Judy! Thank you so much for reaching out. It sounds like you had a heck of a time there with the weather. Yes, big changes for us this year. I will be writing about all that soon.
      Love from all of us. Alison

  8. Thanks for sharing the photos and stories! Your writing style is great! Please keep posting 🙂

    Best regards from Upstate NY,

    Chet

    1. Thank you Chet. Your words are timely and encouraging. I hope to get new content out soon.
      Best wishes to you and yours, Alison.

  9. Hello, Allie – Aunt Cindy here. Jan told us all about your blog and I am enjoying it so much. It makes me feel as if you all aren’t so far away from us. Love to all from me and Uncle Steve!

    1. Hello Aunt Cindy,
      Thank you!!! I’m hoping to get something new out soon.
      Hope all is well in your part of the world.
      Lots of love, Allie

  10. Hi Allie!
    Finally got to read your blog. I love reading about your life in Alaska! This was a lovely piece with great pictures. I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to more. Hope everything is going well with your new place. We may even get up there some day :).
    love,
    Carol Brown

  11. Have you written more on your blog since December.? This is the only link I could find. Hope you’re all doing well thank you

    1. Good morning Judy. Your question is well timed. I hope to send out an email today with links to a new post and an audio clip of Jeremy speaking to a group of elementary school children about dog mushing. Thank you so much and I hope you enjoy the new posts. Best wishes to you as well. Alison.

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