From the dirt to our plate; the trials and realities of first-time farm ownership

An Apple a Day & Then Some

WEEK 22
In our case it was more than an apple a day but who’s counting?  The trees are ripe and ready and oh how we’ve struggled with the sheer amount of apples we have this year. Battered and bruised, most of the apples look like they lost a fight with the Karate Kid, the hail was not kind.  


Next year I vow to be more prepared for winter storage; whether it’s canning or freezing I’ll be ready!  This year we’ve made many apple related goods such as crisp, cider, sauce, fresh eating, pie and even dehydrated chips.  Mom and I did whip together some apple pie filling to store for winter use.  Beyond that, we are amassing quite a pile the deer seem to be enjoying.  We have so much bounty this year I feel guilty not being able to put it all up.  I even forced apples upon my parents to take home!


The ducks have also added a few treats along the way.  On average, my four gals collectively seem to be laying about 2 eggs per day or so.  They are still early in their egg laying season so I expect laying will become a bit more frequent (possibly collecting 4 per day total) if only I can find them.  The ducks like to lay them all over the yard and I have even found a couple in their pool.  Soon enough, the chickens will start producing and we may find ourselves overrun with eggs.  However, the majority of the egg production won’t happen until spring…oh glorious spring!  I look forward to it already!

Our kitchen has come together quite well over this past week.  A BIG Thank You* goes out to my mom for helping me tile during her visit!  She did so much work with the apples and being my remodel assistant it made the work enjoyable.  Now that we have a (mostly) complete working kitchen, Mom even made cookies and tutored me on the art of using my new KitchinAid mixer!  We made a few new memories in this old house during week 22.


Over the next few months my husband will be making and installing the kitchen island with accompanying lighting.  An old Westinghouse TV cabinet from my grandparent’s home will be transformed into a functional work station.  It will include a bottle storage area and a lift up KitchenAid mixer shelf.  It will bring this house remodel full circle, in with the new but accented with a touch of the old.



Our hard water issues have finally cleared with the installation of the water softening system.  I was able to get it up and running (thanks again to Mom & Dad’s assistance), adjusting settings based on the level of hardness present in our water.  My folks and I decided not to tell my husband we set everything up…just to see if he’d notice.  Although copious amounts of suds were cropping up my husband still insisted it would be easy enough to hook up.  Easy enough that even I could do it sometime this week!  To his credit, the man is incredibly busy so I caved and let him know it had already been hooked up for two full days.  And, also to his credit, all I had to do was plug it in and program it…Ha Ha!

The wood stove is still a work in progress;  placement requires a ton of planning and preparation.   A weekend shopping trip has been set to search for stone to line the back wall.  From there, we will keep busy determining exact placement and creating a hearth pad along with the non-combustible back wall.


Having family here for a visit was wonderful, I honestly wish they lived just around the corner.  My parent’s initial response to our new home’s remote** location wasn’t all that positive but I think by the end of the visit they saw what we value in this property.  Our home is peaceful, abundant, a diamond in the not so remote North Dakota rough.  

This winter will bring with it much more unpacking and many new hurdles to overcome.  I think the bulk of their concern is snow removal as it will be on a much larger scale than we’ve experienced previously.  I don’t think I can accurately imagine the work it will take to clear our quarter-mile driveway in the grip of winter.  Perhaps that’s best.  Right now, we will enjoy our first fall in our new home, we are thankful and blessed! 

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* The BIG Thank You extends to both of my parents for not only being my assistant but also to my husband Jeff.  You were both there to lend a hand, offer pieces of advice and most of all a presence.  Thank you, we love you!

** Remote by my parent’s definition is not having a neighbor within a 1 mile radius.  Stores such as Kohls, Walmart, Menards and a large grocery should be within a 20-30 minute drive.  Their Michigan country is a little different than North Dakota country.  I think they were thankful we have running water, dish TV and the Internet!  

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