Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter at the Cottage

Winter visited the cottage while we slept and we woke to the most magnificent sight. It was hard to pull ourselves out of our warm, safe beds but the day beckoned and a new life awaited.
I would say we have around 4 inches. It's beautiful stuff of the magical kind. It's very cold out tho, thankfully most of the day can be spent inside.

We're staying warm thanks to a friend who left us two of her electric heaters. They work wonderfully but the electricity can not be afforded and certainly not depended on. I must find a wood stove or get the fireplace working as soon as possible.

My main job for the day has been working on setting up the pantry. A walk in pantry is such a boon, like finding an excellent whistler in a Cracker Jacks box.

We had an early supper of vegetable soup from cans with the last of the homemade crackers and some store bought ones as well. It was mighty good stuff :) I also found a package of Indian Chai tea, which I had bought some years ago and sealed for storage. It was actually very good with lost of clove.

One of the many things I look forward to getting back to is baking. Breads, lots of breads. Real tortillas, crackers, muffins, cakes ... actually the first thing likely to be baked in the cottage will be Nik's birthday cake :)

Our neighbors have been very welcoming. The wind, the cow people, the birds, trees, berry canes, hills, sun, sky.

There are other humans too, a mile or so from here. A few have slowed as they passed the house but none have stopped.

I encountered a giant rat in the barn last night. One of the biggest I have ever seen. It's living in the barn and stone house right now but it will have to find a new home soon.

Speaking if the barn, it needs work, like all things, but it is like one more jewel in the treasure chest. To be able to milk out of the wind and rain and with a light when it's darker. It's just a very good thing!

The goats are so happy and so much healthier in just the days they've been here. I was very worried about hooves, Thistle's hooves were horrible when we got her and it took months of work to get them healthier but they went bad again being kept in the chicken pen awaiting the move. Now they look so very good! She almost dried up as well and I'm worried still that she may. I hope if I keep at it she'll start producing again but for the days we've been here she's only giving about 1/2 a cup a day. We'll see.

When we get more pens set up and areas fenced well I will probably start looking for a buck and a milk cow. I've already ordered 10 Buffington pullets due in March and have an Ameraucana Roo coming too. The poultry part of the barn isn't usable yet but it won't take much to make it so. We're using the chick house and pen right now tho.

I do believe the second well is a cistern. It is a concrete box about 8 x 8 ft and 12 ft tall with two openings at the top, a larger square for bringing water up and a small square sealed with a round hole in the center, probably for the rain spout. I'll post pictures of it soon.

We've also found a second underground structure more mysterious than the first. Nik found it by almost falling through it. It's just a large opening covered by tin sheeting and honeysuckle. We have not yet investigated fully but it appears to have concrete arches and may well be an old root cellar.

There is also an unusual mound on the side of the house where the cistern is that does not look or feel natural but also has no apparent use or opening.

Lastly, for now. There is a fairly large den at the pond which I think may well be a skunk den. We take great care to give whatever lives there plenty of room when we visit the pond.

newly built goat pen


Spring fed pond


Peggy said...

It's like seeing a dream become a reality. So love the place and so happy its your home and will be cared for and loved.

the wild magnolia said...

Your new home and land is full of mysteries and blessings.

The pond is a dream come true, I'm sure! Gorgeous! The snow lays beautifully on the ground!

I'm so happy for you!

Wishing all the plans for your new hearth and home and land to come together soon.


Tango said...

It's beautiful! Can't wait to see it all green.

Jo said...

Your dreams will all come true in your new home. I hope that as you make progress with your fixing up that you will be able to share pictures with us.

Many Hugs....

June said...

It is just wonderful for both of you an the animals to have a new home the pond is so pretty, I grew up on cistern water ours had screen wire over it an Daddy would put charcoal on top of the screen an all of the debris would stay out of the sweet water. Good Luck in your new venture.