Fall has hit. We are entering mid-October, and just now reviewing the final flash of summer. Before the snow flurries, we enter our own mad flurry of preparation for colder months.
As with each summer season before, we kept busy with projects. We are consistently more ambitious than time allows.
August kicked off with a hike with the new colts, Svanur and Vinur. Guests and Interns all threw on their hiking boots and led the ponies up to their new stomping grounds. The horses fed on rich grass from upland meadows while we grazed on ripening blueberries. We wandered ancient tundra trails, lavished the horses with treat rewards, and relished expansive upland views from alpine meadows.
The hike with Svanur and Vinur proved to be an important human/animal bonding and socialization mission. In addition to impressing us with their gentle and patient disposition during they hike, they also stood patiently for their first hoof-trimming session. They endured their pedicures with grace as we fed them treat cubes for a positive experience. The other horses had their hooves trimmed too. Perhaps the example they provided helped the new guys out. The “Tundra Swan” and “Friend” are proving themselves to be patient and accepting members of our unique bush menagerie.
Also in August, we continued extending our summer trail system. Our most exciting trail extends to our closest river. The river trail snakes along a roaring creek and passes through old growth forest rich with animal sign. By next fall, this will be a treasured hike and horse byway to access richer fishing grounds and new sights.
We continued work on the cabin addition by putting in insulation, adding more windows, doors, and the remainder of the floor. The space is quite cozy and is now the favored indoor hang out spot for its welcoming feel and lovely views.
Blueberries grow thick on the hillsides during August, and gallons of the nutritious berries were harvested for winter consumptions. Some were frozen while others were canned into jams and chutneys.
While Morgan continued our work on the cabin, Margaret hunted caribou in the hillsides (her turn!). She harvested a nice bull, and the freezer now boasts 300 pounds of meat and edible organs. The hide was salvaged for tanning, and the stomach shaped, sewn, and dried into containers.
Garden harvests began at the end of the month as frost threatened. Half of all potatoes, turnips, and beets were dug, sorted, and packed into the root cellar. We have an abundance of fresh, home-harvested food to supply us through the winter. Except for cheese, flour, coffee, sugar and some dried fruit, and a few other treats, all of our winter food will have been gathered from our valley. What a satisfying feeling!
The best meal of the season was a result of a group effort orchestrated by guest Yuki. Yuki came all the way from Japan to spend time with us and Intern/friend Makiko. Yuki instructed us in sushi making. It was such a treat to have Alaskan fish sushi and salad from the garden.
Now we enter the slower seasons of winter, and formulating our next growing and guiding season.
Contact us about the coming year’s classes and events at the Apricity homestead.
Upcoming Classes: Winter Survival Skills, Wild Edible Plants, Animal Track & Sign, Birding.
Upcoming Events: Round Pen Building, All Women’s Backpacking Trip, Caribou Observing.
Margaret, Morgan and all the Homestead Critters.