Holidays

How we celebrate the winter solstice

Winter is when we cozy up in the house and really slow down and enjoy all bounty of the homestead. The Crow homestead is located in northern Minnesota and we experience significant changes in the daylight between summer and winter. Because we live off the grid our daily lives are deeply impacted by these natural rhythms….and it turns out to be one of my favorite parts of our lifestyle! The winter solstice is the longest night of the year. Today on the Crow homestead the sunrise was at 7:55 am and it will set at 4:20 pm. We have a couple of traditions to celebrate the dark and the cold.

Fire

It is imperative to celebrate the warmth the fire provides us during the winter solstice. We always have the fire going at this time of the year so we bake something tasty in the cookstove using ingredients from our homestead. A favorite of ours is winter squash bread.

Winter Squash Bread with Walnuts and Amaranth Seeds

We use the pumpkin bread recipe from The Joy of cooking https://www.amazon.com/1997-Joy-Cooking-Irma-Rombauer/dp/B003IWYG1Q/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1545427653&sr=8-4&keywords=the+joy+of+cooking and put in any kid of winter squash like pumpkin, acorn, butternut, or even sweet potato. We load it up with whatever nuts and seeds we have on hand like walnuts and amaranth seeds.

Nature

Winter is amazingly beautiful especially if you slow down and discover the details. We get a lot of right blue skies on the coldest days and we just pile on the layers and enjoy the sunshine.

Renewal

We love to bring the dogs as we snowshoe in the woods around the homestead. It is so much fund to see the tracks of all the critters we share these woods with. We are also in a great area for winter birding and the woods are filled with activity.

I love to take a long hot bath on this cold dark night. For me a bath is a luxury. We have to heat all of the water on the wood stove….but it is SO worth it. We have a little 4′ clawfoot tub we got from and antique store that takes about 15 gallons of water to fill. I pour myself a glass of white wine and soak until I turn myself into a prune!

Start planning for next year

I love to spend hours with my seed catalogs. The next garden season is about to begin and it really comes to life when I’m designing it and planning out my seed order. Dee and I order our seeds from Baker’s Creek, Traditional Seeds, and Seed Savers. I love to sit by the fire with a cup of tea and pour over those beautiful pages of plants!

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