Good Tidings to all...

I took time to walk around the nearly bare garden and take in all the changes that occurred this year this afternoon. We managed to successfully brew raki from Persimmons, Mulberries, Thana, and Grapes. Made wine from mulberries (semi fail) and our grapes (great so far). Stocked our freezer with fresh figs, dried figs, sauce from the garden tomatoes, pepper, eggplants, and onions, fresh pomegranate juice, mulberry juice, beans, and enough blueberries to last until next year. Stocked the pantry and cellar with fig jam, pekmez (mulberry molasses), more beans, quince preserves, dried herbs and tea, potatoes, garlic, onion, wine, and raki.

In the garden we have another round of garlic and onions, variety of cabbage, lettuce greens and leeks. Persimmons are ripening nearly every day. And we are starting the planning stages for next years garden including a new project.

Art and I have officially signed a lease for the land next to our homestead to start a new pomegranate orchard for export. An adventure and challenge to add to the mix for sure. We know the pomegranate trees that are in our current garden and that grow wild here in the north require little maintenance and can tolerate our long dry summers. We hope that once we pass the initial planting and first two years of growth we can have a healthy productive harvest.

Many challenges I have embraced since starting the homestead lifestyle and believe we are ready for this one. We are still working towards building a cabin or suite accommodation to host people onsite.

We are thankful the healthy produce from our garden, orchard and vineyard, fresh eggs from our chickens and our bio meat raised here or next door. A major boost to our health and well being during a year where we stayed very close to home. Only a few minor excursions to the mountains.

Speaking of mountains. Art manifested his dream of walking the mountains this year by assisting with a project here in the north to document the flora, trees and terrains manually. He was able to view the area from far above and document some pretty cool canyons and caves to further explore.

From a creative aspect we have uploaded several videos to our Homestead Albania channel, opened an Etsy shop to share our corner of the world, donated two pallets of books to the local schools and written/published two books.

So all in all a pretty rad, delicious and beautiful year.

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