By spring of year 23 we had several more educated workers. The outdoor classroom was closed and the new school was completed and ready for its first students. We built several storage sheds hoping to shorten travel distances. We had no markets yet. Without enough markets and merchants we feared some areas would be left with shortages.
In August the first apple harvest began in the new orchard. We were eager to see the harvest total, and it was a good one, far more apples than we got from the small orchard. We were dismayed to find the farmer, Harvid, one of our original educated settlers was in such poor health. When questioned he said there was plenty of food at home in his pantry, a good variety but no grain or herbs. We built a bakery over by the mill, but were waiting for our order of salt to come in. Going into winter our food supply was the best it has ever been and it remained so well into spring of year 24. Thanks in part to our best hunter, Amelana, educated in outdoor classroom. An educated herbalist across the river was ready and waiting to get out to collect more herbs.
Other than the helper, Migdalena, dying of old age, things seemed to be going well. We had thought to use the old orchard site as a second graveyard but the old one still had room. We found that the simple white wooden crosses did not last long. We had other plans now for the old orchard site. When the next group of helpers arrived, they only stayed long enough to give us recipes for fruit cake and other baked goods from Mrs. Claus. It seems that wise Nordic woman, @Nilla
, paid her a visit and explained our situation to her. Mrs. Claus understood completely, she would not be offended if we returned the helpers to her. Wise Nordic woman has stopped by our town several times on her way south for respites from the harsh Nordic cold.
It was nice to see people starting to enjoy themselves a bit, decorating with plants and color roads, even taking time to do some crayfishing, actually wading out into the sun warmed stream. Not a bad catch, 48 crayfish. Upstream the mill and bakery were producing flour and rye bread after our salt order came in. The first red cottage with tiled roof was built. One of the builders said the roads he started experimenting with were CC color roads. He said he had 9 colors and CC stood for color clay but I don't think he really knew what CC was.
Our second apple harvest was less than the first one due to an early snowfall but it was still a very good one. We got walnut seeds from the boatman but did not get the orchard planted yet. When wise Nordic woman stopped by on her way south we thanked her for the orchard size advice and gave her a large sack of apples to take with her. I wish we would have had some nuts to give her, I heard a rumor that she took nuts from the squirrels but I don't like telling such tales.
You didn't hear it from me. Ho Ho Ho