Thursday, July 09, 2015

What's Up On The Homestead?

In the late fall and through the early winter, Mr. Marvelous stays busy planning his garden.  In the spring, he gets busy preparing and planting.  However in the summer time it is Mama's turn in the garden.  I'm often not quite sure that I fully appreciate that division of labor when I am 1. outside weeding and picking in the heat or 2. on the back porch in my outdoor kitchen canning in the heat.  I do try and get most of the out in the garden work done by 9 am or so, but the canning "can" go on all day some days.  Yet I am only one in a long line of women who spent their summers putting up the garden for their families and I like continuing that tradition.  So far I have put up 32 pints of strawberry jam, 39 pints of corn (some for us and some to share with Emily Ruth), 29 pints of green beans, and 15 quarts of sweet pickles (some for us and some to share with Diana).  

Just a few of the beans and the pickles
There's also the  10 pints of watermelon rind pickles, more of which will be done today and tomorrow.  My basement shelves are starting to fill up!

Weeding is hot work, but it is satisfying.  I love going from this:
To this!
Striking difference, yes?

We figured that the lettuce was done for the year, even though we still had productive plants.  Lettuce "bolts" when it goes to seed.  While it still looks pretty, the taste is awful.  It gets so bitter you want to scream for sugar, diabetic or not.  Over the weekend while Mr. Marvelous was giving the weed-eater a work-out, I looked at this:
This was our lettuce and radish bed.
Aren't they impressive?
I started pulling them up.

The radishes have seed-pods.  I didn't know that, did you? 

And teeny-tiny little seeds
(and someone who needs a manicure!)

They eventually turn into this:
 I have always wished I could grow the flower Canterbury Bells.  It looks like I almost did this year!
 I pulled up several buckets full of lettuce and radishes.  The chickens were blissfully happy.

So were the rabbits!
They don't often get garden treats, but they enjoy them when they do.

Speaking of rabbits, you may be wondering how they are handling the summer heat.  The girls are doing rather well.  Barabbas, on the other hand, is losing a LOT of his fur.
Doesn't he look pathetic?
Don't worry; that fur gets recycled by the Mama birds.

We are now down to 23 chickens from 29, and there is a funny story that goes with that statement but that's a story for another post.  My four cross-bred babies in the basement are getting more and more comical.  When I go down there and sit on the stool right beside the brooder, I have one who will always fly up and out of the brooder and into my lap.  Another will sit there and try hard to psych herself up to make the leap but she never quite does.  One of these days I will ask Jr. to come and video the process for your enjoyment; it is amusing.  Animal imprinting is real, and those birds are convinced that I am their Mama.

That's about it for what is going on around here these days.  God's goodness and grace are evident on an hourly basis.  We thank Him and praise Him daily for the provision of this little homestead!

His peace to your homes.

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