Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Update

Summer greetings!

Things sure do happen quickly here on our little homestead. So here is a bit of an update since the last posting.

We have our garden planted and things are growing nicely. Each morning after letting the chickens out and putting the ducklings in their outside pen, I stop and hoe or weed a couple of rows in the garden. That helps to keep up on the weeds. Mostly what we fight here are bind weed aka morning glory, lamb's quarters, buttercup, some sort of thick leafed weed and of course a bit of grass and another weed I don't know the name of.

We have 51 tomato plants this year that I started indoors way back in March. Add to that 35 peppers of numerous varieties. Onions, leeks, celery, basil, parsley all of which were also started indoors early. From seed we planted broccoli, summer and winter squash, cucumbers, corn, four variety of green beans, carrots, beets, swiss chard, spinach and lettuce. I bought cauliflower plants from the local nursery. They are a variety that is yellow, called cheddar. We always give something different and new a try each year.

In June we bought four Kinder goats. One doe was in milk. Well she decided she wasn't having any of the milking, and after fighting with her for over a week, we loaded them all back up and took them back to where we had bought them. Thankfully the woman was very generous with us and gave us our money back. We have decided maybe a cow would be in our family's better interests. : ) Now for the Lord to provide that cow at a free or reasonable cost.........

Our Muscovy ducklings arrived via the US Postal Service on June 21st. They have grown so fast and are now getting their feathers. They are so cute to watch.

Today we brought home two puppies. They are Labs. One is a light golden color and the other is black. The light colored one is a male and we have named him Duke. He has huge feet and will grow up to be a big dog. The black one is female and we named her Abigail, or Abby for short. She was the runt of the litter of 10 pups. They are 7 weeks old and boy are they a handful! Of course our girls are thrilled to have pups.

I hope I have the patience and wisdom to get them past the puppy stage. They are cute little creatures though.

Our orchard seems to have quite a bit of fruit this year. We had to fight with the raccoons and crows for the cherries we got this year. Which wasn't enough to can, so we have some baggies of them frozen in the freezer for a pie or smoothie later on.

This year we have planted more berries. I mistakenly bought Josta berries, thinking they were June/Service berries. So we have three healthy plants of them growing. Then we were given raspberries from Ed's brother and also some from a trade with the gardening group I am on. We have a nice row of raspberries now. Also my Dad got some starts of boysenberry, or marion berries and planted them here. I am not sure which they are, but they will be tasty when they get established.

Ed's grape starts he cut last Fall from the neighbors vines, didn't survive the winter this year. We do have one grape from three years ago that survived and is doing well in my herb garden.

Speaking of herbs, we have lots of Comfrey, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Sage, Oregano, Rosemary, Chives, and Parsley growing this year also. I was also given some horseradish. It is planted and thriving.

We have added 15 new roses to our landscape also. They were on sale for such a bargain, that I got a bit carried away with them! They will be beautiful when they are matured some and will make lovely bouquets for our home.

Also planted were four varieties of Lavender. I have dahlias and glads to plant out and a new clematis that was a birthday gift from my parents.

My wisteria is doing wonderful now and is climbing the gazebo. I hope to see it bloom next year. It is amazing how well it is doing. When I first planted it, the poor little thing was nothing more than a 12" stick.

On the homemaking front, I have started grinding my own wheat to make flour and then baking all our bread. It is turning out really nicely and is so good. My husband bought me a Bosch Universal mixer. This makes bread making so simple and quick! I am so blessed.

In addition to all these things, we are in the process of building an apartment for my parents on our place. My Dad and Ed are doing the labor. It is coming right along. They will be moving in before the end of Summer.

It will be nice to have them here. Having family around is so important. They are our daughters only living grandparents and we are so glad they will get to spend so much time with them.

I guess this has been a very long update, and hopefully I will be able to keep up to date on things better from now on.

Until next time, may the Lord bless you!