Thursday, July 9, 2020

Busy Homestead Season

So much has been happening!

We are harvesting blueberries, blackberries, goji berries, raspberries, strawberries, string beans, beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, red clover blossoms, mint, so many things I can't even remember them all!  So far we have put up 45 quarts of beets.  We've eaten string beans and put up 1 quart while processing beets.

We have harvested lots of blackberries this year.  The first five gallons went to a batch of wine.  The next couple went to a batch of blackberry jelly. and then we put 3 more gallons in the freezer.  The Squeezo made quick work of extracting the juice from the blackberries to make the jelly.  The leftover fiber and seeds went to the chickens.

Next is blueberries.  We froze 29 one cup bags mostly for muffins, and now have 7 more gallons, five of which will make a batch of wine.

The great potato experiment showed that the grocery store potatoes that we spent very little on (Maybe $3.99) grew about as well as the organic russets we spent $65 on.  Neither one did spectacular, but at least we have more potatoes than we planted.  On the left were from one bag of store bought, and on the right were from organic seed potatoes.

We had to harvest our peaches and cream corn before squirrels or raccoons harvested it for us.  We gave the corn husks to the cows, and cooked some of the pieces we culled for the pigs.  We celebrated Independence Day with the chickens we had processed the Tuesday before, the corn we had picked that day and the potatoes we harvested about an hour before.  It was delicious!

Our garlic harvest clearly showed the ones planted in richer soil grew the best.  The volunteers grown in poor soil are on the bottom of the picture.

A couple days after we processed our chicken, we pulled it all out of the coolers to put in the freezer and we processed the carcasses with the backs and the necks.  We were able to pick off about 16 cups of cooked chicken and made about 8 gallons of broth.  We then gave the carcasses to the dogs and the skins to the pigs.

Our piglets are growing up a storm and are happy and healthy!  I am still cooking oatmeal, rice, grits, corn and other leftovers for them, most of which are mixed with milk.  And of course they are harvesting their own food as well.  They seem to love the clover.

We are harvesting sunflowers for the chickens.  Of course, the gold finch are harvesting their own as well.  We have also been harvesting the Japanese beetles for the ducks and chickens with beetle traps.  Occasionally, we will take some out to the fish.

A friend gave us some beauty berry bushes which we planted in the cow pasture by their automatic waterer so they can treat themselves for flies.  They love rubbing their heads in the bushes.  This last one is waiting to be planted by our porch swing.

We have planted our fall seedlings of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts and peas.  They are coming along nicely.  We also got some hydrangea cuttings from my mother and father-in-law and it looks like they are going to make it!

Last and perhaps the best blessing of all is the hive I had set up as a bee trap has attracted some bees!!!!  My husband just noticed today that it looks like some bees have moved in!  We are so thankful.  God is good!

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