Happy July, friends! Here we are, another month nearly half-gone, but I’m thankful for the busy schedule keeping my mind occupied and all the time spent accomplishing important tasks and spent with friends.
I’ve made an effort to do more reading in the last week and have tried to pull back a little on the workload. I had several days where I didn’t step foot in the gardens, so I’m now feeling torn, like I need to put in a bunch of work, and also being to that point of not wanting to do much of anything until harvest time because I’m getting a little more easily worn out, it’s getting hotter, and the bugs are starting to come out.
We had our annual Independence Day party, which was nice. We kept it really casual this year, which I am VERY glad of, and it ended up raining, so it was a shorter day, which also ended up being a good thing. I spent the following day on the couch all day, just getting caught up on rest. Not that we didn’t want to have the party, but we did it more for the kids this year than anything, because I knew I’d start feeling pretty beat around that point in time, and because Scott had some work this year.
I spent a little more time reading this past week. I picked up Storey’s Guide to Raising Pigs again, and I’m almost finished now. There’s some information lacking in the book that would have been helpful, but I think I should be able to piece together missing info from other homesteaders online. We mostly need to know how to house a boar and a sow so as not to have issues of any kind. I’m through Chronicles and Ezra and onto Nehemiah in the Bible, I picked up my Hebrew textbook that I never got very far into in High School, and I’m trying to get a better understanding of pronunciations and word structure and meanings. And the kids and I are reading a chapter book together in our spare time. I’m trying to get us into a normal schedule again now that we’re past the worst of the yardwork for the summer, so we’ll probably be reading more again soon.
Scott has been so busy with work and playing catch-up since the boys had their vacation, so he hasn’t gotten as much done as he’d like, and we had a lot of extra stuff on the schedule this past week that meant no time working around the property. He did mow trails, get rid of a burning barrel, get a replacement barrel, and take care of multiple other things with regards to vehicle maintenance, and I’m sure there’s lots of other things I’m not aware of.
Elijah had a dentist appointment last week that took a long time, and Poppy had to go to the vet for her rabies vaccination, we had new friends over for dinner one night, and Bible study another night. We also went swimming with friends one afternoon and went to the zoo with cousins another afternoon. Scott went over to our priest’s house with another friend from church for some quality guy time one night last week… they get to talk theology and church and about life. (Our priest went to school a few grades ahead of us, so he’s about our age.)
Our schedule the rest of this month isn’t too crazy. I have another doctor’s appointment in two weeks, we have a couple of events with friends, we’re babysitting two afternoons this week, friends are coming to work in their garden, and Adeline and I are starting to turn our attention to the Tea Party. Invitations were sent out last week, a little later than I would have liked, but they got mailed! This year, we’re keeping it very simple, but there’s still some prep work and planning to finish up. I need to finish taking care of some of the stuff in the Secret Garden. I need to finish up the strawberry bed one of these days!
As far as things on the homestead, we’re constantly go-go-going! We had two chicks hatch out, and they’re doing great, thankfully. The egg layers are all good. We lost several meat birds due to a mistake one of the kids made, but lessons were learned, and the remaining birds are looking very healthy.
On Independence Day, 5 baby bunnies were born. They were all alive until yesterday morning, when 3 passed away. The two remaining bunnies seem healthy, though. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but the momma is doing a much better job this time around. Praying the babies stay healthy!
The pigs are still doing well. Thankfully, there are lots of food scraps this time of year, so we’re able to feed them a lot of other good food that isn’t strictly pig feed from a bag! I’m feeling a little intimidated at the idea of breeding our own pigs, and praying we make good decisions and don’t jump into something we’ll regret. And yet, I’m kind of excited about taking things a step further. For all the people who are under the impression that farms are easy things to run….. Ha! There’s so much to know, it’s amazing and mind-blowing.
The gardens are looking great. I want to do one more thorough round of weeding, but we’ll just have to see how things go. I’m starting to get worn out and I can’t go for as long when I spend time in the garden. Bending over is getting harder and harder. I’ve had pregnancy carpel tunnel flare up pretty bad after the last really big weeding day that I did. A friend lent me her braces for the wrist, which is a huge help, but I’m trying to be really careful about not overdoing it so I don’t do any permanent damage with what should be a temporary condition!
Mom came over last week and helped me for a day. That was a big blessing. She weeded the bed of sugar beets with the double wheel hoe and the stirrup hoe, helped me weed two long rows of carrots and another row of carrots and kohlrabi. We also planted probably 25-50 lbs more of some free seed potato that Scott brought home from the co-op one day. I ended up giving more potatoes to friends and family to plant as well… We aren’t sure how big they’ll get, but at the minimum, we should end up with some seed potato for next year! There’s a part of me that wants to keep planting, but I think I’m at my stopping point. I need to transition away from more weeding for the sake of my joints. Harvest time will be here soon enough!
We’re busy, but enjoying the bustle. Summer is such a change of pace from the rest of the year… a blast, but also exhausting! We enjoy playing hard, but it makes the rest period of winter so much more blissful. What are you up to these days? Leave a comment and I’ll reply the next time I come online to do some computer work!
Love and Blessings~Danielle
Your gardens are beautiful!
Spring Lake Homestead