To everything, there is a season

It has been a week!!!

No really, it has been a week.  It is summer with all that means.  It is finally getting warm.  We are getting amazing storms.  I am really going to be thankful for each drop of rain. 

Garden news… It is going great!!! Really.  The girls and I are trying to get into the habit of going out right after morning chores to do an hour of weeding.  Yesterday we did three garden beds. Today we only got done a couple of patches.  The difference between having a good mulch layer and not.  It is really amazing how easy the weeds come out when there is a good mulch layer down.  I am hopeful that one day we will have no till gardens.  It is a little ways away though.  With heavy clay soils, well, yeah.

The peas are coming up and begging to be eaten.  The girls are going out every other day and picking them.  They get a good bowl full of them.  It reminds me of when we were in Washington.  However, then it was going out twice a day and getting a mixing bowl full.  Peas grow here, but not like in Washington.  The kale and other brassicas are  doing well too.  I wonder how long that will last though with the warmer weather.  However, rabbits did eat our broccoli down almost completely.  That was super super sad for me.  Really super sad.  We are now to the point where we are eating many meals out of the garden.  When you add in pork, eggs and milk, well, yes we are still buying food, but a lot of our staple needs are being met.  Which is really great and it will only get better!!!  More seeds have been planted and it is really exciting to see everything growing.

The animals are doing well.  Except for Freya. Last week she was found limping.  I found the thorn in her foot and pulled it out.  However it became infected.  We are treating her and hoping. Today she started putting a little weight on it again.  Ruby and Jewel did their heat thing again.  It wasn’t as strong of a heat this time.  Blackie was slightly interested but misdirected.  He tried to have sex with Luna, the goat.  She was very unamused. I think that will be the last time that happens. 

While Huck isn’t a farm animal he is still ours.  He is having a hard time.  Partly this is because he keeps getting into the puppy’s food.  He can’t eat grains or he starts to lose his hair.  So that started happening.  Then he got fleas and he has a flea allergy, so he started losing even more hair, and getting itching and sores all over.  We ended up shaving him completely, washing him and putting flea and tick medicine on him.  However after shaving him we noticed that he is shaking pretty much constantly.  Huck is about 15 years old, he is not a small dog either.  He is still eating, drinking, running around making it outside to pee and poop.  He seems happy.  Every season for the past three years Jack and I have looked at each other and told the girls that we didn’t think Huck would make it to see summer, winter, fall, fill in the blank here.  He amazes me.  Oh he isn’t the healthiest of dogs, but he still seems like Huck.  Old man Huck as opposed to Huck-a-puppie, though he still gets called that often.  Now we think that he purposefully ignores us like an ornery old man.  He is starting to sleep on the couch and looks at us like he doesn’t hear us when we tell him to get down.  It is sad, but really Huck has had a great life.  I don’t suspect he will see fall, but hell, we have been thinking that for a long time now.  He will surprise us I am sure.  Besides the fact that we can see his old man flab and his tremors now, he is looking better skin wise at least. 

The biggest thing that happened this week was HAY!!!  Last Wednesday a neighbor came over and mowed our center hill.  It was looking good as we weren’t supposed to get rain until Saturday.  There was a slight issue when that was happening though.  Jack was on Penn’s tractor mowing around the edges so the guy knew where to mow.  This was grazing land before we came here.  We have found all sorts of fencing equipment laying around the farm.  Unfortunately, Jack found some with the tractor.   He heard the tractor making some odd noises.  When he checked it out he found a piece of rebar in the tire.  We have found rebar stakes all over the place here.  It is very annoying and turned out to be very expensive to replace a tractor tire.  Really, it was not a good thing but we lived.

On Friday our neighbor came over and raked it all up. The forecast that morning still was not calling for rain.  It was looking pretty dark though so I checked again and sure enough there was a big swath of rain coming our way.  It may have been one of the only times Jack has asked me to hold the rain off. Our neighbor was supposed to come over around 2 to bale the hay up.  I told Jack that there was no way.  The rain looked like it would hit us around 11, it was about 9 at the time.  So I sat there looking at the radar and put up a block. Really, this is probably the first time I have ever tried to explain this to just about anyone who isn’t Jack.  I tried to slow the rain from coming.  The entire time he was baling that was what I was doing. It was still coming but slower.  I knew there was no way to redirect it, there was just too much rain and too close.  As it turns out seconds after the last bale was rolled off it started raining.  Of course, it still isn’t great that our bales were rained on right after.  Can’t do much about that though.  We figure that with the bales we put up we shouldn’t have to buy much hay this year.  Which is really great.  

I have to say that I am totally loving the abundance that is all over.  I used to think spring was my favorite time of year with all the new green.  It still makes me super happy to see the budding growth but summer is really getting there.  It is  busy, stressful and overwhelming but worth it.  In fact I have to say that I am starting to appreciate all the seasons more after living like this.  I may not like the cold, but I appreciate the slowing down, the heat from the wood stove, going to bed early.  Fall is more overwhelming than summer in some ways.  This year even more so as we will have butchering to do.  But the putting up of food takes a lot out of you.  Jack is looking into building a solar dehydrator.  We also really need to get a root cellar up.  Fall is when the abundance really starts.  Each season is special in its own way when you live with the earth.  Or at least, it is much easier for me to see it now.  I look at my daughters and see them really respecting the earth and the weather.  I see them understand things that took me a long time to get.  I see them put down their school books and pick up a farming book to read for fun.  We got Jack two books for Father’s Day that he has been wanting. I am not sure who has read more of them, him or the girls.  I’m so thankful, in so many ways, for the way they are growing up.  For who they  are growing into.  It is wonderful.

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