Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Relief is on the Way...

...or so they say.

It's been hot, hot, hot and the promised rain has missed our road. I heard it poured a short distance away.

When I walk on the lawn, it crunches. The humidity could bring you to your knees and take your breath away.

My son in Pennsylvania called today and told me it is in the 70s there today with record lows predicted overnight. It could get down into the 40s!

We've been promised similar daytime temperatures, starting tomorrow. But, then, they've been promising rain "tomorrow" for days now.

There's a deer with a newborn fawn trapped in one of our fenced pastures. I guess she is jumping over several times a day to nurse the baby. I saw a newborn calf today, three tiny bantam chicks newly hatched from one of the secret nests and a cute yellow gosling sitting up straight next to Mom, who is still setting on a big bunch of eggs.

The days are so long now. It is almost 9 p.m. and the sunset is just getting into full swing with beautiful streaks of orange and pink on a purple-blue background. Red sky at night - sailors' delight? Well, I think the chance for rain is over for now.

Monday, June 14, 2010


What surprised me yesterday as I did my gardening rounds?  Well, it turns out we have not one, but two apricot trees.  The younger of the two has begun bearing fruit this year -- not a lot, just a little.  I picked some slightly under ripe fruit to put under a dome and let ripen inside the house to foil the bugs.

When I went in the vegetable garden just to monitor the newly climbing bean plants, I found, to my amazement, that there were lots of fully mature beans ready to be picked.  I filled a bag with beautiful purple beans, which I blanched and froze.  Since these were mostly self-planted from last year's crop, it was especially surprising.  Slow food isn't just a catch phrase around here, and I wasn't in a big hurry to start harvesting in the heat.

Two long cucumbers were ready for picking, and eating, evidently.

Much chard must be cut, cooked, and frozen.  Some of the fennel is ready for picking.  It is all self-seeded.  Black raspberries are abundant in certain parts of the weedy lower yard.  The cherries are all pitted and in the freezer.  Zucchini is shredded, the recipe for muffins open on the counter for later today.

So, continuing my voyage of discovery, I'm out the door to do the chores before the sun gets too high in the sky.  I'd like to trim some goat hooves early and start to catch up on their maintenance.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June is Also Cherry Month

'Got a chance to pick some tart cherries yesterday.  A neighbor invited me to help myself.  If I get a chance I'll pick some more today, as the window of opportunity closes quickly on ripe cherries.  I'll need to get them pitted and either frozen or preserved before they get moldy or rotten.

I don't want to jinx the deal, but I think I found the breach in the goat fencing last Sunday.  It was behind the greenhouse, so hidden from human view, although, evidently, not from goat view.  Crossing my fingers  -- no visiting goats on the lawn checking out the developing peaches and pears for the past week.

A mysterious bag of summer squashes showed up on the kitchen counter yesterday.  Hmm... wonder where that came from?

Yesterday, I pulled some beets, boiled and skinned them, made a harvard sauce and froze a container for our winter enjoyment.  There is much chard to be cooked and frozen.  That will be a task for later in the day.

I made lavender and thyme salve yesterday.  It promises to be a useful concoction.

So, now to go down to sort goats in the barn for an early morning customer before the heat builds and the day becomes sticky.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

June is Berry Month

The little band of renegade goats was at it again yesterday afternoon.  They have found a way to get out of the fenced pastures and up on our lawn to browse on developing fruit.  It's probably nearly irresistable for them.

Chasing them on foot is fruitless (forgive the pun.)  I must run down and get my motorized Mule and vroomvroom them.  They know exactly where to go.  They wait in front of the back gate and I unlatch it and let them through, lecturing in a stern voice about "bad goats" and how they have plenty to eat in the legal fields.

At least I learned that the red raspberries are ready to pick, as are a few of the black raspberries and gooseberries.  Boy, it was just the 5th of June, which, after all, is Berry Month, and already berries are ripening.  These guys go on schedule.

The hayfield is mowed, raked and baled, so I'll be driving up to the areas where black raspberries grow to gather some.  My husband is already out gathering the round bales to get them under cover before the next rain comes. 

It's hot and humid and I dread having to walk the fence line to find the breach that allows bad behavior to thrive.  But, let's face it:  this is a priority and if I can thwart the behavior there are peaches in our future.