You guys! It’s been FOREVER since my last blog post! (Or, you know, like a month – which is basically forever in social media land.)
I have had a few folks check in to make sure I’m ok, because I’ve been quiet for so long. Rest assured, all is well – it’s just been hella busy in my little world!
What have I been doing, you ask?
Well, that is a swell question – and I wish I knew the answer!
I look back on the past month, and I have no freaking clue where it went. The entire month of June is a blur at this point, and July to-date has basically chewed me up and spat me out.
So, I don’t know what I’ve been doing – truly. My phone died a few weeks back, and I lost a bunch of photos, so I can’t even retrace my steps and piece together a logical narrative.
So I’ll just say this: summer is a hectic time. Sooooo much going on around the homestead.
Just to catch us all up to speed, here are some highlights.
Lots of Gardening
The garden is rocking out! To give credit where credit is due, Bradley really is the one down there working in it every day, but I go down to water, weed and harvest when I have free time.
Our radishes, spinach and arugula are going bonkers! I made a huge batch of Radish Kimchi (I had lots of pics but they were lost in the Great iPhone Crash of 2018) and we’ve been eating arugula and spinach salads for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The broccoli is also growing like gangbusters. Fresh broccoli, like everything else, tastes a hundred times better than anything at the store:
And we have a row of some gorgeous cabbages. Aren’t they beautiful?!
Potatoes do really well in our soil, and it looks like we will have a veritable shit-ton of potatoes to harvest this fall (the kids LOVE digging them – it’s better than a treasure hunt).
The pie cherries are also coming in. I don’t have time to pit and process cherries for pies right now, so I’m planning to throw them in the freezer, and then when things slow down a bit, I’ll process them with the food mill and make some sour cherry jam. Yum! Will be sure to post about that process when I get around to it.
We have tons of native plants on our property (we are still learning many of them) but one that Bradley was really excited about is Mullein. They are these huge, gangly stalks that put forth beautiful yellow flowers, which, if you make a tonic out of them, are great for respiratory health. Bradley usually gets a respiratory/sinus infection every winter so he is stoked to try this natural remedy.
So the other morning the boys went out and picked a bunch of mullein flowers, and Bradley started a mullein tincture by packing the flowers in sugar and putting it out in the sun. The sugar will draw out the juices from the flowers and the sun will melt the whole thing down into a syrup. It’s fun to watch this process happen!
This is the first year we’ve had chickens, and we are really loving them! They are so much easier than I thought they would be. They’ve been in a temporary, ramshackle housing for a few months while Bradley works on the Chicken Mansion. (It’s really just a regular chicken coop, but because Bradley doesn’t know how to half-ass anything, it’s a freaking mansion.)
The girls (and Anna the Rooster) will be happy with their new digs, once they are finally done.
Trying to stay sane
Work (not homesteading work, but my “pay the bills” jobby job) has been crazy busy lately, and between that, raising two energetic preschoolers, and trying to get everything up and running on the homestead (this is our second summer here, and there are a lot of things we are still trying to get off the ground), it has been hard to find any down time.
One way I try to solve for this is by taking the kids to the lake on the weekends. We are surrounded by dozens of lakes out here, and I find that dumping my kids in a giant body of water surrounded by sand is a great way to keep them busy for HOURS, and allowing me to maybe sit on my butt for like a few minutes.
Our new fave is Loon Lake, which has a great shallow area with lots of clean sand for the kids to play in. They love splashing around in the water and building sand castles. I love watching them do it from the comfy vantage point of a beach towel. 🙂 (I love the water too, but I’m really more of a paddler/boater than a swimmer. I can’t wait until the kids are old enough to go out on kayaks.)
And that’s about it. If I’ve been doing anything else, I surely don’t remember it.
But life is good, productive and full. Full of love, and full of activity. And there is nothing more I could ask for.
I’ll try to take a few moments to post more frequently so it doesn’t get all jammed up in my head. I hope all you out there are doing well and enjoying your summers!!
Much love ~ Kelly