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Peaches and Summer’s Bounty
The baby chicks become mini acrobats. We get a bumper crop of peaches, make some basil olive oil, and gather fresh garden carrots
July 23, 2016

Time to harvest peaches! Despite our yo-yo like weather, this spring our peach trees have done really well.  These trees were purchased from the Stark Bros. about four or five years ago.  We picked Red Havens because they will be hardy for our area.  They were also favored by our local fruit farm, whose peaches always taste so good.  In previous years, we have had a peach here or there, but this year, wow, what a bumper crop!  Now if I can get them picked before the squirrels, fox cubs, birds, and raccoons get to them first.

    

I used the opportunity of some hot July sunshine to make some basil olive oil.  We can make a nice meal out of a crunchy baguette with basil olive oil, a bit of cheese, and some fresh grapes.  I’ve tried different basil olive oils from the stores, but they are all so bitter, and don’t taste nearly as good as the homemade oil.  I’m desperate to find another system than pouring the oil on top of the basil leaves and leaving them to sit in the sun, because in the winter, when I really want some basil infused oil, there just isn’t enough sun to make it happen.  I’m thinking of trying a crock pot.  High heats really cause the basil leaves to be bitter, so I’m trying to find a technique that will avoid this at all cost.

       

Now that the baby chicks are past their critical stage and doing well, it is time to get to know them.  This batch seems particularly friendly and acrobatic!  Little Peggy seems to be the high flier of this group.  There’s always one.  I decided to put them in the grass today, but they spent most of the time climbing up my arm and nesting in my hair.  It reminds me of the little chicken poem by Jack Prelutsky that Megan copied for me years ago. It’s called Last Night I Dreamed of Chickens, and the first lines go:

Last night I dreamed of chickens.

There were chickens everywhere.

They were standing on my stomach.

They were nesting in my hair.

Clearly Mr. Prelutsky was acquainted with baby chickens, because that’s just what they do!

After I put the chickens away, I thought I’d give the garden the once over.  It looked like the carrot tops were well developed, so I went digging around to see what I could find.  Lo and behold, a carrot!  I dug the lot up and they look really nice this year.  Carrots are one those things like tomatoes and fresh eggs; they’re cheaper from the grocery, and harder to raise yourself, but the homegrown flavor just can’t be bought.  Root vegetables are also a bit like wines, the different soils they grow in affect the flavor, and even the same variety won’t yield the same flavor from one soil to the next.

I had to place the carrots in a basket in the mudroom.  I’m really starting to like the addition, now.  In years past, the dirt from the carrots would have been sifted through the basket and onto my kitchen table.  Now they can be kept waiting for me without having to worry about who will track the dust into the living room.  The other garden goodies are also waiting there to be canned, and that’s next on the agenda.  Once the tomatoes and peppers hit their stride, it’s canning daily until the end of the season.

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December 25, 2019

The season marches forward with Christmas bakes, and I try a few experiments on some old favorites

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With Christmas on its way, I take a look at the 400+ seedlings in the basement, and Harry helps . . . or so he thinks.

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I substitute an old favorite in our rarely altered traditional meal, and my family and I head to the tree farm again

November 24, 2019

My daughter's birthday inspires some unicorn decorations and the sky seems to join in the fun

November 17, 2019

After so much heat, and still so much green hanging on the trees, an early snow surprises us all

November 9, 2019

I get my husband to make a late season alteration to our coop, which will hopefully help my bones this winter

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I make some last minute adjustments to the yard, just in time to catch the last of the warm weather

October 20, 2019

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October 13, 2019

I scurry around gathering seed tops and cuttings for spring 2020

October 6, 2019

When we should be thinking of hot drinks, the weather keeps summer barreling into fall, which makes late season gardening miserable

September 30, 2019

As we wind down the year towards the fall season, another repair presents itself, this time our refrigerator

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Following a recipe mishap years ago, I attempt use up some of our pear bounty and make a tasty chutney

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September 8, 2019

Harry has unearthed a family of skunks seeking shelter from the heat beneath my old shed, which makes my gardening interesting

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In preparation for the apple season, I work on a new quilted runner and realize finding cute fabric has gotten difficult

August 24, 2019

Offsetting what seems like a year of repairs, our chickens and garden surprise us with some bonuses for the kitchen

August 17, 2019

My silly sheep go chasing our tree frogs in the yard and mistake one for a pear

August 10, 2019

I decide to make my sister an early fall gift, a candy dispenser with a nod to raising chickens

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I hope I've finally reached the end of my bucket carrying days by finishing some inside repairs to our basement

July 28, 2019

Harry celebrates his second birthday and I make some sauerkraut and peach gold (aka peach jam)

July 21, 2019

While my husband picks up some overtime, I pick up the masonry tools and fix an old problem in the garden. Surprise!

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The produce begins coming off the vine and I rush to keep up with the orders Mother Nature has for me

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My family plays to my love of gardening and throws me a birthday party utilizing all my old yard outfits

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June 6, 2019

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June 5, 2019

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June 5, 2019

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June 5, 2019

Natural grazers, sheep endure many elements, but do sometimes require more than just a field.

June 5, 2019

Even nutrition has its factions: grass or grain, supplements or treats. Learn more.

June 5, 2019

There are pros and cons to both long and short tails, and I have both in my flock.

June 5, 2019

There are pros and cons to raising sheep. Know both before you start.

June 2, 2019

Meet the sweetheart of the flock, who is aptly named after the Easter flower.

June 2, 2019

Learn about my most feral sheep, Elsie, and how she became tame.

June 2, 2019

Get acquainted with my first sheep Daisy and my bumpy reintroduction to the world of shepherding.

June 2, 2019

How I got the woolly itch and decided to get back into rearing livestock.

May 31, 2019

We get a reprieve from the heat and I spend some time with the sheep in the field, and with one of our spring bunnies

May 25, 2019

Peonies, honeysuckle, and strawberries come off in buckets and basket as spring's bounty continues