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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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January 1, 2017

Between Christmas and New Year's Eve I remain busy, but New Year's doesn't really feel like a new year changing to me.

December 25, 2016

We celebrate Christmas Eve and I find time to rust tin snowflakes for gifts.

December 17, 2016

We keep up the Christmas card tradition, deal with icy runs, winterize the cement benches, and enjoy the babies' new eggs.

December 10, 2016

We finally learn the secret to citrus tree success and start the Christmas season with good will.

December 3, 2016

I try my hand at bakery quality spritz cookies, and end the busy week with Marty's birthday.

November 26, 2016

My busy week begins with Meg's birthday and includes Thanksgiving and a Christmas turnover.

November 19, 2016

Unseasonable weather occurs while I prepare to shut down the garden

October 31, 2016

We have our traditional Halloween bash, while winterizing the garden and helping build onto a barn.

October 8, 2016

I discuss rearranging cheap bouquets to maximum effect, and we start work on a project dear to my heart.

October 1, 2016

The unseasonably long growing season is making me reconsider how I winterize my garden.

September 26, 2016

Bulb and new roses arrive, while Marty and I finish some projects.

September 3, 2016

I reassess my native plants and redistribute the wealth.

August 27, 2016

I repaint our living room rug, raspberries come off the vine, and butterflies fly all around

August 20, 2016

I briefly discuss canning tomatoes, meanwhile, the sheep and I encounter a baby rabbit rummaging around the willow tree.

August 13, 2016

I discuss my tips for cost efficient sidewalk repair, meanwhile, Marty makes a bench.

July 23, 2016

The baby chicks become mini acrobats. We get a bumper crop of peaches, make some basil olive oil, and gather fresh garden carrots

July 16, 2016

We work on upgrading an old flowerbed to a more colonial look.

June 27, 2016

I celebrate my birthday with a new batch of baby chicks.

June 18, 2016

We get the sheep some hay and I begin harvesting our cherry trees.

June 4, 2016

I discuss old fashioned roses, close the greenhouse, and inspect the orchard for spring damage.

May 14, 2016

I give everything a fresh coat of white paint, and the kids give me a lovely Mother's Day tea.

March 12, 2016

Marty and I give the pool fence a colonial look with chinoiserie inspiration.

March 5, 2016

I prepare for the next season while encountering some problems with my seedlings. This year may be a trouble year.

February 27, 2016

We celebrate President's Day, while I turn some old baskets into new Easter decorations.

February 20, 2016

We celebrate St. Valentine's Day and take stock of a rat problem.

February 13, 2016

Planting annual flowers, tomatoes, and peppers. Plus, I begin decorating the mudroom.

February 6, 2016

The sheep are done with winter, while I put up decorations for February.

January 30, 2016

The last round of seeds arrive and I get started sewing some new yard outfits and repairing my old egg wreaths.

January 23, 2016

After a hectic week, I begin making rag rugs for the kitchen, an easy craft that will be easy to clean.

January 1, 2017

Between Christmas and New Year's Eve I remain busy, but New Year's doesn't really feel like a new year changing to me.

December 25, 2016

We celebrate Christmas Eve and I find time to rust tin snowflakes for gifts.

December 17, 2016

We keep up the Christmas card tradition, deal with icy runs, winterize the cement benches, and enjoy the babies' new eggs.

December 10, 2016

We finally learn the secret to citrus tree success and start the Christmas season with good will.

December 3, 2016

I try my hand at bakery quality spritz cookies, and end the busy week with Marty's birthday.

November 26, 2016

My busy week begins with Meg's birthday and includes Thanksgiving and a Christmas turnover.

November 19, 2016

Unseasonable weather occurs while I prepare to shut down the garden

October 31, 2016

We have our traditional Halloween bash, while winterizing the garden and helping build onto a barn.

October 8, 2016

I discuss rearranging cheap bouquets to maximum effect, and we start work on a project dear to my heart.

October 1, 2016

The unseasonably long growing season is making me reconsider how I winterize my garden.

September 26, 2016

Bulb and new roses arrive, while Marty and I finish some projects.

September 3, 2016

I reassess my native plants and redistribute the wealth.

August 27, 2016

I repaint our living room rug, raspberries come off the vine, and butterflies fly all around

August 20, 2016

I briefly discuss canning tomatoes, meanwhile, the sheep and I encounter a baby rabbit rummaging around the willow tree.

August 13, 2016

I discuss my tips for cost efficient sidewalk repair, meanwhile, Marty makes a bench.

July 23, 2016

The baby chicks become mini acrobats. We get a bumper crop of peaches, make some basil olive oil, and gather fresh garden carrots

July 16, 2016

We work on upgrading an old flowerbed to a more colonial look.

June 27, 2016

I celebrate my birthday with a new batch of baby chicks.

June 18, 2016

We get the sheep some hay and I begin harvesting our cherry trees.

June 4, 2016

I discuss old fashioned roses, close the greenhouse, and inspect the orchard for spring damage.

May 14, 2016

I give everything a fresh coat of white paint, and the kids give me a lovely Mother's Day tea.

March 12, 2016

Marty and I give the pool fence a colonial look with chinoiserie inspiration.

March 5, 2016

I prepare for the next season while encountering some problems with my seedlings. This year may be a trouble year.

February 27, 2016

We celebrate President's Day, while I turn some old baskets into new Easter decorations.

February 20, 2016

We celebrate St. Valentine's Day and take stock of a rat problem.

February 13, 2016

Planting annual flowers, tomatoes, and peppers. Plus, I begin decorating the mudroom.

February 6, 2016

The sheep are done with winter, while I put up decorations for February.

January 30, 2016

The last round of seeds arrive and I get started sewing some new yard outfits and repairing my old egg wreaths.

January 23, 2016

After a hectic week, I begin making rag rugs for the kitchen, an easy craft that will be easy to clean.