Another dry summer day

None of the predicted rain has found our farm in weeks and weeks. The grass is brown and crispy to walk on. Last weekend the temperature was mild for summer, but the heat is back. Today was HOT. We packed up the grand and headed for a location less than an hour from here that has a natural swimming hole at the base of a falls area. Depending on which sign you passed, it was either Dismal Falls, or the Falls of Dismal. The falls were so dry they was very little water going over. This is the image we were expecting.

This is what we saw.

I waded to upper thigh deep, Grandson 1 went all in. There were two pools deep enough for him to dunk all the way under by squatting down, but it was a nice walk in and back out, though the GPS took us well past where we should have been.

This morning before it got hot, I did a garden harvest, bringing in Cape Gooseberry (Ground Cherries), Tomatillos, Tomatoes, and a few cucumbers. After our trip, I decided to make a batch of Ground Cherry Jam. The recipe called for 3 cups of fruit, I had only harvested 2, so back out into the heat, I harvested another cup. I expected 3 cups of fruit, a cup of sugar, and the lemon juice to make at least two cups of jam. It only made 1 1/2 cups.

After dinner tonight, since the pot was still on the stove and still hot, I pulled out the tomatillos from the freezer, added enough to today’s harvest to make a pound and made 3 cups of Tomatillo/Jalapeno/Lime jam.

I hope the reusable lids sealed better this time.

They say, “you are never too old”…

I beg to disagree. The summer chore list was long this year. Many major projects needed to be done to preserve the integrity of our house, to have a garden that required less maintenance, and to get a coat of stain on the coop to try to extend it’s life. Spring was spent getting the garden ready with new boxes from reclaimed wood, filling them with soil dug from old beds, compost, and some bagged soil. Paths were lined with weed mat or cardboard and about an inch of mulch placed over it. The beds are fine and fairly easy to maintain as most are sturdy enough for me to sit on the side to weed. The paths needed several inches more mulch, but buying it by the bag is neither economical nor environmentally friendly, I need to find a load or two of woodchips from a tree service and have it dumped to move by wheelbarrow.

The house needed all 4 sides of the garage, the east wall, the north dormers, and all surfaces of the roofed front porch powerwashed and stained, as well as staining all the raw wood from the deck rebuild two years ago. Son 1 and grandson 1 got it all powerwashed and Son 1 stained the east wall, the walls of the garage, and the dormers. Hubby and I got the garage doors done, but the porch was still in need. Thursday, we decided to try tobegin to finish everything but the railing and floor which take a latex stain, probably a mistake years and years ago. While hubby stained the posts, I did the ceiling. Friday, we set up again, and got the front porch log wall, the windows and door frame done. Today we started on the deck. Hubby did the upper work while I did the frame underneath and outside parts from an 8 foot ladder. Most of it has been done, but there are still the joists under the floorboards that were not on outside edges that probably should still be done, but it is going to have to wait for a few days. Our arms, necks, shoulders, and backs are screaming.

We still need to get the floor done, the railing also. I guess in a few days, the remaining joists under the deck floor will get a coat of stain too. The chicken coop has had wood repaired, but it still needs to be stained too. The list is getting shorter, but isn’t done yet.

Season’s Firsts

First Sunflower, a bird planted volunteer. None of the ones I planted have sprouted, I will try again.

First blueberries and peas. There will be many more to come.

First fawn spotted, this doe had a single and they were in the yard behind the house. By the time I got my camera phone ready, the very wary Mom had urged her little spotted one into taller forage.

Still waiting for the first egg from the pullets. A couple look like they are close with red combs instead of pale undeveloped ones. They will be 18 weeks old on Tuesday, so most any time now for some of the breeds, the Marans take longer to lay their first, so another 3 to 6 weeks for them.

And we are seeing the tail end of the asparagus. I have dug as many crowns from the old bed as I could for Son 1’s garden. I will thoroughly weed what is left and heavily mulch it. I can’t get the rest of them up, so there may be more in that bed next year.