Summer seems to be flying by! Here at the roost we are getting back into a routine after being away on vacation for a week. June and Georgia had a ball on their first beach trip and we loved getting to spend time with extended family!
|my cousins and our baby girls|
Now that we are back there are a host of homestead projects to tackle. First and foremost starting with the garden.
Our kale and collards are still going strong and I have been lazy about harvesting them, so I need to get on it so that we can plant some fall crops in their place. We have been getting lots of romaine lettuce all summer long and a new baby crop of arugula is about ready for harvest.
Our tomatoes have done ok, but not great. One entire row all died and overall they have been slow-growing. Our garden definitely does not get enough sun for the crops that are sun-loving. If we can grow enough, I plan to can some and make some sauce to preserve. Same with the cucumbers.
The beans have produced a slow but steady supply of half-runners and Kentucky wonder beans, the harvests of which should increase as the summer goes on. Again, I'm hoping to preserve and and pickle the extra beans that we don't eat fresh, as well as dry some for making shuck beans.
Our peppers aren't doing so great but we will let them continue growing and see what we get. Our squash is growing pretty good but we don't have much fruit from them yet. We did not grow any potatoes this year and didn't have the time to get peanuts, melons, or sunflowers into the ground as we had hoped. I don't feel so bad about not growing sweet potatoes because most of them in grocery stores are grown right here in North Carolina and they are super cheap. With sweet potatoes, I'm at least still eating local and saving money.
The chickens are still very much a part of our homestead life, although we don't have the time to devote to them as we did before now that we have the babies. My hubby wants them gone as they have taken to wanting to roost on our porches since they are free range. Our flock never ceases to have some sort of drama going on. We recently had two of our hens go missing which brings our flock total down to ten. Rosemary was also sick recently with flystrike and a swollen fluid-filled abdomen, and though she seems to be doing better, I think her days are numbered (she is over 4 years old!). Why is it always the good hens that go missing and never the roosters or the ones you don't like?
Chicken-related projects include mending the fence and netting for each coop's pen, repairing the wooden ramps to the coops, cleaning the coops, and dusting each chicken with DE.
Finally, I am still in the process of transitioning our diet to a real foods diet with sort of an emphasis on eating a low-gluten or gluten-free, paleo-based diet if we can. We already eat mostly whole, real foods anyway but there are several areas where we could use improvement and times when temptation or convenience gets the best of us. Meal preparation is key to overcoming the convenience of grabbing something on the go. Back earlier in the year we purchased a large package of grass-fed beef from a local farmer and it was fabulous! We hope to do more of this, grow more of our food, and purchase from local farmer's markets as much as possible. One big problem is in the state of North Carolina it is illegal to sell/consume raw diary products, and with twin 9 month old babies THERE. IS. JUST. NO. TIME. LEFT. to do much of anything else!
It definitely seems overwhelming at times but in the end I know it will be so worth it to our health and well-being. Hope you are having a wonderful summer and that your gardens are giving you an endless bounty :)
Homestead Barn Hop