Cherry preserves, pineapple sauce, cherry pie filling, blueberry pie filling.
I am taking an Instagram break this summer which is giving me some time to focus on projects here, listen to my own thoughts, and lengthen my days. Yes, lengthen my days. For the first few weeks I still had the app on my phone and found myself checking in (lurking) once in a while. Sort of defeats the purpose. I have since removed the app and my world is palpably quiet. I’m not one who struggles with perceived negative dynamics of Instagram (don’t have other social media to include), so I wasn’t needing a “break” from conflict or harshness; it’s just that Instagram is the loudest, busiest part of my life and I felt called to know what my days would feel like without it for a decent amount of time. It’s been so nice, and truly, my days have lengthened and softened remarkably. Suffice to say, I will be sharing many photos in this post as I still enjoy taking them, and my camera roll has been filling up!
2021 will be the year we light the woodstove at least once every month, maybe twice. Twice was the case for July, and I am sure it will be at least twice in August. Cool, autumnal August. I imagine more years will follow similar to this, but lighting the woodstove twelve months out of the year is new for me and feels worth noting. A local friend told me she recalls a year in which snowflakes fell from the sky every single month. If it weren’t for needing to keep gardens alive, I wouldn’t mind seeing that.
Speaking of the garden, I’ve noticed tomatoes are beginning to ripen and corn is reaching overhead. Soon. We’ve already frozen many gallons of broccoli, and peas are coming in now. I planted them a little late so they are a week or two behind. August and September are full throttle harvest months which at the moment I welcome. These last weeks have felt relatively restful with the rush of spring and planting season far behind us. Our squash patch has a garden of its own this year and is taking advantage of the unbridled space.
Freedom Rangers arrived, and the inside of our newly built summer coop for the layers.
In the early morning I head out to feed the animals and give the pigs a scratch behind the ears. We welcomed fifty meatbirds a week ago and they are doing very well tucked into their spacious brooder. We went with Freedom Rangers this time and I am pleased to say all fifty are still with us and thriving. We didn’t have big losses with the Cornish Cross as many others report, but there is no denying they are an odd, unnatural feeling breed to raise. I am enjoying these slower growing, more chicken-like Rangers. Our layers have been moved to their summer coop with rotating pasture, and if I’m being honest they haven’t taken very well to it. Disruption in routine and familiarity I suppose. They’ll figure it out, and maybe even come to appreciate their new (improved!) summertime setup.
Like many of you, we have our attention toward winter. Finishing firewood, preserving food, and watching our window for outside projects quickly closing. I imagine we’ll have a hard freeze within the next six weeks, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a few snowflakes within eight. Lately I’ve been wondering if living with such pronounced seasons makes time pass more quickly; just when you’re settling in, the wind picks up and carries you to the next with little warning.
I awoke at 3:00 this morning feeling ready to start the day so that is what I did. By 10:00 my work for the day was done so I settled into a comfortable chair for an indulgent weekday morning chapter in my book… okay, two chapters. Uncle Kurt stopped by for a short visit. In a few minutes I’ll take a drive to the farm to pick up our milk for the week and by the time I return home, it will have chilled enough to light the woodstove. We’ll settle in for the evening, bones deeply warmed as only a woodstove can do. Outside the window, cool rain waters the gardens, again.