Welcome to my homesteading series! Like I mentioned in June, instead of doing a weekly recap, I’ll just be doing month long recaps. That way I’m not boring you.
We just wrapped up July, can you believe summer break is half over. I am not ready! And I’m sure August is going to fly by, considering in two weeks the kids start doing back-to-school events.
Bee’s really love borage plants!
Clean Up & Projects
Many hours of routine yard work had been done over the past month. Thankfully everything is slowing down, so I’m not mowing and weed-wacking every week. Watering all the plants takes me a good hour each day, but it’s worth it. I loved all the flowers that have bloomed this year, hopefully next year I’ll be able to add more.
I’ve worked a little more on cleaning up the food forest, and feeding all the plants well. The bees have loved all the flowers this year too.
August will be a lot of prep work for the fall and winter months. We did start chopping some wood to use for the woodstove this fall/winter. When we did use it last year, it helped the furnace kick on less. My goal is to use it every day during the cold months, and to cook on it.
Wild Queen Anne’s Lace
How’s the garden doing?
Garden is doing fairly well. We’ve picked so many things this past month. Lots of raspberries; we froze half of them and the chickens enjoyed some as well. Many herbs have been preserved or used; basil, oregano, thyme, mint, chives, sage. I’m drying calendula flower petals right now.
We just started harvesting green beans, blanched and froze our first batch this past week.
We’ve harvested a few edible wild plants this past month. From blackberries(just started ripening), stinging nettle(just dehydrated the last of what I could), and pineapple weed(dried for tea). And my favorite that I’ve been watching, and waiting until it seeds is a mullein plant in the backyard, next year I’m going to start seedlings.
I’m almost 40, and my goal is to get my garden/food forest ready for the future. When I’m older, the food forest is thriving, and the only thing to do is water and harvest. I received a currant plant from a buy nothing group, it’s now growing in the food forest.
Grape vines with the sun rising!
Beautiful Mullein plant!
Animals On The Farm
All the animals on our farm are doing good. Still treating the one chicken for bumblefoot, and deworming all the chickens right now. Which sucks, because we have to withdraw eggs for a while and it’s so wasteful. But, it is what it is. We’ve also got one chicken that’s broody, and no matter how many times I remove her from the nesting box, she’s right back. And two of the babies started laying!
Dogs, cat and bird have been great and enjoying the summer.
The kids have been learning about the hard truths of farm life. Most of the month there was a strong dead animal smell, that pretty sure it was one of the pigs in the neighbors non-buried “animal graveyard”. And we tried to save a raven that was getting electrocuted by their fence, not sure the point, as it doesn’t confine the pigs. Then later, the little piglets were playing with the carcass.
Annie’s a good dog!
In the Kitchen
We’re down to eating out once a week. We use the air fryer every other day, just make our own fries and nuggets. I’ve been using a lot of mint in drinks, and my new favorite is making tea with borage leaves.
Costco temporarily had these yummy funfetti cookies, did you try them? We missed them so we recreated our own. It was very easy, just used a funfetti cake box and 2-3 cups of white chocolate chips.
We love this sweet and sour chicken tenders recipe, have you tried it yet?
Mint Lemonade, yum!
Life outside of the “Homestead”
We started the month off by not only celebrating the 4th of July, but a little girls birthday. She decided on a night at Great Wolf Lodge instead of a party this year. It was a little sad not planning anything, but we still had a great time!
The Grand Mound, WA GWL is doing some remodeling. If you’re able to go whenever, I strongly suggest waiting until they are done. Or get the best deal you can, and do research of what has changed! It’s still crowded, pricey, and not all the activities are available. No more microwaves in rooms(shared one on each floor though), no tv’s in the kid bunk beds. The toddler swim area was great, a lot more cabana areas to rent equals less free seating, inconvenient place for the towels, no more big hall and show(not sure what activities they replaced them with). We mostly played at the water park, besides the 5 minutes the kids blew through $20 in the arcade. The magi game is supposed to be very cool when they’re done with it. We can’t wait to go back, but when renovations are done though!
We’ve had a lot of outdoor time and exploring our area; picnics at the beach, family hikes, exploring the low tides. We’ve also had some playdates with friends, and swimming at the YMCA.
Wishing you all a great last month of summer!