Summer 2013 Happenings

Hey friends! As some of you might experience in your own lives, summer is the busiest time of year. Here in Maine summer might literally go until the end of September, but as far as I’m concerned autumn begins on September 1st. Some people might shush me for saying that, but it really becomes autumn weather and I LOVE the autumn. The other night you could feel the change in the air starting and Andy and I were both thrilled.

Given it’s the end of August and the almost end of summer I thought I would catch up a few loose ends like the farm, the garden, the house and a couple other little birdies we had going on around here.

The Farm

The farm has been well this summer without much to write home about until this last weekend. At church on Sunday the farmers wife announced that there had been a calf born at the farm that morning. Needless to say I was slightly distracted throughout church to go meet the new little dude. So here’s the part where you ask why there isn’t a photo of him. Little dude is elusive. I’ve seen him, but there were other duties to attend to so I didn’t have my camera on me. I even tried to go up and get a photo of him just for this post (literally, I stopped writing the post and drove up to the farm with camera in hand). No dice. The herd had just retreated to a far back field out of site. For reals.

I will get a photo of him and I will share it once Mr. Disappearing Act decides to show his face at a time I also have a camera on me.

The Garden & Harvest Preservation

I am SO PROUD of the garden this year. I don’t mean proud of us. I mean I am literally (using that word in it’s actual definition) proud of the plants for making it through the crazy ass weather we’ve had, being choked by weeds, and infested by insects and fighting disease. I honestly didn’t think we would be seeing a single zucchini, squash or cucumber this year. I had to replant almost all of the cucumbers, I fought squash bugs like crazy, and we experienced blossom drop.

DSC_6718-01Well done garden, well done. You rebounded nicely. The above harvest was only one of the harvests this year. The cucumbers definitely were on the bigger side for this harvest so I seeded them (along with that giant zuc above) and diced them up for diced bread and butter pickled. We also have some sliced pickles too from an earlier batch. Speaking of pickles, this summer has been awesome for preservation. (To learn more about different methods of food preservation check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation).

DriedPotatoesWe sliced, blanched, dehydrated and vacuum sealed potatoes.

PicklesandMuffinsWe made sliced bread and butter pickles as well in a British style, a garlic style and regular.We also made a batch of hearty blueberries from the year/coconut/hemp heart/chia seed/vegan muffins and then cooled and vacuum sealed them for the freezer. These are so good to grab, heat for a minute in the microwave and then head out with. They are super filling and are a perfect pick me up.

JamWe picked a ton of wild blackberries and then made jam.

CanningFailWe had our first canning fail ever. I’m happy to say it was a perfectly broken jar and not a fail because of botulism or something. I’ll take a broken jar over bacteria any day of the week.

PicklesWe also had even more successes and will continue to can throughout the rest of the summer. These are the tiny diced cucumbers and zuc’s I mentioned above. For now it’s mainly all pickles at the house for now, but we might be able to blanch and freeze some spinach and maybe some vegan butternut squash soup later on.

IMG_6567Finally, we had great success with garlic this year. Even though we grow hardneck garlic we learned how to braid it to dry it properly. The big bulbs in the front are all seed stock which we will plant this fall. We’ll eat all the deliciousness in the back. I’ll write more on this whole process in another post, as I documented it for you guys!

The House

Holla! As you guys know from this post we’ve moved into our bedroom. This topic really deserves it’s own post though. I’ll be heading into the mountains soon so I’m hoping to bang out a post then for you guys all about it. There isn’t a ton to discuss at this point, but what there is to share it still exciting! It’s hard to believe we’re winding down on the interior of the addition, and yet there is so much to do. Oh, and we’re going to renovate the entire original house so there’s definitely plenty more to go.

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Other Little Birdies

For real birdies! This was such a highlight of my summer. I would look out the window to the porch just about every day and watch them in the rafters until they finally took flight (which I missed). I almost hope they nest there every year so I can watch them! Absolutely adorable.

DSC_6281-01 DSC_6286-01 DSC_6290-01 DSC_6298-01 DSC_6332-01 DSC_6354-01 DSC_6361-01So there’s a quick wrap up of our summer and we’re not slowing down anytime soon heading into fall as we prep for winter. We still have so much to go between working full time, harvesting, construction, and the rest of the shebang. We also are going to be part of a cool project that I’ll post about as soon as I get permission. Actually there are two cool projects. Do I have your interest yet? I can’t wait to share.

xo,

Heather

4 Comments

  • August 29, 2013 - 7:59 am | Permalink

    Love the Maine summers, and really don’t wish them to be gone because winter is not my forte. But I do love autumn!! Apples, hay bales, cider, pumpkins…I get all excited! So glad your garden did great for you this year. It has been pretty difficult weather. I’ve been wanting to grow garlic (I’m slightly obsessed) so a blog on the process would be most appreciated.

    Your bedroom is gorgeous! I love the feel of it- looks very relaxing!

    Oh and your bird photos are great. I’d love to be able to watch something like that.

    Looking forward to more posts as always. From one Mainer to another – <3

    • Heather
      August 29, 2013 - 11:55 am | Permalink

      Holla from one Mainer to another! I am a huge fan of fall, but I also love winter. I just wish winter was slightly shorter sometimes (or that we got more snow, I’m one of those people). I’m almost 30 and I still get ridiculously excited at first snow fall. Or really, just about any snowfall. I’m always ready for the next season when it comes though (especially spring). I gave a good laugh when you said hay bales for fall – then I remembered that for most people that’s true! For me hay bales always remind me of June/July when we help hay the fields. I absolutely LOVE September/October though. They are by far my favorite months of the year.

      xo,
      Heather

    • August 30, 2013 - 10:02 pm | Permalink

      I’m not a winter person at all. Not unless its curled up with a fuzzy blanket by the fire! I do love to watch the snow fall…if it could be 80 and snowing- life would be grand ;) I’m getting close to the 30 mark myself. Just hit 28 a few days ago. Still feel young :)

      I’ve done the hay thing in the early summers- Not. Ever. Again. Nope. So I wait until October and borrow the neighbors old bales and corn husks to decorate ;)

    • Heather
      August 31, 2013 - 8:49 pm | Permalink

      Happy Birthday!!!

      Xo,
      Heather

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