Thursday, June 19, 2014

Around the homestead

I just came in from weeding onions, and now I smell like a giant onion. Oh, my goodness, guys, it's a jungle out there! Ever year, we grow two types of onions: walla walla for fresh eating and pickling, and copras for storing. We are still eating our onions stored from last year! With this weather of rain and sunshine, everything is exploding: the garden, and the weeds. Steve and I just had an impromptu date, like it often happens. We move from one chore to the next, and today, we just chanced to walk by the garden, and I sighed about the weed explosion. I meant to just pluck one or two weeds, but pretty soon, my husband and I crouched companionably by the onion bed, weeding away like human rototillers.  A spontaneous onion weeding date.
How romantic, right?


We are eating a lot of food out of the garden now: kale, collards, lettuce, broccoli, peas, chives, beet tops, green onions, edible flowers... The kids like to go in the garden and browse, picking a little of this, and a little of that - just like goats! 

The potatoes are blooming!
The entrance to the garden, with climbing roses and clematis
This morning, I taught my friends how to milk a goat.  There's definitely a learning curve with mastering how to milk, and a lot of milk gets squirted on one's clothes, one's hair, and everywhere else except the milk bucket.  And when the goat is used to being milked by an expert, she might contribute to the fun by putting her poopy hoof in the milk bucket.  This morning, however, went great!  My friends did an excellent job.  I have taught many people how to milk a goat, but those two were my favorites so far - a mother-daughter duo.  In fact, over a decade ago, I stood by my friend's bedsite as she gave birth do her daughter (the same one that is milking in this picture).

Other going-ons at our farm: moving our ingenious moveable pig pen to new pasture.  It takes two adults (and maybe a kid or two) to move it.  When the pigs get new pasture, they act like kids on Christmas.  It's amazing how quickly they convert green grass into a fertilized, rototilled area.  They root around with their strong noses, digging up the grass from its roots, while ecstatically grunting and making other agreeable pig noises.  They are hard at work growing bacon!

Talking about hard work: Kai has a summer job mowing lawns.  He is motivated!  I would be, too, if someone paid me to mow the lawn.  I am proud of this boy, I am.  I drive him to his job, and "supervise" while I get to relax, reading a book and hanging out with the boss' kitty.

I will leave you with images of my loves.  Here is Eva, modeling a dress I knit her when she was only in infant.  It finally fits her.  She loves picking rose pedals.  The boys do what they do best: rough housing and pushing their bodies to the max.
Happy solstice!!!


  1. I see that farms and steads are booming with harvest left and right and yours is the prime example. Of course, the weeds would be catching up with all that growth and I can only guess how hard it is to keep up. Anyway, I love the look of your broccolis. They look good enough to eat. You've got such a lovely homestead. I hope all years are as bountiful and productive as this one. Thanks for sharing those lovely pictures!

    Darren Lanphere @ Mirr Ranch Group

    1. Darren, thanks for your kind words! Yes, we do love our homestead and its productivity!


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