Thursday, August 18, 2016

The height of summer!

This is us in the kitchen.  We are harvesting, preserving, preparing and cooking so much food that's coming from our land, these days we need all hands on board.  

In this particular picture, I am blissfully licking raw chocolate for my chocolate truffles, cause it's my medicine, and I need to eat six four of them every day.

Luke and Steve are cutting up apples for dehydrating.  Kai and Eva (not pictured) are picking apples in the orchard.  We are picking apples every single day, and I already made gallons of applesauce.

We are also peach-rich, thanks to a prolific organic grower that sells boxes of them.  We have canned a lot of peaches with honey already (here's the recipe and tutorial), and since there are lots more where that came from, we also eat them fresh with cream.  

Have you ever eaten peaches with cream?  Do it!  Right now!  No, wait - read to the end of this post, and then go get some!

Talking of sweet fruits: we are drowning in figs.  It's not a bad problem to have, really, since I'd rather be drowning in figs than say, goat manure, but it puts the pressure on: what to do with them?  

If in doubt, just add cream (to the figs, not the goat manure, okay?).

And the blackberries?  The BLACKBERRIES!!!  We have already picked and frozen a ton, and every time we walk the goats to pasture, we pick more.  Straight into our mouths.  The goats love them, too.  Of course, we also manage to save some for desert every night, with - you guessed it - cream.

The whole garden is producing veggies of all kinds.  We eat lots of Greek salads with our homegrown tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, my Feta cheese, and Kalamata olives.

Soon, I shall make dilly beans.  And something with zucchini.  Does anyone want zucchini?  No?  I thought so.

Not only food stuff goes on in the kitchen, but also soap making.  I love my goat milk soaps, and I had a bunch of people custom order some.  So here I go.

You can imagine that with all this work, we insist on playing hard.  And we do.  Our local rivers are an amazing playground, with deep, cold, green pools to jump into (or do backflips, as my sons do, to my big dismay).  

Steve took one of his deer hides (he hunts with a wooden bow he made himself) to the creek the other day to stretch it there, and the boys were happy to help.  I sat there with my knitting, watching them proudly.  Not just because my husband is easy on the eyes (isn't he, though?), but also because I love how involved our kids are with these wilderness skills.  A few weeks down the road, they might sew a shirt with this tanned hide.  

All in all, things are going great.  We are getting ready for our wilderness and homesteading summer camp for kids this weekend.  

All the critters are great, too.  Chickens are laying, goats are producing.  What more could you ask for?

PS: I have a very exciting announcement to make, and I will do that in the next post.  Watch for it!


  1. oh my goodness, what a stunning spot to live, that river!! Just beautiful. We are coming to warmer wether here, seeing little snippets of it. Soon we will be swimming, eating fresh crunchy salads, throwing the doors open and focus on getting our veggie patchup and running in the old cottage.


    1. Yes, it's an amazing river. Actually, we have several wild rivers closeby, so we're really spoiled! I'm glad you get to experience warmth soon!

  2. what a happy, uplifting post....just think of all the summer you will be opening this winter :)

  3. Everything looks so great! I love this time of year! Question: why don't you dry the figs? And lastly, was that hide getting its tan by basking in the sun by the river's edge (Ha! Just kidding!)

    1. I DID dehydrate them, in fact was working on a blog post about how to do it. Then my dumb dehydrator broke, and I finished them off in the oven. They were terrible - super dry...
      And the hide? Tanning! Good one!

  4. I love everything that you have going on with your family and homestead! Those figs look phenomenal and those peaches - YUM!!! Our blackberries finally started fruiting, but I'm really disappointed in their flavor...a good portion of them are bitter. I think they're still a little early to pick and will give them a little more time, but if that doesn't work, I'll cut them back this fall and let new stocks grow in the spring. Thank you for sharing all the great things on your homestead!!