Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mountain peaks, blueberries, goat cheese, and wild rivers

If I really were to document our summer, I would have to post a new blog every single day. So much is happening here on a daily basis, I can't keep up with the pictures. It's marvelous and magical!

The picture below sums it up well, since it contains so much of what's going on.  See my dirty feet?  That's because I weeded the garden barefoot, since I don't mind stepping on slugs.  Except we don't have any slugs right now because it hasn't rained in many weeks.

You see the laundry hanging on the line in the background?  Yup, lots of that going on. I do a load every day, just about.

And the chicken poop on the patio?  Although we try to shoo them off, one chicken in particular thinks she is entitled to live on the patio, since yummy morsels of food get dropped on it regularly.

One day, I decided to tackle the weeding in the garden, which explodes with vegetation this time of year.  Most of the green explosion I encourage, because it's all about veggies, but lots of it consists of weeds (some edible, like purslane and chickweed).  The upper half of the picture below is "before", the lower half is "after".

Here's a before and after picture.  It literally took me two hours to free four of the paths and garden bed from weeds.

So much bounty is coming out of the garden!  It's a grocery store out there, and we gather meal ingredients outside every single day, often multiple times.

Blueberries are cranking, too, and the pesky chickens like to steal some from the low-hanging branches.

I am so happy about the large volume of food being produced on our homestead.  Much milk is flowing, too, and I make lots of chevre and yogurt at the moment.  

Since I'm only milking one doe, I haven't accumulated enough milk to make Gouda or Cheddar yet, but that's okay with me.  It's a nice break, not making ten pounds of cheese every single week like I used to.

We love cookouts by our fire pit in the back yard.  Honestly, almost all of the food comes from the homestead, including the sausages we make with our pork and goat meat.

Our lady duck is broody.  She hides in the Sweet Cicely and lies on her eggs all day, with short breaks to eat, drink and visit with the boy duck.

So far, there are four eggs in the little nest she made.  Our dog Raka has found some of them and eats them, which pisses me off more than I can say, but I don't know how to protect these eggs.

The chance of real baby ducklings might be slim, I'm sorry to say.  Between Raka and other predators, I just don't know if it can happen.

I wish I could wrap the mama duck in bubble wrap as she so patiently incubates her eggs.

Talking of eggs:  Look at the picture below.  Which egg do you think is store-bought?  Hint: Look at the color and texture, and you'll know.

We are finding time for hiking, hanging out by the river with friends, and sleeping out in the forest.  These things are so important to us...

Here is last night's scene, where Steve took all three kids to sleep in the woods without a tent.  I joined them for dinner but walked back home to sleep, because I like my soft bed where there are no mosquitoes...

I am blown away how lucky we are to live in a wild place, where we walk five minutes and get to the best huckleberry picking spot ever by the creek.

Also: weddings!  For July, we have three weddings on our calendar!  And at all of them my little singing group trio is singing for, which is so fun!  I'll put our singing in July's Homesteading in Paradise movie, so keep an eye out for it if you want to hear us sing.

That's us, and we call ourselves "Kitchen Sync", because we usually practice around the kitchen table.

Last but not least, last week's hike was mind blowing, full of granite slabs and high peaks, waterfalls, and awesome company.  Squire Peak (or eight mile creek) is sure worth the sweat to get up there.

Have you gone hiking lately?


  1. Wonderful. Simply wonderful.

    But why don't you mulch so you don't have to weed so much? If you can't get straw or it's more than you want to spend why not just drop those weeds where they've been pulled? Just wondering. I hate weeding. It's looks so pretty and neat but it kills my back!

    1. I used to mulch more, but it provides nice, moist hiding places for the trillions of slugs we have....

    2. I forgot about slugs. In this dry climate they turn into mummies.

    3. No mummies here, just juicy, slimy slugs. Lots of them.

  2. Just wondering how long you can store raw goat milk in the fridge before it starts spoiling?


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