Like a furious flash, we are here in late summer, beginning the prep work for the long winter to come. As I head out to the garden in the evenings, I can sense the change that's coming. The night comes quicker, the wind has a subtle crispness to it in the evenings. The beauty of the summer is beginning to fade. Every time when we get to this point of the year I wonder how it can be possible that the summer is coming to an end, and it surprises me every single time. Yet, time must continue on, and so we shall too. Plus, without the changing of the seasons, it would be impossible to appreciate and love a season for all that it is. The loss of each season only deepens our appreciation for the gifts that each one provides, all special in their own ways.
Here on our little homestead things are busy. The end of summer means the end of fresh food, so we have to prepare the gifts we have now for the time when we no longer have it. It's one of the earth's lessons: to work hard before the rest that is winter.
We've been canning beans for a while now, and I just canned my first batch of carrots tonight. We have 4 gallons of tomatoes waiting to be processed, and the cucumbers are ready to find their place on the shelves in the basement with the other pickles. Apples are starting to ripen, so when we can find a tree, we make applesauce and apple jelly. This year my goal is to try apple cider vinegar too, if I'm able to find the time.
One of my least favorite parts of being a teacher is that all of this harvest and time of work comes at my busiest time of the school year: the start. It means lots of busy evenings and late nights, but there is good that comes of it too. The obvious is the food we will have through winter, and the late nights bring conversations with D that may not have happened otherwise. I enjoy our time alone together as it doesn't happen all that often anymore.
The garden itself is utterly neglected this time of year. Though we visit it daily, it's only to harvest, never to pick weeds. The weeds have begun to creep and take over, but there truly is no time to pick them. Though it's unsightly, the vegetables still give, and really at this point, that's all that matters anyway.
Our hen, Henny Penny, continues to sit on her nest. I hope that some of those eggs hatch, at least for her sake and for the children. Henny Penny has really devoted a lot to those eggs and the kids are eagerly waiting for a baby chick- the first one to hatch on our homestead! I guess time will tell what the outcome will be. Cross your fingers for us that we will have chicks next time I update!
C and B have both started school here with me at home, and we're finding a rhythm on how to balance homesteading, homeschooling, and working from home. We've worked on setting up a nice routine, and I'd be happy to share that with anyone who is interested!
Our next plan of business in terms of animals here on our homestead is getting our cow, August, bred. She has not been having obvious heats, so this has made it hard for us to use artificial insemination to breed her. In order for AI to work, you have to catch her when she's ovulating, much like a human pregnancy. We've throw around some ideas on what to do, like getting a young bull to grow to about 1 year, breed the cows, and then butcher for meat to giving August an injection that forces her into heat. So far, she's not bred back yet, and the longer we wait, the harder it will be. Hopefully we can get her pregnant and happy soon!
Life is busy and crazy and full of excitement right now, and I'm enjoying the ride of it. I thank you for coming along with us and supporting our blog.
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