~These are some "Cherokee Chocolate" heirloom tomatoes, just starting to come out on the vine. We got the seeds from www.victoryseeds.org~
JUNE HARVEST TALLIES: *Eggs in June: 92 - the chickens really weren't digging the heat & humidity! *Eggs for the Year: 583!
*June Harvest - 9lbs 9.5oz - cherries, oregano, calendula, greens, our 1st zucchini (which was 1lb 7oz!!!), & two "Roma" tomatoes *Year to Date Harvest - 27lbs 11.5oz
And so Summer has begun. June started out cooler than usual and WET, but the second half went into hot and dry, but that doesn't mean it isn't still humid ~ whew! Although the chickens really haven't liked it, egg production is down by about 20 eggs, everything else has been hanging on fairly well. As you most likely know, this year marks our 1st year following the "Ruth Stout Method" which involves deep mulching. We've been using spoiled hay and wood chip mulch. Where the hay has sprouted and begun to grow we've laid down a nice layer of newspaper and then layered on the wood-chip mulch. It's made for very pretty walking paths through the garden. My apologies for the lack of photos to back up that claim, but you'll just have to take my word. The best thing about the "Ruth Stout Method" so far though is that the plants have withstood wild weather swings quite impressively. Late cold snaps = no problem; no rain = barely having to water them. Justin has only gone out and actually watered the garden 2, maybe 3, times this year! This is compared to what, in past years, would've been EVERY NIGHT!! YES!!!! We are so lovin' this! We've got green tomatoes popping out on several of the vines, zucchinis almost ready to pick (one we've picked already), beans growing like weeds, melons coming back to life, peppers doing ok, and potatoes that we're hoping will produce potatoes. It is an iffy time, hoping more than anything that your crop will turn out well and produce a good bounty for fall, but we remain optimistic. Of course, it wouldn't be Summer without pools, and so we've gotten another little one for the kids this year. The dogs like to eat the pools, and year after year they get more expensive and tinier, so this year we moved the pool from the back porch to the end of the driveway. Only about 15' or so away, but an important move since the dogs can't get to it! We used leftover wood chip mulch to attempt to provide a level (and somewhat softer) surface, topping it with a tarp to keep the wood chip from puncturing the pool. It is an inflatable pool. It's been wonderfully refreshing so far! And here is one of the really fun aspects of homeschooling - playing in the pool is also "school-work!" Shannon and I take turns tossing a "splash ball" back and forth, trying to beam it just right to really maximize the splash, and counting by 2's or 5's to 100. Everytime he gets one wrong (or I do), he has to go under water. Truly a delight, and it has turned what otherwise would've been a mindless, boring, repititous chore into a fun game. A bonus-point is that it is rubbing off on Tristan! WOO HOO!! Homeschooling/Unschooling truly rocks! Hope everyone's Summer is going as well. If you would like to see more Summertime photos, please visit here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/funkymamataney/sets/72157605881033938/
And a Big Ole PS ~ Justin and I are going camping this weekend, giving me a chance to actually do something I've been meaning to for a while .. blog about food & camping. I've taken some photos of prep-work and will take more while we're camping. We'll be back on July 4th so keep an eye on my food blog, www.mamataneyskitchen.blogspot.com, sometime soon afterwards!
Our roots here feel deeper everyday, but our branches seem to stretch across the country and world to find like-minded folk.
Carrie is out-spoken and not one to ever hide who she is, Justin is the rock of reason that keeps her from flying off into her own world, but who also is always along for the ride!
We're dedicated to urban-homesteading and trying to live as eco-friendly and self-sustainable life as possible, without losing what made us who we are in the first place. The love of beer brought us together, and homebrewing holds a special place in our hearts.
Homesteading, homebrewing, homeschooling, and Hokies -- is there anything else left to say?
Halloween is such a big thing for us and this neighborhood. So, carving pumpkins has become a big thing for us as well. This year we only did two (down from I think 6 last year!) but they were awesome: Jim Morrison & Jerry Garcia
Summer beginning to fade
Our sunflowers going to seed - 7/22/07
Early Spring 2007
A view of the garden in early spring
Beauty of Spring
A white Lily with raindrops
The sense of community and love that came out after the 4/16 massacre was beautiful. I cry everytime I think about everything that happened that day. No, it shouldn't define Tech, but what I will always remember is the love and sense of community & one-ness. So often we feel so alone in this world, the times when we don't should be remembered.