Archive for the ‘pictures’ Category

Summer Yum

Summer is in full swing, we have more tomatoes and blueberries than we can eat (and keep getting more via the CSA), and the heat is still oppressive, especially midday. Still, there are signs that autumn is on its way.

There are green muscadines popping up on wild wines throughout the forest. I’m looking forward to hiding in the shade to pick them in a few weeks. If my dandelion wine turns out well, I may try a batch of muscadine wine this fall.

For some reason, it seems that our area had a rather poor yield of eggplant this year. None of our neighbors had any that yielded, and I’ve found surprisingly few that have filtered through the CSA. Still we’ve had few, and with the bounty of tomatoes we’ve had, eggplant parmesan in an ample pool of marinara has been a good meal choice for us after a long, hot day of clearing brush and debris.

If all goes as planned, the site will be cleared and ready to start on by this fall. I’m hoping to have building permit in hand and the ability to pour the slab after high temperatures start to edge down closer to the low 80’s every day. Given that the site of our future home was used as a glorified dump site for construction leftovers and broken machinery for the last 20 something years and the floods last year gave everything a good tossing around, this is going to be no small task. For now, it’s just one step at a time, some praying that the road won’t be long, and lots of salad and cold soup to cool off and re-energize after a round of people vs. the insane mess that people are capable of leaving behind them.

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Summer Projects

I’ve gotten completely out of the habit of updating since my little vacation. I think this is half due to the change in the structure of my days, and half to everything else that seems to have popped up out of nowhere all at once. My to do list went from a small handful of things, to not having space for everything on the little board where I keep my list of things that need doing.

That list includes a larger, more permanent place for our goats….. which is going up on the shady side of a larger storage shed. It is going up remarkably quickly for something being done in spare time (ha!).

There was also the first (of what will hopefully be many) Georgia Birth Network’s Birth Ball!After lots of planning and hard work by several of the GBN ladies, it went wonderfully and was well attended. I love when effort pays off.

Mellie is loving the summer. She is a huge fan of the outdoors. When she is fussy and nothing else seems to make her happy, a snack and some grass between her toes works wonders.

Goats Galore!

Meet Violet and Caiphus, our new Nigerian Dwarf kids!

They came to us from Flights of Fancy Farm in Jasper, GA. Mellie was a little skeptical when we first picked them up, but this morning she headed down the stairs and opened the front door herself to go out and see them! (Yikes!)

We picked them up on Saturday and then spent Sunday working on a shed and shady summer pasture space for them. (Picture is of the larger storage shed that’s going up, on the side of which the goat shed will be. I took pictures before we got the frame in place yesterday.)

I hope they’ll be happy in their new home!

Summer Vacation

With the time I took off from work for our Maryland trip, I don’t go back on-call until mid-July. Cal had some vacation days to use up and an opportunity to use them. The stars aligned and everything seemed to magically fall in place, so last week we took the hint, packed up at the last second, and headed for the Appalachian Foothills to get away from everything for a few days. This was Mellie’s first visit to the mountains.

We spent some time on a section of the Pinhoti Trail (a hundred something mile stretch of trail that winds through the foothills before connecting with the Appalachian Trail in northwestern Georgia), camped with the in-laws, and made a detour down a smaller trail (Chinabee Silent) to a gorgeous set of waterfalls where Mellie greatly enjoyed a little (heavily supervised) wading.

I hope to go back soon.

A Sea Of Green

Summer has hit for sure. It’s now hot and mostly dry. The garden isn’t growing at the phenomenal rate it boasted in late spring, but it continues on.

The no till, permaculture based, companion planted method we’re trying leaves the garden looking more than a bit wild at times, even when well weeded and neatly tended. My pole beans are as virulent as ivy or kudzu. They, more than anything else, have made me rethink what qualifies a plant as a “weed”. The whole garden looks like a sea of green, with summer breezes rolling leaves a bit like waves. It is producing fairly well, however, and I can’t say I have many complaints about the system. Pests have been minimal (a few beetles, some worms on my tomatoes, and strange ants that are very fond of eggplant have been it), wildlife has kept out, and the weeds have mostly provided excellent mulch. I’ve also found myself with so many peppers that in addition to eating them, pickling them, and using them in relishes and salads, I’m now finding myself participating in a time honored southern tradition of pawning off unused garden grown produce to unsuspecting relatives before it can go to waste.

That and the one where we fry things. Green tomatoes in this particular instance.

Green isn’t the only color to be found in abundance. Lilies, marigolds, and hydrangeas are in full bloom. Everything is awash with color.

If only it weren’t for the the heat. As things stand right now, I’m trying to stay out of the midday sun, but otherwise am continuing on as normal, just a bit closer to dawn and dusk. I can’t complain too much. It’s allowed me to witness some stunning sunsets.

There is nothing quite like the hum of crickets in the garden, a beautiful sunset, a homegrown meal, and a good night’s sleep.

Roadtrip To Baby

We’re finally home again, arriving to be greeted by a massively overgrown garden (no pictures of it in full glory since I dove straight into clean up efforts upon arrival without thinking about taking any). That kept me busy last night, so I got all my pictures from the trip uploaded this morning.

Mellie was really amazing on the ride. She only really got fussy right before bedtime and shortly before we arrived back home after 3 hours in stop and go traffic.

We ended up staying for about a week and a half, during which Mellie learned to say “baby”..

..and we did some belly henna.

Then there was a special delivery!

Rainy Memorial Day Weekend

The weekend was on and off rainy. It would stop from time to time, but everything was a muddy mess. The garden has been growing with leaps and bounds due to all the wet weather though!

While certain things just had to be done, rainy or not, for the most part I stayed in. There was a little crafting done..

..but I mostly stuck to the kitchen. I was on a quest to use some of the radishes from the garden so they wouldn’t turn peppery and pithy before I got to them, to use up some of the contents of the fridge, and to stock up on some edibles to leave for the guys while I’m away (the birth of my second favorite little girl is imminent!).

The radishes themselves became pickles.

The radish leaves became pesto.

The pesto (about half of it) became muffins.

I was thrilled with how these came out. They’re a bit dense, but have a good flavor and freeze really well.

On Saturday we went to visit Pop-pop and Nena who were hosting a pre-Memorial Day crawfish boil. Mellie got to visit, touch a crawfish, and pull Pop-pop’s beard.

It was a pretty decent weekend, despite the weather.