July/Early August 2021 Homestead Update

The pictures in this post brought to you from last week, but posted this week, because last week was crazy busy with two markets and a surprise birthday weekend for husband. Yay, friends!

Let’s get you updated, shall we?

So, good news and bad news, and I always start with bad news. Pictured on the right is the remnant of the candy roaster that seemed to be doing well, until the vine got fried by the sun and rotted. Boo! The chickens got to enjoy it, at least. We’ll try again next year, I suppose.

The good news is, our butternut squash plants are growing and taking over the back half of the veggie plot beautifully, and have started to fruit, as pictured on the left, which is already tons better than last year. Here’s hoping for lots of winter storage squash!

It’s corn, it’s corn! We don’t have many of them, but at least what stalks we have are actually growing ears. It makes me want to try a Three Sisters bed again next year, and do it properly as its own plot.

More ehhh news and good news. The ehhh news is, we’ve got tomatoes and okra growing, but definitely not as prolifically as in years past. I blame this on our likely depleted soil, which we plan to restore and rest in the coming year, and copious weeds and grass that I have not been able to control as well this year, due to, y’know, taking care of a newborn.

However, the good news is, our cucumbers are doing quite well, oh so much better than last year, and I will likely have enough to do at least a little pickling without supplementation from other farmers, hooray! (I’ll likely still go out and get some cukes from someone else, but that’s fine with me.) I’ve been enjoying my cucumber and cream cheese toast in the morning again.

So here’s the really nice surprise for us: I sheet mulched a small bed on the side of our property, for the purpose of moving strawberries from the front eventually. We planted some tiny extra peppers, tomatoes, and kale to keep the bed from going fallow for the season, not really thinking it’d turn into anything.

Lo and behold, we have tomatoes that are absolutely exploding with huge fruits, bell peppers that are longer than my hands, and hot peppers coming in like crazy, not to mention our HUGE kale leaves. So, while I’m a bit sad about our veggie bed not doing so hot, I’m thrilled that we’re at least getting a good amount of produce from this side bed.

And that last picture is our asparagus, still thriving and rooting and getting ready to give us some tasty stalks next year. Yay!

We’re still getting copious blackberries, enough to make cobbler and eat out of hand at home, as well as use for market baking and preserve for the year, thanks to two varieties of berries that fruit at different times. We’ve also got a decent number of zucchini; not enough to inundate us with fruit, but certainly enough to enjoy some grilled veggies and bibimbap every once in a while.

Awwww yiss.

Chickens are behaving and giving us eggs. The coop cleaning and spraying seems to have done the trick as far as mites go, and we’ve also managed to keep the ladies in their coop run (no escapees for weeks, other than from the tractor), thanks to draping bird netting above the door.

And family? Baby is goofy. We’re goofy. Everyone is enjoying the summer and the literal fruits of our labor. Yay!

I hope your summer is going beautifully, as well. Until next time, happy homesteading!

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