Hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend.  Of course, many weren’t so lucky this weekend.  Our family wishes to extend our thoughts and prayers to all those affected by the devastating droughts and deadly fires in Texas.   Praying for rain for ya’ll.

Except for the last few days in August, it was a relatively cool month.  It is quite unusual, if you ask me, to wake up and have to put on a sweater before heading out to chicken/duck house in the morning.  Since it’s summer and all of the windows are open in the bedrooms,  we had to keep a light blanket nearby because it got a bit “chilly” in the evenings/mornings.  Hey, it’s Southern California and any temp below 70 degrees is “cold”!

Fall tomatoes

Another round of bush beans


On the garden front, the battle over pest and disease continues.  Summer brings a whole new crop of garden problems.  With the cool mornings, the mildew exploded overnight on the squash and cucumbers.  Plus, we still have issues with leafminers, thrips, and spider mites …. and with the recent hot weather, more than a few bagrada bugs dined on the lovely salad greens.   Some of the green beds were just too damaged and we raised the white flag and just tilled them back into the ground.

Ready, set, grow!  Got our fall seeds and are sowing a bunch of soil blocks  Sheesh, where did the summer run off to?

Homegrown soil

The guys  have spent the better part of two weeks taking down the massive compost (4′ x 5′ x 8′) pile in the northwest corner of the yard and sifting the soil and adding it to the raised beds.  And they aren’t done yet!   Here on micro farm, it’s not just about growing food but soil, too.  The daily question around here is where to put all of that compost.  It’s a good “problem” to have.  Talk about “moving up in the world,’ we  already are 1.5 feet higher than our next door neighbor – and still counting!

Yes we CAN!

The food preservation slowed a bit, canned 1/2 of what we did in July but am expecting September to make up for it since the peppers, tomatoes and eggplant all seem to be ripening a little later than normal.

Feathers n' eggs

The chickens are molting and are looking rather pathetic but this molt doesn’t seem as “hard” as some others.    Of course, molting stresses out the ladies (I think chickens are vain. Seriously, they take to hiding because of their “bad feather” day! ) so egg production went down.  Molting season is good time for us to “DE” the compound with Diatomaceous earth.  Helps with parasites and mites (not that our girls have any but it’s good preventative measure ).

With all the recent tremors and natural (and man made) disasters happening around the globe, this summer, we figured it was a good time to organize our survival supplies.  Growing up in the 1990’s we did a bunch of home studies on wild foods, survival and emergency skills.   My passion was herbs so I did a lot of research on growing our own pharmacy.    I’ll write more about our emergency preparedness (or lack thereof) later on.

But first, here’s our latest tally!

August Harvest Tally

740 lbs Produce (fruits, vegetables, herbs)

Eggs  122 (Duck)  43 (Chicken)

75 Jars “Put Up”

2011 Year to Date

3,381lbs Produce (fruits, vegetables, herbs)

Eggs 856 (Duck)  415 (Chicken)

405  Jars “Put Up

How was your Summer?




  1. Nebraska Dave says:

    Anais, I have often wondered about the medicine issue. If the whole world went south which almost everyone thinks it will some time down the road, what would those on medicine do? Knowledge of herbial medicine could be quite valuable. I guess I’m so westernized that I didn’t even think about that option. Now that you have me interested, I’ll be waiting to see your blogs about it.

  2. Maria says:

    you are soooo organized!

  3. Kj says:

    Hi Anais,
    We have been hit with mildew as well – what do you use on your mildewy plants?
    Thank you!

  4. Tami says:

    hello , i am new to your web site and i love it…. =)

    was wondering if you keep track of how many of each thing you can… like how many green beans etc.. i am new to all this and was wondering how much it takes to feed a family for a year…. kinda like a goal to keep in mind… which i wont come near this year as i have just started.. lol


  5. fromabroad says:


    so, how do you see food safety and modernization act affecting urban homesteads like yours?

    also please comment on raid on “rawsome food”.


  6. Dimitry Mishchuk says:

    That is a great harvest, you guys inspired me to keep track of all our harvest and putt it on our blog it’s not as large as yours but we are just starting out and are in Vancouver, WA next to Portland OR so our weather is a bit colder, nevertheless we have been gardening for over 4 years now and slowly things are coming together.

  7. Loretta says:

    I so enjoy seeing your harvest tally every month. You remain an inspiration.
    My husband and I kept a tally this year of our small-part time garden. 315 lbs of fresh produce so far. We checked the prices of the organic foods at the grocery store and discovered that we have harvested $739.00 worth of organic produce. Not bad for 9 to 5’ers who only garden part time.
    Still looking forward to some fall tomatoes and the third round of green beans. Hopefully a few greens and root veggies before it gets frosty.
    Here in Gerogia, if you start from seed, the growing season can be short, so hopefully we will have a green house this year and do a little more succession planting next growing season.

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