What the yard looks like now
The guys have been busy finishing up the improvements and expansion of the animal enclosure -looks great! They built a new door because the other one was getting warped and worn. The new door is strong enough to resist any of the goats’ pressure. The next phase is building a goat house, feeding stations, and, hopefully, a new chicken coop/duck house. Jules designed the animal enclosure to also be useful as a trellis. He planted some grapes which should fill up the trellis in no time. The grapes will provide the animals with shade in the summer. In fall/winter when the grape vine loses its leaves, it will get much needed sunshine. The animals are situated in a perfect location. The animal enclosure is surrounded on two sides by the school’s concrete wall and our garage on the other.
Besty, our bantam Rhode Island chicken -named after Betsy Trotwood, David Copperfield’s aunt, is sure getting bossy in her old age. She thinks she’s queen over all the animals -even the goats. She shows no fear and demands to get her way.
The French beans are producing like gangbusters. Of course, no one’s complaining. Who can resist lightly steamed beans with a bit of salt and small dab of butter- yum. I did mention in one of the postings that for some reason plants and produce looked “extra big” this year. I wonder if all the mulching, organic fertilizers and micro elements are finally kicking in. Some of the beans are over 8″ long. We’ve never seen beans this long before.
The weather’s back to overcast and cool – a typical “June Gloom” weather pattern. The recent heat wave was certainly abnormal for this time of year. We usually reach those temps sometime in July or August. I guess if we aren’t “complaining” that it’s too hot, now we are “complaining” there is not enough sun. Typical human eccentricities.
Homegrown, homemade treats (blueberry muffins/blackberry crisp)
Yesterday I made two large jars of rose petal syrup and blackberry syrup. Today made some more blackberry cobbler and blueberry muffins with our own homegrown blueberries, of course.
For dinner we enjoyed a freshly picked salad with an assortment of tender greens, freshly made pesto (with our basil and garlic) with pasta and for dessert homemade blackberry crisp with berries that were picked this morning. Such intense flavors and colors.
Justin wondered out loud “how much really do these blueberry muffins cost” and exaggerating dubbed them “the million dollar muffins.” He’s, of course, referring to the cost of the plants and the time and care put into tending these blueberries. But like the popular credit card commercial says, these blueberries are “priceless.” And we will enjoy this scrumptous muffin for breakfast tomorrow.
I can’t believe it’s June. My, how time flies! I hate to think that the year is 1/2 way over. Sheesh.
Updated Photo Gallery
Finally – we’ve updated thephoto gallery (and fixed the viewing problems with those who have different internet browsers – we hope!) View new photos of the first homestead inNew Zealand, our trip toNew Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to help with the clean up effort, thebaby goats ,revamped solar shower, recent shots of theyard, aerial view of the 1/5 acre homestead via Google Earth, the 10 acres in Florida where we had a huge garden, a goat and tons of beehives (no pics of that though)andpictures that didn’t make it to the Natural Home & Garden piece.
Hopefully, sometime in the next few days, Jordanne will have some time to upload the 6 min short video on PTF – more like a “video brochure.” This is our first attempt in video editing/production. One day, we hope to get good enough to produce a longer video about the PTF project instead of a book at this point in time.