I know I've been a bit quiet lately. It's not because there hasn't been much going on...it's the opposite actually. Below is a glimpse into our summer thus far.
During a weekend of company, there was a cherry pie that was overlooked in the fridge. Having been inspired by this friend, I chopped the whole pie up, gently stirred it into slightly softened vanilla ice cream and refroze it. I might just bake pies to chop them up from now on. Swoon.
Speaking of zucchini, we've discovered baked zucchini fries. Cut them into spears (slicing away the seeds), coat them in beaten egg and dredge them in seasoned bread crumbs. Bake them on greased cookie sheets for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees (or until they start to brown) then dip them in ketchup or tomato sauce (as you're eating them). My six year old even likes them and that's saying something.
While our blueberry bushes are producing a small handful of berries every few days, it feels like a tease so we went blueberry picking. I am so thankful for pick your own places that don't spray. And we lucked out- the morning we went was cool and cloudy and the patch was empty. We were able to pick along side the owner- a sweet, sweet lady- who gave me some blueberry growing tips amid lovely conversation.
Is there anything better than getting to hang your laundry outside? Even if your mama has the clothes pin basket at the other end of the line? I think not.
Peaches. Will we ever get to eat them?! The odds seem to be against us as either we lose the blossoms to late frosts or critters climb up the trees and eat every blessed one the day before we intend to pick. This year, the frosts didn't get them and we wanted to make sure the critters don't either because they are LOADED under all those leaves. So. We saved the tacking strips from our carpet runner on the stairs and lashed them to the trunks. Try and climb up them this year, you greedy buggers!
Do our pigs look bigger to you? While fully pastured pigs do grow slower than pigs raised on grain, it's rewarding to see them fill out and know that they are eating excellent cuisine. In addition to being rotated through four paddocks in their yard, our friends bring us leftover garden produce from their CSA business and farmer's market stand. Below you can see them feasting on summer squash. When they're not eating like people, they enjoy all the weeds we can send their way. Weeding has taken on a whole new purpose around here thanks to them.
And last, but not least, let me introduce you to our new ducks. They are Khaki Campbell running ducks. They flutter and fly as much as chickens or maybe even a little less so. We started with the four you see below but we lost one the very first night, likely to a predator. After an intense game of chase-the-untame-ducks-around-the-yard, we corralled them into the
chicken duck tractor where they'll live full time for awhile until they learn to call it home. Then we can hopefully let them out each morning after they lay and shut them in at night.
We've only collected one egg so far (they've had quite the transition) but we hear they're excellent layers. Their conversation is as, if not more, entertaining than that of chickens. If they prove themselves worthy, we may increase their numbers instead of the chickens next spring.
I have two recipes to share that will hopefully come soon...this post is already long enough. I hope you are having a wonderful summer! Here's to hoping the second half will crawl along instead of fly by like the first half has :-).