Saturday, June 13, 2015

Summer is Coming

There is much to enjoy about this time of year and a lot to keep one busy, too! This week was particularly busy with all the regular things around home, and then Leah and I also volunteered for two days at the therapeutic riding center (a total of three sessions - we usually do one) as they were really short of volunteers. We had such a special and very enjoyable time there! And a post should be coming soon about it. :)

Then this afternoon, I was able to go to the nursing home again, too. It had been awhile since I had last gone as I had hurt some fingers on my right hand so had to take a break from playing the piano for awhile. Right after getting there this afternoon, I saw E., and her face lit up as she told me that she had been looking for me and hoping I would come! I was so glad to be back, and she and I and quite a few others had a wonderful time of playing the piano and singing and talking together.

With how full the days have been, this month of June has been slipping by quickly . . . in not so many weeks, we'll already be halfway through 2015!

And with the summer days just around the corner, comes the summertime activities and changes of the season on our place . . . yesterday morning before the rains started again, I went for a much enjoyed walk with my camera and captured some of those . . .

The garden is doing quite well overall so far! Though, we are starting to have some fungus problems in the potatoes and onions thanks to all of the rain (which keeps coming and coming and coming - as of now, our entire ten-day forecast has rain for each day, and it is thundering and raining yet again as I type.) 

A growing cucumber plant. The tepee trellis in the first photo is for the cucumbers which were just recently planted. Last year they far outgrew our old trellis system, so I thought I would try one of these this year.

Long rows of potatoes . . . and the stepladder in the background is due to the fact that Leah used it when spraying all of our fruit trees again with a fungicide. Like the potatoes and onions, they have been struggling with fungal diseases, too.

The spinach has reached its end, but we are still enjoying salads nearly every day as the lettuce is still going strong.

The carrot bed looks much better now! Mom patiently weeded the whole thing last Saturday.

Mom in the process of pulling hundreds of little weeds

Carrots, onions (looking a little sad), beets, and potatoes
(And on the other side of the garden to the left of the carrots are all the celery, tomato and pepper plants, plus some flowers and herbs that are just starting to grow, but I didn't take any photos of those things, nor the green beans, yellow squash or zucchini either.)

Cheery flowers on the potato plants

The blueberry bushes are loaded with berries, and they are just starting to ripen. Yesterday I picked over a pound of them from two of the bushes (the other ripens later in the summer.) Those went into the freezer to be enjoyed in future baked goods.

The strawberry patch continues to produce, though is slowing down now. I canned another batch of strawberry-rhubarb jam earlier this week, and then all the other berries since, we've been putting in the freezer to be used in smoothies, yogurt, and desserts.

When I went over to pick strawberries, this dragonfly was perched on a piece of straw in the bed. Even the tiniest of creatures are a testament to the One who created them!

Fresh-picked sweet deliciousness

Not only did Leah spray all of the fruit trees, she also thinned the peach tree. Considering how very well pollinated it was this year, it was a big job!

Our puzzlement beehive. :) When Dad and I opened it up at the start of spring, it was queenless (the queen must have died over the winter) and had become what is called a laying worker hive (if there isn't a queen, workers can begin laying, but since they only lay drone eggs, the hive will eventually die out.) 

A laying worker hive can be difficult to get requeened as the laying workers will typically kill any new queen. Dad tried the method of putting in frames of eggs and brood regularly hoping that eventually they would raise up a new queen. And sure enough, they did! But she never started laying . . . so now we're back to putting in frames of eggs so they can try again.

Hostas flowering

Some of the ornamental grasses that Dad planted quite a few years ago

There is a lot of plantain growing around our place this year! It is a medicinal plant, and I am planning to try making a salve with it soon.

Future wild plum jelly and syrup :)

Black-eyed Susans
Mom planted a wildflower garden years ago which is still so beautiful, and one benefit of it is that the flowers are spreading all over our place now!

Clover

Wild raspberries . . . unfortunately, the goats ate all the other bushes I picked off last year. I was glad to find this one, though, and a few others somewhere else on our property, but they are too small to produce many berries yet.

The conclusion of my walk . . . coming back up our driveway

With summer just around the corner, before long, we should be in the midst of harvesting and canning produce from the garden, harvesting honey, and much more! And some of that 'more' is doing unexpectedly necessary projects like running a strand of electric fence rope inside the goat pen where the does and their kids are (which Leah and I helped Dad with yesterday.)

Part of it

Some of the goat kids started putting their heads through the fence in order to eat grass on the other side, only then they can't get their heads back out again which is a potentially dangerous situation with other adult goats in there who aren't especially gentle with another goats' kids! Now with the electric up, though, that problem is fixed! Life certainly isn't boring here. :)

A little visitor that came walking across our driveway the other day

I hope that you all have been enjoying your last few weeks of spring, too!

4 comments:

  1. Your garden looks so lush. I am sure you will make sure that the fruits of your labours go as far as possible.

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  2. AnonymousJune 14, 2015


    Wonderful eye candy for me. All the the things I love and miss since we moved south. I know how much work goes into what you do. God Bless and enjoy every day. Alene

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  3. Thank you, Suze! And we'll certainly try. :)

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  4. Welcome to my blog, Alene, and thank you for your kind comment! I am glad that you enjoyed the 'eye candy.' :)

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Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)