Homesteading!! A Much Better Way To Celebrate Saturday Than Politics (join us on our journey)

Americanflag

American flags and Sunflowers…Our chicken coop decor

It’s Saturday.  I am sure we’ve all survived a savage week of ad nauseam politics, but barely.  And, we are only half way through.  Yikes.  So, on a brighter and much more productive topic we’re covering — JULY.  July is a unique month.  July was named by the Roman Senate in tribute to Julius Caesar who was born this month.  It is usually the warmest month in the Northern Hemisphere and the coldest month in the Southern Hemisphere. The stone for July is Ruby….deep and red.  That makes sense.

So, why is July such an incredible month on the homestead?  Well, it is really the month where the rewards of much hard work that started in early spring begins to return results 10 fold over.  Yes, it’s garden, orchards and farm bounty overload.  This is also the month of greatest fatique I believe.  The reason is that the excitement for spring keeps all of us homesteaders/micro farmers reading and preparing for our starts.  Then spring always comes in a hurry and its garden prep time, baby lambs and kids time, and raising chicks and ducks in the brooder time.  Then June comes and it’s time to help foster everything along — keep the babies alive and get them healthy and on green grass, get the chicks and ducks merged with the big boys and girls, milk, collect eggs, and weed the garden.

Then July comes and holy cow – EVERYTHING BEGINS TO MATURE….the farm is a dynamic, frenetic place.  So much so, July tends to be the month where we are the most tired.  August is so close to ‘fall’ seasonality and festivity, the enthusiasm picks up again.  We tend to be preparing to press apples for cider, making candles and soaps with lovely fall fragrance incorporated, harvesting the corn and saving the stalks for ‘fall decorations’ on our Victorian farm house porch and watching the pumpkins begin to get massive.  Then September and October arrive which are our favorite harvest season months of the year.

So JULY!  Here’s a photo journey through the farm’s amazing productivity at this juncture in the summer.

jam

Freezer Jam I made this month (Blueberry & Marionberry)

harvestpreserving

I canned a ton of white pickles and have been drying medicinals 24 hrs a day

cantelope

We are enjoying fresh cantelope from the garden

candulaamaryth

Calendula & Amarynth are growing like crazy (Calendula I use for salves I make)

soybeans

Soybeans are nearing time to harvest

15fthighcorn2

Corn is now 15 feet tall

15fthighsunflower

Sunflowers are also now 15 feet tall

watermelon

Watermelon are huge

Okra

Okra is six feet tall and we’ve been harvesting for a month

greenpeppers

Green peppers are abundant and I’ve been drying them for winter soups

whitecucumbers

We have more white cucumbers than we can even eat & can

cantelope2

Cantelope are doing great this year on vertical trellises

brusselsprouts

Brussel Sprouts are dong great

tomatovarieties

Numerous tomato varieties are ripe for picking

greens

All greens including swiss chard, collards, carrots and kale doing great

goldencrispymelon

Specialty melon I am testing for Baker Heirloom Seeds … pretty excited about it (golden crispy melon)

specialpurplebeans

Beautiful specialty purple beans

picklingcucumberscoop

Pickling cucumber climbing the chicken coop

sunflowers

Sunflowers just started blooming this week

coopandgarden

View of the sunflowers, chicken coop, garden and farm house

magaappletree

One of our many monster apple trees producing tons of apples

megaappletree2

Apples doing great

marionberry

Marionberries ripe and jam ready

blueberry

Blueberries ripe and jam ready

grapesandapples

Grapes and more apple trees

muscadinegrapes

Mascadine grapes

concordgrapes

Concord grapes

moreapples

Yet more apples

orchardsmokies

View of the orchard, berries and the Smoky Mountains

chickens

Chickens busy laying eggs and roosters happy

eggsmilk

Fresh goats milk and eggs I milk and collect each day

Along with all the produce currently ripening and livestock management we are doing (we have sheep, dairy goats, chickens, ducks, meat rabbits, alpaca, horses, honey bees, compost worms and we raise livestock guardian dogs), we are doing projects, though the summer heat is getting a tad more intense making full day outdoor efforts difficult.  Here are some of the projects we are working on.

We are truly busy, happy and thriving.  As you can see from the photos — our hard work all winter in preparing the trellises and clearing around fruit trees and in spring, putting in the garden, has culminated into huge productivity on our farm.

The best way to describe the sense of freedom, joy, accomplishment and peace that comes from homesteading in July is the following picture that was taken at the front of our chicken coop this morning.  It speaks for itself.

lovesign

May you have a wonderful harvest bounty this month and beyond and God Bless!

L. Davis

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