House Work, Garden Harvests, and Summer 2018
Summer on the farm is always busy and 2018 is certainly no exception! House work is in full swing, and the garden is giving us plenty of bounty to share, cook, and preserve. While I was not happy about it at the time, I am now glad we chose not to breed the goats and having a milking routine to keep up with as well.
We have been busy with the house all year, but a lot of the changes happening in the next two or three weeks will be the ones that make the most noticeable differences to an outside observer. Things like sheetrock, flooring, and a new metal roof that will change the look of the house and make it suddenly feel more homey and less like a construction site.
This work has kept my husband and our work crew very busy all summer, and choices of appliances, lights, paint, and so on have been foremost in my mind. It is so much fun to be able to shape a project to your taste, but at the same time the amount of stress to pick something I'll enjoy for years to come, to stay within budget, and to keep the project going so it will be done before the frost comes, is more stress than I prefer to put myself under.
If you have Instagram you can take a tour of the house as a construction zone on my channel, @hostilevalleyliving, under IGTV. I talk a lot in the video about what is going to be going where, and what the feel of the house will hopefully be. We plan to have lots of light and open spaces, cozy nooks for writing and thinking, and a comparatively spacious kitchen that eases into the sitting room for a family feel. Our house is simple and small by most standards but for us, after living in a tent all summer, it seems quite large and even a little bit overwhelming. I'm most looking forward to things like bare feet indoors in winter, and having more than one room to stretch out and relax at the end of a busy day. Updates will continue throughout the project on my social media channel and I cannot wait to share the finished project with everyone!
I almost wish I'd done more to downsize my garden this year. Its produce is all I can keep up with and I have virtually given up on weeding. But it keeps offering its bounties! We have jars upon jars of different kinds of kraut and jams already in our kitchen, and plenty more is on the way.
I am a huge fan of fermenting foods to store them, as I talked about a little bit last year in my post Fermenting Vegetables. I never buy sauerkraut or kimchi, and when I do I often don't enjoy it. But when I make it myself with my favorite vegetables, and taste test it so it's just my preferred amount of salt and savory - I can't get enough of it. We won't have much left by spring if I have anything to do with it!
Plenty of vegetables are still eaten right off the vine, of course, including almost nightly stirfries of zuchinnis or eggplants, and daily cucumber sandwiches. The corn will be ripe soon and I expect most of that will go directly into meals. I am looking forward to a plentiful potato harvest at the end of summer, and to getting some fall crops in so we can be eating radishes, turnips, and greens from the garden well into fall. My biggest garden resolution this fall will be planting a slew of garlic, because it's my most used flavor in the kitchen and we need some fresh and homegrown in the pantry.
So things stay busy, but it is busy progress that we're very happy to see! Hopefully I will have more time for in depth blogging when fall comes (and I have the house to write from the comfort of). Thank you for following along!