Hello, friends. We've gotten some nice rain here, which is helping the garden grow. I opened windows when cool, and closed up when it warmed up, to minimize a/c use. Ceiling fans and a small plug in fan also help. My online shops continue to have occasional sales. Though I keep the income from my soap shop, the income from our metal and furniture shop goes towards our vacation fund. It is what we used for all our spending money in Italy, and there is some remaining to go towards our next vacation. This is a rewarding way to use income from our joint efforts. I purchased some needed birthday cards at the dollar store. We're anticipating peeps coming from the broody area, with chicks expected to arrive any day.
Instead of stopping on the way home from the funeral for something to eat, I prepared a simple meal when we got home. I had brought cheese, crackers, apples and nuts from home to snack on during the day. On Monday, I finished sewing the celebration napkins, cut the loose threads, hand washed them with homemade soap gel, then dried them in the dryer, as it was a rainy day. One more pressing, and they were ready. I canned a quart of elderberry juice in 2015, which I heated this week, and added organic sugar to sweeten it, for use in smoothies and such. At the time I canned it, it didn't occur to me that the alcohol draws out the medicinal properties, so the juice won't be as potent as the tinctures I make, but I expect it will have some benefits, and be tasty too.
I enjoy trying new recipes. One I tried last week was a garlicky chard and chickpea dish, using a large bag of our chard and garlic. Both it and the new cucumber avocado recipe I tried were just OK, but every now and then, you find a winner. I harvested dill, mulberries, blackberries, raspberries, parsley, broccoli, our first cucumber and yellow squash.. On the way to collect eggs, I gathered wild lettuce to give to the chickens, and some mock strawberries. I also gave them some raisins from a jar that got buggy, one of the occasional down sides of buying them at the discount grocery store. This time of year, I boil eggs two or three times a week. The pups get one every morning, and we eat some too. The usual hummingbird food, kefir, yogurt and bird suet were made.
On a cool morning. I baked bread with a pack of zucchini I pulled from the freezer, along with our eggs and homemade vanilla. Another day, I pulled our lima beans and okra from the freezer, and had them for dinner along with rice. The freezer is still quite full, but I'll keep working at it. I used the last of last year's potatoes in a potato salad, and used our tomatoes, basil and oregano in pasta sauce. J designed an trellis/arbor to hold our tromboncino squash in the garden, and we set that up. We had put up a small fence around a small service area of the homestead, which includes the compost, a week or so ago. The fence was taller than we wanted, and what was cut off was used for the top part of the new trellis. We also worked on setting up tomato cages around the larger plants. The Japanese beetles have arrived. I collect them in a jar of water, and give them to the chickens. Though I never caught up, several hours were spent weeding the garden. Fresh straw was put in the chicken's nest boxes, and a wheelbarrow full of poopy straw added to the compost pile. Wishing you a great week, friends.