It’s been a month since I did an Independence Days update. I really like this method of keeping track of what we’re doing on the homestead to work towards our own independence. The end of July and into August seems like a time we should be pulling a lot from the garden. We were really on the ball this year with our spring and fall plantings, but our summer crops went in extra late (except the tomatoes), so our harvest has been slower than I was hoping it would be this year. Of course we’ve had our hands full with family matters too. I’m really wishing the carrots, beans and watermelon would kick into gear.
Plant something – fall crops of beets, peas, beans, kale, turnips, and bok choy went into the ground. After the virtual homestead tour last week, I had someone ask for a picture of the whole garden. After we did some weeding and put in the fall seeds this weekend, I took a couple of pictures. It looks so empty without the big squash plants of summer that we usually have, but here is what our main garden currently looks like.
Harvest something – eggs, onions, beets, peppers, tomatoes, kale, chard. We have tiny little cucumbers on the vines and could probably pick some kohlrabi this week too. Otherwise I feel like things have been slow. I and just waiting for all the tomatoes to really come on… then I’ll be wishing things would slow down just a bit, I’m sure.
Preserve something – nothing since the baby was born… no wait, I take it back, I cut the necks off the garlic bulbs and sorted the ones we’re saving for seed and the ones we plan to eat. Yum yum!
Waste Not – compost, scraps to chickens, recycling, etc. We’ve done quite a bit of eating from the freezer – all the things I saved up for Cora’s arrival.
Want Not – We found out about a co-op here that sells grains and chicken feed for a great price. We got 65 pounds of organic layer feed (whole grains and seeds!) for less than $27!
Build Community Food Systems – Our neighbor, Doug, harvested some carrots and onions. His carrots look like they belong in a story book or on a seed packet! He shared the first ones with our boys. And I actually got a picture of him! His corn is getting close to harvest too – I bet he’ll get some ears this week.
I really wanted to participate in the first ever Denver County Fair this year (Rick makes some amazing zucchini bread), but the fair dates fell about 10 days after we had Cora, and it was a little early to be walking around the fair just yet. But we did get a call about joining the Denver Botanic Gardens chicken coop tour this year. The tour is in October, but we’re on the fence still, since with all our projects this year, we’re not sure the yard will be in any sort of shape to have people touring it.
Eat the Food – We’ve been eating a lot from the garden. This is my favorite time of year – when we make whole meals from food we grew ourselves. We’re also on our last jar of grape jam, and only have a few packages of peaches left – perfect timing since we should be picking more by the end of the month.