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Summering Away {Farm Update}

In just two weeks school starts again. It’s hard to believe. It feels like summer just got started, especially with the rainy start the season got. May and June brought nothing but rain, with around 47 out of 50 days straight having rain. But the weather finally broke, and July has been sunny and hot. Here’s a quick round-up of what we have been up-to lately.

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Where drainage was good, the rainy weather helped produce the best blueberry yield the area has seen in years. My sister and I picked gallons and gallons of plump, juicy blueberries from the local pick-your-own blueberry farm and managed to put up about four gallons of berries in the freezer despite everyone’s best efforts to devour them. Our family enjoys them in straight out of the bag frozen and in smoothies and muffins. I also have some plans for blueberry cobbler around the holidays.

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It seems the fox and other critters that were constantly harassing and killing our chickens have finally moved on. We got a large run built out of dog 10″ x 10″ dog kennels that we purchased, where the hens stay when we are away from the house. When we are at home, we allow them to roam free and over the past several weeks have not had an incident. Our eight hens are producing about seven eggs a day. Our new chicks are getting big and are currently in their very ugly phase as they get their mature feathers.

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Speaking of feathery critters, our two ducklings are huge! They are so much fun to watch, but I’m amazed at how much work they required. Keeping their water clean requires constant attention, especially when they were in the brooder and soaking through their entire layer of bedding each day. Thankfully the weather has been warm and we were able to move them out to the Omlet in the yard. I think they enjoy the grass and fresh air and I enjoy not cleaning out the brooder several times a day. Hopefully they both are females and we will be enjoying some duck eggs this fall.

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With summer winding down, I’m starting to feel the urgency to finish several big projects around the homestead. We are getting ready to start a huge fencing project, enclosing several acres of our wooden lot. We’ve been busting our butts to clear and burn underbrush and to thin out the tree coverage enough to allow sunlight in and grass to grow. Doing this by hand has been tedious to say the least, but the final result will be so worth it. We also still need to put the finishing touches on the goat shed by adding a final coat of paint, hanging trim and building stalls. And of course, the summer to-do list goes on and on.

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Overall, summer has been wonderful and I’m enjoy each day. I’m looking forward to all fall has in store from the garden harvest, to apple cider making, to bottling honey and so much more. And of course, it won’t belong before Old Man Winter settles in.

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