Monday, July 21, 2014

Gaining Momentum

With little more than a week left in July, the gardens are rapidly moving into full production. Last week's share featured two types of peas, two types of potatoes, four types of salad greens, and beets. Our children have been delighted with the growing selection of veggies. How wonderful it is to have kids who beg for fresh beets for supper!

As amazing as the fresh produce is, we realize that the time to enjoy it is limited. The time for "putting food by" for the coming winter is upon us. Although it requires a lot of time and effort, I truly enjoy the process of preserving summer's bounty. Tomorrow morning I will begin gathering empty jars out of storage. By tomorrow evening, I hope to have canned my first batch of peas. I will also be making cherry pies to put in the freezer. From now until October, as God allows, I hope to be canning or freezing something at least once a week.

Even as the gardens gain momentum, Dannik Gardens, as a whole, also seems to be picking up speed as we work towards helping it grow. There are so many exciting things on the horizon, it nearly makes me dizzy. It is one thing to dream and make plans, but it is something else entirely to see those dreams and plans begin to rapidly transform into reality. We are so grateful for the support and encouragement of our CSA members, family, and friends. We couldn't do this without you.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gardens, Goats, and Great Expectations

If all goes well, the potato patch will produce several hundred pounds.

The corn easily met the "knee high by 4th of July" standard this year. We didn't even have to use someone with short legs.
Meet Hazel, one of the three dairy goats that have joined our little farm. It's taken a bit of time for us all to get adjusted to one another, but we've managed to create a workable routine. Unfortunately for Hazel, this routine includes hobbles on her front and back legs.

The morning milking: we are up to nearly a gallon a day and are looking forward to learning how to make cheese, butter, soap, and lotion. But for now, we are very content drinking this rich, creamy milk and making the occasional batch of ice cream.

Glorious canola in full-bloom in the eastern fields of Fisher's Farm. This marks the zenith of the summer season and directs our thoughts toward the coming of autumn. 

With the extended rainy season, it seemed like it took summer an awfully long time to get going in earnest. Now that it's here, it seems like we go at a run from dawn until dark, and sometimes later than that. June and early July have provided an abundance of salad greens and herbs from the garden. But, as my kids have excitedly reported, now we get to start harvesting the "real" food.

The last two weeks' shares included snow peas, and next week's will also have shelling peas and...zucchini! Broccoli is coming on rapidly, as are the black currants and gooseberries. The corn stalks are growing at a phenomenal rate, and the tomato plants have tripled in size in just the last week.

Otherwise, keeping the gardens watered has become the central focus of most days as temperatures have remained in the 80s and 90s for nearly two weeks. That, and weeding. The second big push of weeds is upon us, much to the sorrow of our children. Still, there is such excitement as they discover the newest flower in bloom or the latest vegetable ready to pick. Together, we look forward to the fullness of the season and to savoring the fruits of our labor.