With the drought to drown weather lately, Rock Bottom is looking a little wild. It’s very romantic looking with its woolly lawn, it’s deep green nooks and crannies, wildflowers swaying in the breeze topped with fat bumbles and butterflies. Volunteer medicinals popping up everywhere (the earth really wants to take care of us, if we would just let it). And it’s funny, I look around and love it – but then, there is something very special about the homestead when it is trimmed/mowed, and intentionally cared for (back) as well, a sweetness gets to emerge. That’s how it is around here, either sweet or wild.
Some business-oriented and news bits:
- This is the last week for seedlings; it’s likely we don’t have enough time to put babies in to grow any more this season, but maybe you have season extenders – let me know if you need some summer/winter squash, lemon cukes, heirloom tomatoes, melons, bell peppers, basil/borage/johnny jump ups…
- All store orders (bread and the like) need to be in by Tuesdays at the latest – most of your goods have to begin days ahead (to make sourdough essentially gluten free, the shaping/proofing is a 2 day process).
- Another small batch of foraged Kimchi is going in for next week: lily buds, red clover, yarrow leaves, plantain, lambsquarters, purslane, garlic scapes, and maybe some other lovely findings. And some pesto! Delicious variants – sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, pistachio, and the classic pine nut…try it with our (soon for sale) gnocchi/gnudi/and egg pasta!
- It’s going to be a good small fruit year – we have opposite years between apples and blackberries and it is not a big apple season this year. We will do fine for cidering (likely collecting errant world apples, as well) but it won’t be a big year. But the blackberries! They are green berries now and exceeding plentiful even with our reshaping and reducing the bays (for better airflow/access). The grapes are also graping up nicely. And with a little bit of care, we’ve increased and brought back a few scraggly (and hidden) raspberries, black raspberries, and blueberries. The garden strawberries are doing pretty well and though we nibbled through wild strawberry season, we didn’t collect much. We’ve even seen some action on the new plums and pears (the former have already dropped but the latter we may see a couple!).
- The new chicken coop is almost up, needs a few bits like doors, windows, nesting boxes – the chicks are ready! And then the meat chicks can get a chicken tractor – we used to let them freely mix with the layers but have found that is more problematic for chicken politics and too much temptation for passing random dogs. Our regular girls will still have to navigate all that but we got a few breeds that are good at hiding and taking care of each other. It’s a shame that our biggest predators are uncontained domestic pets.
- And please – pass on our Hearth hopes – our stability and adaptability as a homestead depends on its success! Thank you for all your help and community care!