Stop me, won’t you, if you’ve heard this one before…

I never ended up replanting that bed the other day. It was too hot out. By the time evening hit and it was cool enough to go out there all I wanted to do was relax. Anyway, today is shaping up to be lovely, so there’s lots to do. I also really have to update my garden book, I have a vision of myself referencing it next year and doing that much better because of it. If I don’t do it soon then I’ll just forget all those things like I do each year. I am definitely the gardener in this family. Jeff is great if I need him to build things or help with the initial work of setting up the garden (believe me, I’m a grateful woman). However, the other day when I told him it was time to figure out our fall crops he said “Oh, yeah, I trust you!”- which is code for “Leave me out of it, I have other projects going.” He’s so nice about it though, so I let it go and don’t require his help beyond a certain point. He loves it, but not like I do. This work does me a lot of good. The next couple of weeks mark the time when I come in with the first really good harvest from our garden. I go out there with pants rolled up and a basket and come in a little sunned with that distinct tomato vine smell all over my arms. It makes me so happy. Jeff gladly eats, and I have such a feeling of pride when the majority of our meals come from our back yard. There’s nothing like this.
The real challenge this year will be to successfully store as much as I can manage. I plan to put up corn in the next couple of days, and tomatoes will come in fast and furious, as always. I planned to put up tomatoes last year, but as I am the primary gardener and I was all pregalicious… well, it just didn’t happen. At least we can freeze a great deal. I can also use my lovely new book to help guide me. We have a 1/6 cow and 1/2 pig coming this year, and we also have 9 chickens. I’d love to buy all our meat just once each year. Anyway, with veggies I have plans for salsas and pestos and sauces and soups, in addition to the plain ol veggies that we’ll put up. I made such great fall soups last year that I hope to can them for uses in lunches and whatnot. Also, I have this huge bag of dried mushrooms and I want to experiment with making and freezing veggie burgers. Basically I want to work like crazy this summer/fall so that I can focus on school and baby this winter.

I’m addicted to lists. I make lists for everything. Today I have plans to make a list for deep cleaning- you know, stuff like “clean baseboards in kitchen” and “reorganize silverware drawer”. I am not an overly clean person, and I have much I could learn and improve upon. This is why I allow for these occasional bouts of anal retention. I inevitably end up on the front porch with my book, so I don’t think it’s too unhealthy to at least plan this kind of thing. Besides, the baseboards are grody and could use it. That silverware drawer has been getting on my nerves for a while, too.

August 3rd:
Yesterday was my Grandpa’s birthday. It was great to see family, of course. Unfortunately this meant that we weren’t able to go to the midwifery picnic that we had been planning on going to for like a month. Anyway, Gretchen and I both felt like it was better to go to this party because lots of family is out of town and/or lame-os and if our two families weren’t there then it would make for a sad party. Besides, everyone wants lots of baby. This is my dad and my sprout. He’s such a fun, silly, sweet grandpa. I’m glad our kids will have him.

Vera is almost 6 months already! There was sweet potato and avocado at this thing, so I experimented with giving her some of each. She wasn’t too excited about it. I’m totally fine with that. I’ll try again in a few more weeks. If she’s anything like me it’ll be a couple of months. According to my mom I would refuse all baby food. When I was 8 months old my mom tried me on sweet and sour chicken (rice, chicken, pineapple, yum). She ground it up at the table and I ate 2 custard cups full. What can I say, I have good taste. I am not gonna give her that rice cereal stuff though. I have nothing against other people going that route, but I just don’t think it’s very nutritious or good for their little developing guts. I feel pretty strongly about only feeding her whole, easily digestable foods for a while. I know waaay too many kids addicted to bread and sugar and the like. Of course, I am still learning, but I have my theories.

August 4th:
My aloe plant had 4 babies!!! Yay! I’m going to be repotting them all today. I can’t get enough succulents. I dream of having these huge aloe and jade plants in 20 years. They’ll be awesome. Forgive the fake bird. I love kitsch.

The other day an LJ friend posted this video, and I burst into tears watching it. I know I might just be a cheese-head, but c’mon, isn’t that amazing? I have been watching it several times a day and snuggling with Maya a lot. I say, whatever makes you more grateful.

Quote of the day:
“When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.” -Henry J. Kaiser


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Comments (14)

  1. pearlstreetdiva

    ooh the one where i surprise you by showing up at your front door?

    this is harvest month! and you are a virgo, right? totally explains the lists thing….every virgo i know loves making them! silly really cause well i like to make them tooo but i never actually make most of them although i think about making them.

    im totally the jeff in this family…isiah always asks my opinion and i tell him that he is the one reading the books so he should plan it and i know he will know best, we’re learning so for me its all experimentation. i am just the weeder!

    and your baby is still adorable

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Re: ooh the one where i surprise you by showing up at your front door?

      Haha yay! You can spot a true Ani fan a mile away…
      Yep, I’m a virgo. That’s funny- I’d never heard it was something they do!

      I miss your baby. And you. And Isiah. We all have to visit soon.

  2. purerandomness

    My mother makes THE.BEST homemade salsa I have ever tasted– including the stuff I had while in Costa Rica and Mexico. I’ve made her promise to give me her recipe when/if I have enough tomatoes to make salsa!


    You probably don’t have much fruit (we do!), but my mom suggested we make preserves out of our pears and peaches or just slice and can them for the winter. Are you planning to do any of that with your veggies?

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Mmmm… I’ll have to try the best salsa ever someday!

      I’ve gone to pick strawberries and tomorrow we’re picking blueberries. I’m planning on freezing most of the fruit- I don’t like adding a bunch of sugar to stuff. However, I always have to make loads of fresh apple butter in the fall, and I’d love to try pumpkin butter. We are canning tomatoes, classic salsa, salsa verde, green beans, and corn. Any suggestions? I was thinking I’d freeze the rest. That’s great that you’ll be able to store stuff even though you didn’t get the garden you hoped for this year! Way to go!

  3. pithy_epigrams

    That video is amazing!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I know, right? Tell me you didn’t get a little misty watching it…

      1. pithy_epigrams

        Oh I’ll admit it. Misty indeed.

  4. Anonymous

    vera is getting so big! I’m so happy that you get time with the girls and the guys are taking the baby’s to Gretchen’s. what a wonderful economical way to spend an evening!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yes! Do you ever make the boys take the babes and go out with your sister?

  5. 93_millionmiles

    I know I’ve probably asked you this before but I forgot. Where do you get your cow, pig, and chickens? We got 1/8 of a cow in June and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to grocery store meat.

    Also, do you have a recipe for cream cheese? My mom wanted me to ask you. She gets raw milk too and I told her that I thought I remembered you posting about something in that arena.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      We got them from different places. We got the chickens from Dawn Farm, and actually, if you or your mom are interested I believe there will be more available early this fall. We got the cow and the pig from this farm in Whitmore Lake. Although- if we weren’t getting it from that farm then we would get it from the family farms cooperative (same place we get our milk and stuff).
      As far as the cream cheese- yes I have a recipe, although I think I did something wrong when I made it. I’ve successfully made yogurt cheese, which was good. I’ll post the recipe anyway, I’m gonna try it again soon anyhow.
      2 quarts piima milk, whole milk buttermilk, yogurt, or raw milk-

      If using piima or whole milk buttermilk, let stand at room temp. 1-2 days or until the milk separates into curds and whey. If using raw milk, place the milk in a clean glass container and let it stand in room temp 1-4 days until it separates. With yogurt you can skip those steps. Then you take separated milk or whatever and line a large strainer with a clean dish towel and set it over a bowl. Pour in curds and whey or yogurt and let stand for several hours. The whey will run into the bowl and the milk solids will stay in the strainer. Tie up the towel with the milk solids inside, being careful not to squeeze. Tie this little sack to a wooden spoon placed across another container so that more whey can drip out. When the bag stops dripping the cheese is ready. Makes 5 cups whey and 2 cups cream cheese.

      I hope she can make it! I’m gonna try it next week!

      1. 93_millionmiles

        Thanks, Grace! I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

      2. lilpeace

        So my milk separated, but I read in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook that you need a piima culture to get it to turn into cream cheese. So that’s probably why yours didn’t work. Oops. So I don’t know what to do with this separated milk now. Gah.

  6. see_anotherside

    Best of luck organising your garden for fall, and with the harvest of course. Does this mean we’ll be treated to lots of food pictures soon? I hope so. 🙂

    That lion video made me cry, too! Animals are precious, and it’s always especially nice when you see a wild animal so friendly with humans. Aw.


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