Consecration Acres

"If ye labor with all your might, I will consecrate that spot that it shall be made holy."

Scrambling

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So many weeks out sick means that we are incredibly behind on everything. We started the flu with all our planting just ahead of us. We end it with, “rats…is it too late to…?” I am trying to just keep working through it in a reasonable way, but I often feel like my head is going to explode. Still, being crazy beats being sick!

I finally went out and finished the orchard pruning. Bethel seems to have a knack for it. When I was undecided, she would advise, and did so well. I asked her how she knew what to do and she said that she’d seen well-pruned trees before. And I spent hours reading about it! She’s such a many-gifted girl. I hope she can learn to delight in the good work that her gifts could lead to.

One of our peach trees is oozing gelatinous stuff. I have read that it could be the result of bacterial canker, borers or “growing pains” in young trees. I am really hoping for the third option.

Also, I really need to sharpen my pruning shears. Those last cuts were far from beautiful.

I went out and picked up our bare root trees as well as some grape vines. I was hoping to buy a couple more cherry trees while we were there, but they were long gone. The good news was that the grapes were ½ off, so I was able to get a couple more than I had planned. We are just waiting on the last mail order now. We sure have a lot of planting to do…

Garden bed building is stalled out for now until my husband can scratch out some time to work on it. And on my part it is hard to get excited about expending effort on seed-starting when I’m not sure when there will be beds to plant things in. If only we both had super-powers and required no sleep. I am sure that the Incredibles always get their garden in on time.

incredible garden

Yeah, I thought so…

And we’ve got to get Penny ultrasounded. If she is pregnant, it is time to dry her up. If she is not, I want to de-worm her using the non-pregnant goat stuff. She’s looking thinner than I like to see her.

I finally got the zucchini relish made and canned. Important note to me: get help! It looked pretty straightforward, just some zucchini, peppers and onions, but I found that there is nothing “just” about mincing 14 zucchini, 10 peppers and 8 (apologies to my non-onion-eating family—I feel you wincing) onions. Even with the food processor, it was slow. The zucchini had to be processed one at a time, carefully, lest they puree, and to be scraped down twice. The peppers and onions could go in two at a time, but that’s still 9 rounds. The kids were all delighted with the results, but the little red hen needs to get the other barnyard animals involved in this food project next time.

Other stuff in the kitchen this week: delicious butter (I need to order that splatter guard for my KitchenAid—this is so ridiculous), really dry mozzarella (I still have a baby…) and ricotta. We just went out and bought a bunch of oranges. I may attempt marmalade this week.

The wisdom of having both a farmer and a farmwife is brought home to me from time to time. Caring for plants, trees and animals is really one job and turning it all into eatables and usables is another. With my big boys and mod cons I can almost make it work some times, but it sure isn’t pretty.

And join us in praying and fasting for rain next weekend.  We have about half of what we need for a “normal” rainy season.  Less than that just deepens this drought.

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