While I would like to tell you growing your own food and trying to build an urban homestead is all peaches and cream, the truth of the matter is it's hard work and sometimes very frustrating and disappointing. Sometimes I wonder why I continue on this path, and then I see my chickens free ranging in the yard and I collect my eggs that weren't laid in a cage in a building with artificial lights, and I know for me, it's the right thing to do. I am determined to continue to grow and learn and take the good with the bad. However, sometimes we focus so much on our perceived disappointments and failures, we fail to see what we've accomplished and be thankful for it. So, I thought I would take a moment to look back on some things I'm proud to have accomplished this year. We added two new chickens to the flock, bringing it to four. We built the fabulous GA State Henitentiary, moving the girls from the chicken tractor to larger digs. We continue to get 1-2 eggs a day from Pearl and Vanilli and look forward to getting eggs from Thelma and Louise starting maybe the end of August. We started two bee hives, and while not a complete success, a valuable learning experience indeed. We added a rain barrel to the front of the house making it easier to water the veggies up front. We built and planted 7 raised beds in the front yard for vegetables. I have canned Fig Cognac Jam and Pepper Jelly. I have dried numerous trays of peppers, hot and sweet, and figs. Our blueberry bushes, planted last summer, gave us a decent harvest, enough to make some muffins and to throw some on cereal in the morning. I have frozen numerous cubes of basil from the garden, the wild blackberries we were able to pick in the spring and pureed figs. I've made and frozen several jars of jalapeno pepper sauce and bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapenos. Several jars of refrigerator pickles sit in the refrigerator as well.
By our standards, wow, what a list, with five months left to go in the year.
There are other non farm-related things for which I'm am thankful as well, but that's another post.