This post is going to ramble.
I believe I'm melting! It is SO hot and humid. I've been trying to take care of outside chores in the morning or late in the evening, but major projects are on hold for now. This morning I walked across the street to pick some figs, and I have to outfit myself to keep the mosquitos at bay. Long pants, shoes and socks, long-sleeved shirt and gloves. Otherwise, they converge on me like white on rice. My neighbor was home, and he helped me pick figs. Bless his heart! He had the ladder out and was up in the tree picking figs that I could only gawk at from below. I've managed to can 14 pints of pickled figs, a favorite of my fellow book club members. As a matter of fact, I decided to offer them for sale this year to the ladies, and I've received several orders so far. I've been dehydrating them as well, and I have enough in the refrigerator to make a batch of fig preserves. I hope to get those done tomorrow.
Yesterday, I canned some vegetable relish and tomato salsa. I've been pretty pleased with my tomatoes this year. The Black Krims and the Cherokee Purples are my favorite. They are beautiful when sliced and are so delicious. I'm not harvesting enough quantity to really brag about, but if I save them for a few days, I can make a small batch of salsa or tomato sauce. Last year, we really only got enough for fresh eating, so that fact that I am able to can some this year is progress. They are getting so much more sun where they are this year compared to last. It's my goal to take down more trees in my neighbor's yard again this fall/winter. The increase in my tomato yield is proof that the trees we took down this past winter have made a difference in my yard. I want to build on that, so I'll keep saving my pennies for that project.
The rabbits seem to be doing okay with the heat. They are in deep shade with good air circulation, and I usually switch out their frozen bottles at least once a day so they have a source of cool when they need it. My dream is to have a mini-barn with electricity where I can house all of the animals and be able to run fans in the summer for the rabbits. Plus, I was just talking with Nate today about really wanting some meat rabbits. We don't have any place to put them at the moment, so that goal is on hold for now.
Surprisingly, the chickens are still giving us 3-5 eggs a day. We've talked to other local backyard chicken keepers, and their hens have pretty much stopped laying due to the heat. We have some really hard working good girls. They lay in the stifling heat of summer and the brutal cold of winter.
Despite my best efforts, the vine borers destroyed all of my squash plants, even the ones I planted late. I finally just ripped them out of the ground and threw them away a few days ago. It's almost August, and the the vines were still covered with eggs. I've started doing some research for borer resistant varieties for next year. I'm just sick about it!
Feedback on recent comments:
Homesteading Chic: You really don't have to have alot of land to make a big impact. We've made it a policy not to plant anything in our yard that doesn't either produce something edible or provide forage for our honeybees. Even thought I rarely see the little buggers in my yard. They go elsewhere!
Leigh: You will notice the photos of the backyard are not close-ups, and I only showed you a portion of the yard. LOL! We've waited many years for such a peach harvest.
TGL: I sang that song the WHOLE time I was harvesting peaches. It was on a continuous loop through my brain! Millions of peaches peaches for me, Millions of peaches peaches for free, Millions of peaches peaches for me, Millions of peaches peaches for free.
Warm Dirt: I'm sure you grow something on your farm that I can't grow in GA, so I would be envious of that.
That's it for now.