The height of summer

We’re over the hump of our longest days in terms of chores.  The broilers went to the processor two days ago, we picked up the chilled birds yesterday and got them all into the fridges and freezers of loyal customers (as well as our own freezer).

The pigs (no pictures this time – they were hiding out of the sun when I was out with the camera) are healthy and thriving on the buckets of apples that our neighbour keeps putting over the fence.

I’m down to 20 layers, but they too are benefiting from the neighbour’s largesse in the form of overripe figs being thrown over the fence for them.

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55 mixed breed layer pullets, 3 days old

Replacement layer chicks arrived yesterday morning, so we’re back to brooding again for a couple of weeks, and then eventually back to field shelters for a bit – but for now, things are relatively peaceful and calm.

We’re enjoying the fruit season – blackberries, apples, peaches from our own garden, blueberries from neighbouring farms, and just bought tomatoes and basil at the market this morning to make sauce and pesto (no veg garden this year – weird feeling, but smart decision in terms of time available).   Corn on the cob is a regular feature at dinner.  The warming trend has meant that for the second year in a row, our growing season is about a month ahead of what we used to think of as normal – normal to us would be blackberries and corn about now, but they’ve both been ready for a couple of weeks.

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We got my husband a hammock stand for Father’s Day back in June.   Before we can lie on it, we need to clear up the dropped apples…in fact more of them have used the hammock than we have…but the season is slowing down, so maybe our turn is coming…

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10 thoughts on “The height of summer

  1. It’s a wonderful feeling when it all starts to fall into place. Hooray for good neighbours slinging their excess over the fence. I’m very envious of all that fruit; here we’re reduced to scraping last seasons largess from the depths of the freezer.

    • I also see there was snow in Southland this week, to prove you’re in winter down there – you’ve had your turn with fruit from the garden, and it will come again next summer :). But yes, I’m very grateful to the neighbours – we got a few of the good figs handed carefully over the fence for humans as well :).

  2. Bill says:

    Interesting observation about the warming trend. Our veggies are ripening ahead of schedule this year. Perhaps also a function of the warming. Glad to know you’re over the hump, but it sounds like you still have plenty to do. 🙂

    • I don’t have time now, but maybe in the winter I’ll spend some time looking up the historical temperature pattern – I’d be curious to see the pattern over an extended period. How much of what we’re experiencing is part of the natural ups and downs over the millennia, and how much is a result of global warming? Yes, the list of things to do is still plenty long, but it seems less daunting with the broilers gone. Although I’ve caught myself thinking about broilers next year already :).

  3. That is interesting about the “warming” trend, this is one of the coolest summers on record for us and we are at the 45th parallel quite a bit south of you. Rain, rain, rain, so not a good garden year for me to try sweet potatoes and popcorn.

    It’s getting a little quieter here too, beef gone, broilers done, pigs going next week, and pullets about to start laying, It’s a good feeling to be getting stocked up and for chores to wane a bit.

    • That is interesting that we’re having such different experiences. I should clarify that we had a very damp spring/early summer. Hay Guy and buddy Bryce (who hauls my pigs and lends me a truck to take the broilers) had a terrible year for hay – the late May/June/early July stretch had barely three days clear at a time at any point. It was good for gardeners, and I wasn’t affected with livestock, but they took a beating with the hay – it was uncanny how often they’d see a clear stretch coming, go out and cut a field, and watch the sky change almost instantly. Sounds like you’ve hit calm water for sure, just in time to get all that tomato sauce put away:). I thought of you this morning as I started the chopping for a batch of tomato glut sauce that I gleaned off your blog several years ago now.

      • The hay problem is happening here too now. Abnormally dry April and May and then bam rained all of June and hardly a stretch of hay weather in July (our normal month to cut) We’ve got about half our hay wet and half put up in decent fashion. But the flip side is that all that rain is great for the pasture, and not haymaking. There is always a win/lose situation in farming it seems.

        Do my first batch of glut sauce today, in fact!

      • So true about the win/lose- it has been an amazing berry year here – all the u pick farms are thrilled.

  4. That is a lot of accomplished for someone who “cut back”.
    I bought M a hammock a few years ago but we have yet to hang it up! Hope you both get to clock some hours in yours soon.
    I can’t believe it’s August already…

    • That hammock above is parked under the trees we used to tie it to, but they treamble and shake when one of us gets into it, hence the hammock stand – which has the advantage that we can move it around the yard if we want to. I was off colour a few days ago and had a nap in it, blissful.

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