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I’m still alive, albeit buried under a mound of laundry, household chores, work, shows, and garden produce.

Garden Update

Yowza.  I don’t even know where to begin with my garden updates.  One garden is totally thriving in its neglect.  That’s the one that is planted at my friend’s rental property.  We’ve been enjoying zucchini, beets (Cylindra, Golden, and Chioggia) and green beans from that garden, and the corn, carrots, and tomatoes are well on their way.

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I used a few beet leaves to make Beetniks.  When I was a child, I loved beetniks, but one night, I ate too many and threw up.  I haven’t eaten them since.  This time around, I showed some restraint, eating only five or six at a time.  They are so rich and delicious.  Finally, a Ukrainian food that I’m really good at making!  Still working on my perogie skills.

IMG_2838I got the recipe from this fantastic book called Out of Old Saskatchewan Kitchens by Amy Jo Ehman.  It’s a fascinating book and totally fuels my fantasies of being a pioneer.

As for the garden that’s in my backyard, it’s literally a jungle of squash vines, and there is about five different types of squash growing like mad.  I wanted to keep all the squash in our backyard so that I could pollinate the blooms by hand.  Well, with four hives in the backyard, that really wasn’t necessary this summer, and now I will have a ridiculous amount of squash to put away for the winter.

Surprisingly, the bell peppers have done well this summer, too.  They’re nice and big, and ripening to a beautiful red.  (I’ve been patiently waiting for them to turn red; I don’t like green peppers)

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Chicken Update

Warning:  Graphic weird image of “egg” below

I don’t know what is going on with my girls.  No one is laying right now.  At least, no one is laying a normal egg right now.  Ginger just finished molting, and one of the little girls just started molting (Short Comb, I think), and the other little girl (Floppy Comb, I think) is laying such gross monstrosities that in four years of keeping chickens, I never seen anything like them.

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What the hell!?  She’s laid three of these “eggs” in the past two weeks.  Before they started appearing, I was finding some funny shaped eggs in the nesting box, and some soft shelled eggs being dropped from the roost.  I have no idea what is causing her to lay these yolk filled water balloons.  I’ve tried giving them yogurt, restricting treats, adding vitamins to their water, adding apple cider vinegar to the water.  Nothing worked.  She continues to lay these weirdos.  I’m convinced there’s something wrong with her internally, since I’ve tried every diet adjustment I can find.  Thing is, I’m not 100% sure which chicken is laying them.  I can’t catch her in the act.  Once I know who it is, it’s the chopping block for her.  She must be on to me . . .

Canning Update

Holy moly, I couldn’t keep up with the raspberries this summer.  There’s still some on the bushes that could be picked, but I’m done now.  I’ve put three large freezer bags of raspberries away to make jam later, and my friend Jen took about four cups of berries off one day.  All from my little raspberry patch in the garden.  Thank you bees!

The sour cherries across the street were unbelievable this year.  I put some up as preserves, and then made some jam.  The berries are so heavy on the tree that they’re weighing down the branches, taunting me to come pick more.  But I must move on to strawberries and apples now.

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My friend Melanie let me come pick from her apple tree last Saturday, and the apples are lovely (and ripe so early this year!).  I juiced them in the steam juicer (which was so worth the $200 + that I spent on it; I expect it to last at least 100 years), and then I turned the mush into apple sauce, and put up 12 pints of sauce.  That’s just round one.  I need a lot of apple sauce this year.  I finished all the apple sauce and apple butter last winter.

I think that about catches me up.  As for foster baby update, we have made a successful transition to cloth diapers (yay!) and he is growing (and gaining weight) like a little weed.  Nothing better than a happy, healthy baby.

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