Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer is all about... what's next?

Through out winter months, we dream of warmer days, getting in the garden, feeling the sweat running down our backs with a smile on our face. Right? Does that sound about right to you? Well, not me personally. I for one do NOT like the sweltering heat. Nope, not even one little bit. With the heat comes bugs. Right now we are fighting the flies.... those little black winged terrors are persistent too! Yesterday the hubby and I spent almost ALL DAY outside. He, got on the riding mower... I flittered from job to job. After morning chores I went and picked off two 3 ft long branches from the willow trees. I had a friend tell me that you stab them in a potato and burry that in the ground, and they will root. So, I decided to give it a try. If all goes well, in 2 years the goats will have 2 nice shade trees that will provide sweet snacks. Oh, I planted them outside the fence but the girls stood there staring at those little twigs with want in their eyes. So, job one, done. Lets see what ELSE I can get into. I had a small piece of fencing that was not being I grabbed the wagon, hooked it to the lawn tractor and collected my supplies. Sledge hammer, a few T Posts, gloves, hand trowel and headed to the garden. There was an area in the garden that was not being used.. and there were volunteer tomato plants popping up everywhere. So I put up the fence piece about 10 ft long and dug up the tomato plants and transferred them. Swatting at the flies that demanded I give up my blood to them.. The wish is that these will be Roma's from last year... ( can I be that lucky? ) I hope so because there are 16 of them! Most likely though, they will come up as cherry tomato's. That's fine too though. Little red jewels to snack on while I am out there pulling weeds or whatever. Splash some water on them and I am finished with that little project. I look up to see hubby still mowing. So I take the lawn tractor over to the chicken coop. My step dad needed some outside work done yesterday since he can no longer get outside and do it. Hubby and I chopped and dug out 2 mulberry trees from his rose bed. They were HUGH! Filled the ruck bed and made for some very happy goats and sheep here. Back to the coop.... the chicken yards are just deep with "mulch" Every time I clean out the coops, I spread it on the yards. The chickens keep it stirred up and before I know it there is a deep layer of rich , dark, mulch, just begging me to scoop it up and put in the gardens. I took a few empty feed bags and filled them to half way. Oh boy, stirring up stink to get a smell made for some very busy flies over there. If that made the flies happy, they sure have a strange way to show it. They were biting my legs and back with the determination. We will put this on the rose garden over at my step dads. His roses will love it! I put the 4 bags in the shop until we can take it over there. Had to get it up before the rain came...and it did. As a matter of fact I hear rumbles of thunder out there now. So now that little task is finished. I look around, hubby is still mowing. I came inside to wash off, and get the ham in the oven. Back outside with my can of paint and brush in hand. Time to spruce up that tired old bird house. I was able to get a few coats on the post and house... before I had to just run away. The paint smell must have drawn the flies in... from the chicken coop... I was getting eaten up by them. Where is hubby?? Oh, yes, still mowing!! By now I decided he needed help! We have a LOT to mow I jump on my lawn tractor and get busy. There are areas we can not get to yet as they are still wet and muddy. Of course I thought I could....and before I know it am stuck. I was able to get the mower out but I am now covered in mud! Stinky, wet mud. And, what LOVES stinky wet mud!?? You guessed it... FLIES!! Holy crap these flies are relentless. If someone was to drive by they would think I was a raging lunatic! Driving the lawn tractor, arms flailing around above my head. What they wouldn't see would be those little black demons buzzing around. Oh, and these are not the little house flies. Nope, DEER FLIES! The ones that when they bite leave a nice little welt that itches like the dickens! I can take it no longer... I retreat to the house to "lick my wounds" I counted 7 bites in all. After getting cleaned up I get dinner going. Oh, hubby finished the mowing and trimming. He was exhausted as well. Oddly, not ONE fly bite on him! After supper I used the last of the strawberries in a pie. Our little strawberry patch did well this year. I am sad to know they are done for the season. After evening chores and showers.. we grabbed a big slice of that pie and a cup of coffee to end the day. What a productive day we had. So, now that the strawberries are done... what's next!? Mulberries. The trees are LOADED. I have already picked about 10 pounds of them and put them in the freezer for jelly making later. I would like to get another 10 pounds at least. We just love Mulberry jelly! If I can get another 10 pounds I will try my hand at making Mulberry syrup this year. Dreaming of cold winter mornings and a stack of fluffy pancakes with mulberry syrup just dripping off of them. I also plan to make s simple syrup and can a few pints for using in the winter months in pies and on cakes. Next up?? I believe will be the Beets I believe. Or maybe Elderberries? They seem to be doing great! So many blooms means there should be a great harvest. IF I can beat the birds to them, and I am able to fight off the deer flies. It is time to get out there and see what else I can get into today. The weather man said the temps will be in the 90's for the next few days. Me and the dogs will be lazing in the house, with the AC blasting.

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