We've been keeping our hands busy by moving chicken tractors and constantly watering and feeding 90 Cornish Cross chickens several times a day. These chicks eat! And with the temps in the 100s this week, watering is extremely important.
I wish watering the garden would insure a good crop, but it seems that our soil (even in the raised beds) and the heat are taking a toll on our garden. I think Jeff has decided that buying fresh produce from friends or farmers' markets would be cheaper for us in the long run. Despite our meager yields we have been canning green beans, blueberries and making various jams and jellies. I've dehydrated onions and made caramelized onions that I'll be canning today. This brings us to the end of a 50 pound bag of onions that we purchased for only 5 bucks. Yep!! Good deal!!
We've also bagged up gallons of blueberries and strawberries for use throughout the year. Today I'll be making up cranberry applesauce in the crockpots to can later. I recently bought 40 pounds of apples for about 16 dollars and have lots of cranberries in the freezer. We love a combination of cranberries and apples, so I am going to use them up! The cranberries have been in the freezer for 2 years when I found a great deal on them after Christmas and I am diligently trying to use up the frozen fruits and veggies in the freezer so we will have room for those 90 chickens that will be slaughtered in a couple of weeks.
In the dehydrator I've been drying sage, oregano, zucchini and blueberries. I'll do some of those apples as well. We love having dried apples on hand for granola and now a new favorite, fried dried apple pies...Oh, My!!
For school, we've been doing at least two days worth of math each day, working on grammar and studying Egypt which involves lots of reading, research and writing for my 15 and 13 year old children. The 7 year old is working along at his math and phonics and has enjoyed a light bird study this summer. He is excited about a family trip to the beach next month so he can see some sand pipers and other water birds. We will also get to visit an Audobon bird sanctuary which is on the island we will be staying on. We've been reading the Childhood of Famous Americans biography about Audobon for the last few weeks.
I'll stop with a link to a great post by Amy at Homestead Revival. Some great information. http://homesteadrevival.blogspot.com/2012/06/debt-crisis-homesteading.html