It may not officially be Summer, but here in Southeast Georgia, Summer is in FULL swing! 100 degree real feel temps, afternoon thunderstorms, biting flies, weekly lawn mowing schedules, fireflies dancing under the big Oaks, Whippoorwills calling at sunset, Magnolia trees Gardenias and Roses perfuming the air AND FINALLY some FRESH Summer produce!! All the berries we have around are coming in now (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries) and when we can stop eating them long enough, they turn into an AWESOME Cobbler and/or Jelly! I like my mine all mixed up in a cobbler, then with a nice HEALTHY dollop of vanilla ice cream on top! What can I say? I had good raisin!
There’s fresh Squash, Zucchini, Eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Carrots and Sweet Corn! Soon to be followed by Beans, Peas and Watermelon! I try my best to eat “in season” and I have been craving fresh summer veggies since late Fall!! A wonderful perk of canning and freezing fresh summer produce is that it still tastes relatively close to fresh when it comes time to warming it up! But still, its not like that fresh off the plant, still warm from the sun, fresh!
Before the fresh “Summer” produce, comes all the little miracles of life! Spring farm babies! Baby animals are definitely the CUTEST part of farming/homesteading! They are soooo full of life, no worries in the world and are so funny!
We had a rough winter this year with our animals. Our dearest pets, who have been with us for most of my married life passed away. Our 10 year old cat, Tux and my loyal 8 year old Great Dane, Apollo. Our chicken and geese flocks were cut in half by predators and honestly, by Springtime, my moral on farming and animals was pretty low. On top of all this animal loss, I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum. My joy of being an expectant mother was quickly reduced to being severely sick from about week 6 to 14. Hearing about this condition can in no way give a sense of what it is like to live with or along side someone with it. Our household was reduced to “Mama can’t cook, clean or do ANYTHING other than sit or lie on the couch with trips to the bathroom to be sick”. Seriously, not trying to be dramatic, but I thought I was gonna die. Thankfully, after two looooong months of not being able to eat or drink much, being supplemented with twice a week sessions of 4 hour infusions at the local hospital, NO energy to “farm” and the undeniable sense of hopelessness in a dark hour, I finally started to feel better… I seem to have gotten off track… back to the good stuff!!
None of our chickens were into setting, so we decided to start incubating our own eggs (a long lesson of learning, but best to invest in a GOOD self regulating one!). Our girl goat Gypsy, who we got as a kid, was showing signs of being an expectant mother and our excitement for spring babies, and maybe fresh goat milk, greatly intensified! We had baby farm animal fever! Chicks hatching, a baby goat running and playing about and we are still waiting on our shipment of Goslings.
The miracle of life is so humbling. Its amazing to see the life that God makes from nothing. Lots of questions came with the deaths of beloved pets and family members this past year and then with Gypsy having her baby. Life isn’t always a walk in the park and I believe its important for kids to understand the entire cycle of life. Not the “idea” of life that you see on TV or the computer, but real life. Seeing animals first hand puts that idea into a simplified version for kids. Life is hard. Life can be sad. Life is happy and exuberant. We adapt. We LIVE with the good, thanking God for his blessings. We LIVE with the bad, thanking God for his blessings. We love. We hope for a better tomorrow. But most of all we continue to Live!
Out of the darkness of Winter woes, we are enjoying all of the new life and production from our little homestead. We have lots that we want to add, hoping to one day add Pigs and Cows to our “family”. God will truly bless us when we let him work with our lives. We are looking forward to our 4th little girl this fall and all that comes with her. How is your life going? What are you excited about this season or just today?