So it's been almost a month since I've written on here...wow does time fly! We have been super busy this summer. And we haven't even finished yet! At the beginning of the month we went to VMI for the 4th of July. Meredith had a blast before hand, but got really bored with the fireworks. After the third or fourth one she was done. Then on the 6th we had Xavier's baby blessing. We had a house full that day! It was really nice though and we were able to feed everyone with food mainly from our farm.
Then my two youngest brothers stayed with us for almost two weeks helping us on the farm. We got the bathroom painted, the classroom painted, and the stairwell too. They took care of the animals outside and helped pick vegitables in the garden...as well as eat them too (they weren't too keen on the eating part). They put up the electric fence around the barn for our animals and mowed our huge lawn. They really helped out and we were really grateful to have them over and spend time with us...it was a lot of fun.
While they were here the County Fair took place. Julia entered some Chocolate Chip Mint cookies and won 2nd place! I entered a Chocolate Zucchini Cake and won 3rd place, and also my really good Autumn Apple Pie which won 1st place!!!!! I was so stoked! I have a blue ribbon pie. And I am not modest about it in the least...okay I am. But I'm still really proud. Next year I'm going to enter in some artwork and if I can finish it, some cross stich too. I also want to enter in more baked goods. Spencer is going to enter in some veggies, because when we saw the competition we realized we had produce just as good as theirs. It was so much fun. Meredith loved the animals. We spent most of the time walking up and down the barns looking in the stables at all the 4H and FFA animals. Xavier's favorite exhibit was the quilts. He loved the colors. The third place quilt was his favorite. He was just laughing away at it...or at least the big red ladybug on it.I am told that the colors babies are most receptive to is black, white, and red...well he was very receptive! I guess I love the fair so much because my favorite musical is "State Fair". I am thinking about entering my pie into the state fair in two months, but I'd have to drive up one day to enter it in and then come back in a few days to see what ranking I recieved. And that's a lot of driving just for a pie (the fair is in Richmond). And it costs for admission into that fair as well.
Then to tell the boys "Thank You" for helping us I took them over to the Natural Bridge Cavern...which is the deepest cavern on the East Coast, or so they say. It was nice...but not a very long tour. Which turned out fine for me because Xavier got hungry half way through so I was trying to feed him. And Meredith was a bit scared at the new surroundings and wanted only me to hold her and then got jelous while I was feeding Xavier. And she kept crying "Mommy! Mommy!" so I would hold her and it echoed loudly and made it hard for the others on the tour to hear the tour guide. And she didn't like that the guide kept stopping to explain different rooms in the cavern and she kept trying to wander off in the darkness. Oh it was lovely fun.
I took the boys back up to Ohio, to their new house right outside of Kirtland, OH.So I just had to go see the Mormon Historical Sites. It was really nice. I got to spend time with my family, except Kathryn who lives in AZ. I was there for a few days. We got to go play at Lake Erie. Meredith loved it. She is a collecter of rocks and this beach was nothing but smooth, colorful rocks.
So she tried to take a few home, but luckily got tired of holding them on the way back to the parking lot. It was a nice visit...but very humid being right on the lake. While up there I got to visit the grave of a good friend of Spencer's, John Cutler. Turns out my parents moved into their old ward. They had just moved a few weeks before. It was nice to go pay my respects.Xavier went to the doctor this past Friday and got his first set of shots...he cried but only for a minute. But he weighs a whopping fifteen pounds and he's only two months old. Meredith didn't weigh that much until she was six months old. I have a fat, but healthy baby! I must produce pure fat in my milk!
Now that I'm back at my house I've done nothing but clean. Everything go so behind with projects left and right and not until today did it look somewhat recognizable. Last Saturday we spent most of the morning harvesting crops from the garden. We have so many vegetables that we were somewhat baffled with what to do with them. Gary and MaryAnn had said we could have their canner, but it didn't get down here in time...So we've just been freezing everything. All the corn is picked, shucked, blanched, cut off, bagged and frozen.
We ate the peppers ASAP as well as the carrots that were ready. We discovered that you can freeze tomatoes...so that's what we did...and will have to keep doing. We will have tomaotes coming up for a few more weeks as well. Our squash and zucchini is finished growing for the most part. Our green beans, or pole greens (whichever they are) are done for the season too. We must of had over 12 pounds of green beans alone these past few weeks. The peas never made it to a meal. Turns out they are Meredith's favorite! She also loves the cherry tomatoes a whole bunch and we only got 3/4ths of those into the house.
She was helping us pick them, but just kept eating them. The same thing with the corn. She just kept eating it raw...which is very tasty I might add (but gives you the runs so eat in moderation).
Our potatoes are going to be over 70 pounds when we finish harvesting them. We've been trying to eat those as fast as we can as well because we dug up more than we could handle right now.
Our butternut is looking really good too. The pumpkins are getting huge and I cannot wait for Thanksgiving. The cucumbers have turned out to be a bit of a problem.
We have so many that we honestly don't have room for them. I have never seen such huge cucumbers, some could be mistaken for watermelon (which we've harvested three of at the moment). I've pickled some, made some into salads, we are eating them raw at almost every meal. The chickens are sick and tired of the things too.
If anyone has any good cucumber recipes or preservation methods please let us know! If anyone around this area wants some let me know and I'll bring them to church. We also have some cantaloupe too which I hate but Spencer is enjoying. And last but not least, our ducks have started laying eggs. We are so happy! They are almost a full two months early on when they should be ready to produce eggs, so we weren't really expecting them, but Spencer found them on Saturday. We found another on Sunday morning so we fried it up and tried it out. It tasted awesome. It was so much more than a chicken egg. It was fresh...at most five hours fresh. It wasn't grainy in the yolk like a chicken egg can get, and it had a strong flavor that was very tasty. Hopefully the chickens will start soon too.
We are feeling blessed with the abundance coming from our farm garden this year. What I find amazing it that you can have one little plot of land full of the same kind of nutrients within and plant some seeds that all use those nutrients in their own special way and come up with some wonderful fruits. It's amazing how the Lord has made this world work, all the diversity is just amazing, and a silent testimony and reminder of his hand on this earth. I really love trying to be self-sufficient (except for the bug bites, those I could live without).