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July Homestead Update

It’s time for a July Homestead Update! We’ve had a seriously busy July around here. Every year just gets crazier and crazier. I always think – next week, life will slow down. But it never happens! Surely, you feel the same way? July Homestead Update

July Homestead Update

In the garden…

simplifylivelove garden update julyMy garden is going absolutely nuts! I’ve harvested bucket  loads of cucumbers, zucchini, beans, and cabbage. The tomatoes are starting to turn red and my potatoes are finally dying back. My corn is looking gorgeous – I love the variation in the three different types of corn I planted and hope it yields well! I haven’t had this many cucumbers in YEARS! I’m not sure how I managed to handle the cucumber beetles this year, but whatever combination of things I tried {DE, companion planting, planting starts along with seeds} – it worked! I hope I can duplicate it next year.

I pulled out all of my peas except one type, but the last remain row of peas needs to come out soon. The kids and I have planted a few more things for a fall garden – kohlrabi and carrots. We’ll see if we get anything from that planting. It’s hot and dry here for the first time this summer – not a good combo for growing new seeds.

I was sad yesterday to find one wilted cucumber vine which signals to me that they are on the way out. Whenever one of my cucurbits wilts suddenly – it’s not a good sign. BUT, I’m happy with the cucumbers I’ve harvested so far, and if they all die on me now, I’ll still be satisfied! I only hope whatever’s taking out the cucumbers stops at the cucumbers and leaves the gourds, squash, and watermelon alone. Time will tell.

In the Kitchen

Homestead Update - July - SimplifyLiveLove

I’ve been really busy in the kitchen as I busted out my canning gear in July. Most exciting to me is the 5 gallon pail of homemade cabbage fermenting in a cool dark place in my barn {my closet…}, the 7 1/2 quarts of frozen green beans in my freezer, and the 36 quarts of homemade pickles I’ve canned! We’ve been eating like crazy from the garden. Taco zucchini boats, homemade pesto, lots of fresh potatoes. I really love this time of year.

July Homestead Update - SimplifyLiveLove

If you’re curious how I froze the green beans, head over to An Oregon Cottage and watch Jami’s tutorial for freezing beans without blanching. I’ll let you know how it works out because that’s how I processed all of green beans in the picture above.

July Homestead Update - SimplifyLiveLove

I followed my own canning tutorial for the pickles – a recipe I have been eating almost all of my 40 years and my absolute most favorite ever pickle! With the help of a dear friend who came to visit last week, I’ve canned 36 quarts so far. And my barn kitchen is cleaner than ever. Thanks for the help, Robin! It always amazes me what two women can accomplish in the kitchen – that woman gets stuff done, now!!! And it was a lot of fun watching my four kids and her boys play together, too.

The Chickens…

July Homesteading Update - SimplifyLiveLoveThe 17 chickens are getting very big. They’re almost 10 weeks old now, and we turned off the light in the coop. They are awesome little composters and love to peck all the leftover melon off rinds and eat cucumbers I find in the garden which I deem too big for human consumption.

July Homesteading Update - SimplifyLiveLoveThere’s only one problem with the chickens. While we all love them very much, our dog seems to like them too. She especially likes the white fluffy chickens. Maybe she thinks they look like her so must be related? I’m not sure, but I do know that unless we are out to watch her very closely when the chickens are out, white chickens end up in her mouth. We’ve rescued a few chickens from her many times. So, the chickens stay contained when we’re not outside to supervise the dog. 🙁 It’s not what I want, but I also don’t want to find dead chickens. So until we have her trained, the chickens move around in a big dog pen.

In my life…

My 10 year old fell out of a tree last week {while I was trying to help her out of it safely…}. She was building a tree house and got stuck. While she wasn’t particularly high up, she slipped and there was nothing I could do but watch her slam into the ground, jaw first. We spent a day in the ER being checked out for broken jaw, getting stitches, etc. It was a very scary day and I felt so responsible for the fall. Not fun at all and something I don’t particularly recommend. Luckily, she’s ok besides the 6 stitches she got under her lip, and a very sore jaw. That one mishap consumed a good portion of my July.

July Homesteading Update - SimplifyLiveLove

July Homesteading Update – SimplifyLiveLove

I continue to be amazed at the beautiful Iowa sunsets! They really take my breath way and give me reason to pause almost every day. I share pictures like this all the time on Instagram! Head over there for a lot more updates on our little homestead out here in Eastern Iowa.

I’ll update again later in August. My husband and I head to Germany on Friday. I spent 8 years of my childhood in Germany and my best friend from long ago turns 40 next week. After she jokingly invited me to her party when she called in April to wish me a happy 40th, I decided why not. Money’s boring if it’s stuck in a bank, or so says my great friend Chantal. I love my friends. So my kids are heading to grandma’s and a fine art camp they do every year, and the hubs and I will spend 10 days in Germany. I can’t wait – it’s been too long since we were last there! I only hope my German doesn’t embarrass me too much while we’re there.

Watch for IG updates about that trip!

Auf wiedersehen {until we meet again}, friends! Catch you on the flip side.

Linking up: TGP


Thursday 24th of July 2014

Wow have you been busy! Looks like you will be eating the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor long into the winter.

Marty Coleman, The Napkin Dad

Thursday 24th of July 2014

I love your life!

Michelle Marine

Thursday 24th of July 2014

Aww. It might sound better than it is, some days... ;-)

Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

Wednesday 23rd of July 2014

I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter, but thankful that she is okay. Nothing causes a mama stress quite like illness or injury to her children. Our dog used to eat our chickens, too. We used to have to tie the dog up to let the chickens roam and put the chickens away when the dog was out. It wasn't fun, but I"m happy to say our dog grew out of it. I'm not really sure how, but she leaves them alone now. Hopefully, the same will be true for you. Your garden is looking great - I can't believe how much you are harvesting. Mine has been pretty pathetic, but I live in an area where it is difficult to grow much. Enjoy the rest of your summer! Maybe August will be slower, but I've also learned to stop saying things like that because more often that not, it won't be the case. Life is all about embracing the moments, right?

Platter Talk

Wednesday 23rd of July 2014

Gorgeous post and photos. Have fun in Germany!

Michelle Marine

Thursday 24th of July 2014

Thanks!! We will. :-)


Wednesday 23rd of July 2014

Love the garden updates. And your 'booty' looks awesome, so jealous. I love the sunsetting picture. Those trees look like they could lead to a wonderland...

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