This Morning

August 15, 2012 · 9 comments

Any day that starts with peaches is a good day. Early this morning, Henry and I went up to the greenhouse and picked the last of the peaches off our one peach tree. We still have two small nectarine trees in the greenhouse with fruit that hasn’t ripened up yet, so there will be more to come.

The showy tarweed is blooming like crazy. Its cheery disposition really brightens up the path down to the chicken pen.

The chickens’ watering hole is a popular place on hot days like we’ve been having lately.

All the Canadian thistles around our place are starting to spread their seeds, and the bull thistles are not far behind. Both of these nasty plants are invasive and out of control here. I could spend all day every day pulling up their spiny stalks, and we’d still never get rid of them, but watching the little seed tufts billow across the hollow this time of year really bums me out.

On a happier note, our sunflowers are blooming, and the hardy kiwi next to the front door looks better than ever because I’ve been making sure to water it regularly this year. The kiwi doesn’t have fruit yet, but it’s definitely on its way to covering the little trellis that will eventually make a super cute entryway.

The porch swing and the clawfoot tub have been getting heavy use lately. One of my favorite things about summer is having dusky homemade/homegrown dinners in the porch swing while kids are washing away the day’s dirt.

The solar panels should be working great at this time of year, but unfortunately, our battery bank is toast. We’re going to need to invest in a couple thousand dollars of new batteries in the very near future, but we’re still researching what’s going to be best in the long run for our future energy generation and future energy needs. (Living off the grid isn’t always roses and apple pie.)

All the madrones around our place are shedding their bark in beautiful papery scrolls. The new bark underneath starts out almost greenish gray but will soon age into a classic red-brown hue.

Every night, I lock up Miss Minnie (a nubian dairy goat) in a stall by herself. In the morning, her kids (Admiral Ackbar and Mon Mothma, the black goats in the above photo) are anxious to get to their mom and get a taste of her milk if I’ve left a few ounces behind.

Minnie is not the most productive goat I’ve ever owned, but she does okay. I get at least a quart of milk every morning, and that keeps us pretty well stocked, although I’m not making an overabundance of cheese this summer. Milking Minnie is weird because one side of her udder makes much more milk than the other side. If I don’t have my hands on both teats constantly while milking, she gets antsy and jumpy, so I’ve worked out a system where instead of squeezing left hand, right hand, left hand, right hand, I do left, left, left, right, left, left, left, right, and that seems to work out okay.

Levi woke up late today because we were up late eating dinner (Joy the Baker’s tomato cobbler with blue cheese biscuits) and hanging out with Henry’s brother, Trevor. First thing this morning, he crawled up into our bed with his Star Wars Lego encyclopedia to do a little studying.

Charlotte got up early and wanted to each peaches right away. I’d say that I have elaborate plans for cooking up peaches into exotic dishes, but the reality is that we’ll probably just eat the ones off our tree fresh in the next couple days. There’s a locally famous peach farm that never advertises and doesn’t have an listed phone number, but if you’re in the know, they’ll let you order boxes of peaches. I think I’m going to get a couple dozen pounds from them to freeze for wintertime peach-blueberry pies and such.

That’s the story of today. How’s the rest of the world carrying on? Anything exciting I should know about?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Marta August 15, 2012 at 9:07 pm

I also live off-grid and just talked at lenght to an engineer from http://www.goalzero.com/ at trade show about their equipment. When the time comes, I am seriously considering connecting their system into my current one! Even if you don’t buy this, methinks it’s worth a call! Good luck, I hope you get your electricity sorted out before the weather turns. Oh, by the way one of the local beeks tried out your Henry’s potato ricer extraction method with great success:)

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Camille August 20, 2012 at 10:18 am

Thanks for the tip.

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mel August 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm

I love that pic of your little gal. And the thought of the kids in the tub on the front porch–love it! It makes our backyard haircuts seem downright homey… I always love checking in with you guys. Keep up all the great bee work!!!

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ga447 August 17, 2012 at 11:47 am

August 18 is National Honey Bee Day, want to send you well wishes.

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Camille August 20, 2012 at 10:17 am

Thanks

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Sally August 17, 2012 at 11:07 pm

What delicious looking peaches, makes me long for our summer, our trees are just about to burst their buds. And the kiwi caught my interest seeing I’m from kiwi-land, and just asking if you have a male and female plant, as you need both to make baby kiwis! As to how you can tell, I can’t quite remember, google it if you need to know, one is much more rampant than the other! And what sweet goats, I have a wether Saneen, rescued at 5 days old from people with dairy goats. He’s the sweetest loveliest boy, just wish I could milk him! S:)

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Kacie Wahl August 20, 2012 at 4:55 am

Hello!
Is their anything special you do to freeze peaches? I would love to can as usual this year, but i think my third addition (baby) might keep that from happening! I would love them for smoothies, pies etc all winter! What’s your process?
Thanks!
Kacie Wahl
Cody Younger’s sister :)
Love your blog

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Camille August 20, 2012 at 10:10 am

I haven’t frozen peaches in a couple years, but I think all we did was toss slices in a little lemon juice. My go-to resource for food preservation is the OSU Extension Service website: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/community/food-preservation They pretty much have everything you want to know about canning/freezing/drying there.

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Misti August 20, 2012 at 7:43 pm

I am a fan of Texas peaches as I am from Tx of course, so I can’t wait to find a variety that will produce in zone 9a here outside of Houston. Peaches are a favorite and I could put up bags and bags of them if I could!

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