So the garden is coming in full force now. I have canned green beans, pickles, relish, and banana peppers(the kind you put on pizza). I have the juice to make my beet jelly, but haven't made it yet. I have frozen quarts of beets, broccoli, squash, blueberries and blackberries. I have cooked tomatoes and put them in the freezer to wait until I accumulate enough to make sauce. That is becoming easier and easier as the tomatoes start to really roll in. Unfortunately this year, my sauerkraut died (Grrr) so I will replant cabbage later for fall and try again. That was painful let me tell ya. But all in all it has been wonderful to watch my shelves fill up will all the wonderful goodies. My Dh and I worked together to add some shelves to our walk in bedroom closet in order to store the things I can. We had some heavy duty shelves in there, but they were bulky and had a lot of wasted space because although you had the room between shelves to stack the jars, the shelves couldn't hold the weight. Last year one of the shelving units collapsed under the weight. I lost a lot of jars and food. I was just sick. What we have installed instead are shelves that are a little more than 1 quart jar in height. I have four on either side of my closet and then below that are my bulk food items such as flour, wheat berries, sugar, etc. It is wonderful to be able to walk into my walk in closet. That wasn't the case before. It is amazing how what fit on 2 sets of the plastic shelves(6 shelves total), only partially filled one side of my closet shelves(4 shelves that weren't even as deep). There is something to be said for good use of space.
Chicken wise we ended up with 14 babies which gives us a flock of 18. We plan on keeping 6 layers which is twice what we have currently, and using the rest for meat. That should fill the freezer pretty good. Out of 15 eggs we had 14 hatch. Not too shabby. Mama hen sat on 9 and the others we incubated 5 thanks to a loaned incubator from a friend of ours. I have to say watching a chick hatch is not something I have ever seen up close and personal. It was cool to be able to experience that 5 times. We integrated the last two into the flock of baby chicks last night; again thanks to our chicken guru and incubator loaner, Jimmy (Thanks Jimmy). He helped us get them in without the mama hen losing her mind on one of them. So every one is where they need to be. That is for now until we divide the flock into layers and meat birds.
I love this time of year. Watching my shelves fill up. Watching the garden produce all its goodness; the sun, the sounds. Now in August I may be telling the plants they have done enough they can die now, or I might be saying I am never gardening again, but for now I am lovin it and I guarantee you when January rolls around I will be itching to get back out there and do it all again. Once that bug bites you, it is hard to go back.