Saturday, June 23, 2012

How does the garden grow?

It grows well!  A simple raised bed filled with good earth, and brimming over with vegetables! 

In just a few weeks of growing time our garden is well on its way to producing food. 
It's easy to see what happens when there is plenty of sunshine and plenty of rain!  Look back at May 16th' post titled "Out to the garden..." and see the rapid change.  It is astounding to me!  

We have been eating  lettuce for three weeks and it's almost time to replant another crop. The carrots,basil, beets, beans, cucumbers and tomatoes have a ways to go. We must be patient. 

This is how the garden grows. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Strawberry season is here!

 Strawberries were picked fresh from the field this morning,
 washed, hulled,  made into jam, and frozen whole!  
There are years when the strawberries taste better than others.  This is that year! 
Every berry is flavorful, sweet, firm and ripe.  No rotten berries and no over-ripe berries.  Perfection! 
Oregon strawberries!  

I only put up one batch of jam and froze the other berries for winter eating.  We like to make smoothies, using the frozen berries, milk, vanilla and a touch of sugar.
 There was lots going on in our little kitchen today!
Two full flats of berries were way or another.   
It is strawberry season!  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Painting the exterior of the house

We began painting our house two weeks ago.  After one coat of paint it was clear that it needed a second coat.  The old paint is a light green.  Every building, which includes the house, barn and chicken shed were/are the same color of green. Early on we decided to darken the exterior of the house to coincide with its natural chalet design. 

The color we chose to use is Espresso Brown.  The trim will be white and there will be red accents somewhere.  I have planted a lot of red flowers and they really look nice against the dark brown backdrop.  

The siding is a very heavy T1-11 with deep groves.  Each groove had to be hand brushed. We are not complaining, but that is a lot of little space to cover!  We have hired a painter to do the higher points and the beams.  Climbing a ladder that extends it's full length is not anything we want to do and our painter doesn't have a problem with it.  He is young and agile!  God Bless him!!!
When everything is finished I will come back and give a full post to show the change the paint has made.  We are waiting for the rain to subside and for a day when the painter can return to work here.
All the while that we have been painting there has been a peanut gallery over our shoulders.  Professor is very curious.

To anyone who has not had goats you don't know what your missing!  They are one animal that give and give!  They are social, alert us when something isn't right, and constantly ask for grain or a treat! I suppose our goats are spoiled but look at that mug!  They give us more enjoyment than we ever expected.Professor is a Cashmere goat.  He is the alpha male and will fight anyone who takes him on over that status. We have had four goats for years and years.  In the past months two of them have died of old age.  The average goat of this size lives 12 to 13 years.  We do miss them and feel bad that they're gone.  Did we use their fiber? No. We brush them, enjoy them and they entertain us.  We call them our "smile givers."  

When we moved the goats over here we had to make sure the fence was adequate.  A goat can and will escape if they find a weak spot in the fence.  We put up a portable fence for now.  It extends from the barn, which you see in this picture.  The barn is about to get painted, too!  Color? Barn red!  I can't wait!!  It will be done when time permits.
Today, while we were painting, Bart is hiding under a chair and watching the birds.  This is not good for the birds but we are on top of it!  I do a lot of diverting of his attention, and put him in the house when we are not outside.
That is about it for painting the house!  There is great appreciation for this work to be done!  Soon!!