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  • Writer's pictureTerri Chidester

Musings at the end of July

Spring and early Summer are always a whirlwind and this year was no exception. A quick recap with some photos which is a reminder for next year; what works, what to not take on and maybe try something new.

I started seeds a bit later toward the end of April. I wanted to avoid spindly plants and this worked out this year as we had such a late spring. The back room of the cottage continues to be our "greenhouse". I just don't think building an outside greenhouse could be more efficient. It's a pain in the butt clearing out the room and then cleaning it up again to use it as a product production room...oh well...sigh...

We bred our rabbits in May. We discovered "Old Buddy" buck doesn't have it in him anymore. He now has free range of the barn. "Yeti" the buck saved over from last year proved impotent, and thankfully we had "Young Buddy" who picked up the slack and bred all five does. Two did not settle with two rounds of breeding, with no surprise since "Black Mom" is the oldest and only had one kit last year (remember "Chubbers"?). Ginger still did not settle. We have about 20 kits out of 3 does.

Turkey chicks and laying chicken chicks arrived in May. We purchased through Murray McMurray again. We went with the regular Broad-breasted Bronze Turkeys this year and lost 7 chicks shortly after they feathered out. This has never happened before and we still don't know why. They have lots of white this year.....hmmm?

We must of gotten someone else's chick order...we have many colors and sizes and don't know what breed they are....oh well, we just hope they lay eggs!

Despite the lack of rain the gardens are doing well. We are having to water often, so far most every weekend. We expanded one of the gardens for overflow and it's doing really well for partial shaded plants. As always our peppers planted in tractor tires are producing like crazy!

July is Flower wild crafting and essence making month. We travel to the Aitkin area for Self-Heal, but this year we found it growing just down the road from our place. Harebell was prevalent and that was found close by too. I've added two more essences to my inventory; Harebell, Bleeding Heart, and replaced a couple that were older. I don't like to keep the essences more than 5 years. Fireweed pictured below.

Drying herbs for teas and culinary use are still ongoing. Right now I have wild crafted St. John's Wort, Blue Vervain, Mullein, and Hyssop, and own grown Basil and Oregano in the dryers.

Ok, parting image to wrap up this post is my Pixi Girl. The most sweetest horse in the world. She had a bout of Ehrlichia Lyme (last two springs now) and two rounds of shots cleared her up. She's continues to have a bad hip and upper respiratory issues (old days it was called "heaves") and on medication each day for that.

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