I can hardly believe that I am already in my second trimester of this pregnancy. I can no longer fit into my regular clothes, even with a rubber band attached to the button at the waist. In fact, I look like I swallowed a whole cantaloupe, lol. Thanks be to God, I am beginning to get some energy back and can get a little more done around the house. We have been gifted with several pounds of squash, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, green beans and sweet corn throughout the season both from neighbors and hubby's co-workers. A lot of it was eaten fresh and even more was put up in the freezer, while the tomatoes and peppers became salsa and the green beans became dilly beans. I have not been putting up as much as I had hoped, though I am going to try to put up salsa and tomato puree next week and if I can muster up the energy, maybe some pickles, too, before all of the cucumbers are gone.
Peaches are in season right now and last week, I put a few quarts in the freezer for smoothies and Popsicles. In season, local peaches are some of my favorite fruit and we have eaten a ton of it out of hand as well. Yum!
Our chicken flock has experienced a few changes. First, they have grown so much. They must be full grown now as they look to be a little bigger than whole chickens from the grocery store or farmers' market. Second, a few months ago, we realized that one of them was a bantam since it was about half the size of the others. She was small enough to slip out of the run and would do so any time she pleased which led to the change in our flock - Indiana, our dog, got her one day when he was having his "off the leash" time. That left us with only 18 chickens, 14 of which are hens. Then last week, my Dad decided that his two hens (Australorps -such beautiful birds) should come to live with us, so they moved here over the weekend.
That makes 16 hens and 4 roosters. The Australorps are 4-6 weeks older than the other birds and should start laying in about a month. That means I need to finish up the second coop/ run. We are planning to move a rooster and the laying hens into a coop with laying boxes that have access from the outside. We also plan to have one rooster and 3 hens in the current coop/ run to see if they will raise babies. Yeah, that means two of the roosters will no longer be welcome here, except maybe in the freezer.
Our list of pets is growing as well. A few days ago, we found a baby kitten out in the yard in the rain, cold and scared. It took a while to catch it because it was afraid, but we were finally able to bring it in from the rain. It is currently residing in our sunroom, getting used to us, eating and growing like a weed. They boys have named it Whiskers.
The summer garden is done. The yellow beans became dilly beans, the potato plants died back and when I dug them up we had about 8 potatoes, which I think is pretty good, considering the garden only sees about 4 hours of full sun a day. That is about to change as we are currently taking bids for removing several of the trees surrounding the house. The onions all died back but did not bulb up much because of the lack of sunlight. Next year, we'll put the onions in another location. We had two heirloom tomato plants which were determinant, so they produced one batch then were done. The pumpkin plants are still growing and have finally started putting out female flowers, so we may hopefully see pumpkins soon. During the week, I pulled up all the dead stuff and put in 6 basil plants and 4 parsley plants. I also added a fence around the new plants because the chickens will eagerly devour anything they can get. We are going adding compost to the remaining beds and getting them ready for fall planting. I need to sit down soon and plan the fall garden.
I guess that's all for now. I'll try to post more often, now that I'm not constantly exhausted.