August means it’s time to do a lot of things. It’s time to harvest saw palmetto berries. It’s time to harvest grapes. It’s time to rake the pond of the crazy amount of algae that grows there. It’s time to dream of much, much cooler weather while we’re doing all of this outdoor tasks. And it’s time to plan the fall garden.
We’ve been in our house for almost two years, but I keep finding new and exciting things around our property. At the end of spring, the blackberries were everywhere. We had so much fun finding their plants (which are not bushes here in Florida) and picking the berries. They were everywhere!
This year we planted popcorn. I have always wanted to plant popcorn and because of it’s location in the garden, the chickens left it alone….one of the only things they left alone. Last week we harvested the corn. We didn’t have many ears and they didn’t get very big, but that didn’t matter to us. It was exciting enough just to successfully grow popcorn!
The cool, breezy days are leaving us, and we are at the point where the windows and doors will stay closed for the summer. I have been enjoying the cool weather so much, and I’ve been making sure to appreciate every moment while it’s been with us. The kids have too. I’ve found them outside many times, playing and dreaming away together. Ahhh…it fills me with so much joy! I remember these moments with my brother. We played outside all the time and they are my favorite memories.
It’s happening! The plants have grown. The flowers have come. And now, the veggies are following behind. Yay! This garden has been a very big undertaking. I wanted a large garden because it only makes sense for us. But the soil has been so difficult to figure out. And finally there lots of little signs that I’ve done it right! We’ve also been watering with the hose each morning and evening until a couple days ago when Scott was finally able to install sprinklers. And on top of all of that, when I had finally gotten the fertilizing right, the chickens dug up lots of my seeds and seedlings and devoured them. Those stinkers. I had to replant. So they’ve been in the coop for an entire month. They’re very grumpy about it too. And I don’t blame them.
I love this time of year! The windows and doors are kept open while the warm breeze blows gently through the house, bringing the sounds and sweet smells bustling in with it. And at the same time, the garden has been requiring attention because it’s planting season!
We are still in the first year in our new house and are still encountering new things as we go. As the saying goes, there is a season for everything. And that includes Saw Palmetto Berries! Where we live, about 7 of our 10 acres are covered in Palmettos. They are super invasive and take a lot of work to get rid of (I’m told). But right now, the benefits of having Palmettos are significant. Did you know that the berries are in high demand for pharmaceutical companies? I just learned this recently. Saw Palmetto Berries are beneficial for prostate health and as a hair loss treatment. Local places will buy berries at a couple dollars per pound!
Since moving to the farm, we have had visitors from many different types of animals. Turtles are one of our favorite visitors. Sometimes they come and sun themselves by the pond or go for a swim. Sometimes we find them walking through the yard and we follow them for a while to see what adventures they are going to have. One thing we enjoy is watching turtles eat. They are very fast and ambitious eaters! But today as we were leaving for church, we heard the squeals from three sweet little girls, followed by, “A little turtle!” loudly shouted. Because we have such large turtles in our area, I was assuming this little guy was maybe box turtle size….but no! I’ve never seen such a teeny tiny turtle before!
It’s planting time! I have been looking forward to this for such a long time. Every time I worked in my old tiny raised gardens. Every time I went to the grocery store to buy expensive, organic produce. Every time I drove 40 minutes to pick up produce from the coop…I thought about it. And dreamed about it. I can’t wait to have my garden abundantly producing what my family eats. Last week we began our planting. Our garden is about 15 feet x 100 feet. It took a while to get it ready to plant (and it would’ve been longer if not for the help of a friend with a tiller!).
I am thankful for so many things. So many in fact, that I thought I’d make a list. There are just so many things that I want to note, although I’ll never capture them all. Continue reading