We all have them-those special things we do each year that give us the warm fuzzies and remind us that it’s Christmas time! I’m sure many of us share some of the same traditions. We decorate our Christmas trees, sing Christmas carols (sometimes off key), bake yummy treats, and prepare gifts for our nearest and dearest.
Well, we made it. Hurricane Matthew blew through our area in the wee hours of the morning and, except for a slight few branches blown down, it left us untouched. It is truly an amazing thing. The winds were whipping the trees around, but our home was entirely sound. The water in our pond creeped higher and higher as the rains fell all day yesterday and this morning, but we stayed dry. Even our goats and kittens on the back porch didn’t seem affected by the storm…other than being a little afraid.
He’s on his way, and his track is aimed right for us. I think in a situation like this it’s difficult to feel entirely prepared. Can you ever do enough? Scott put up the hurricane shutters.
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!