Urgent ! Send Ice Tea…

My niece Sadie Rae thought her cousin Luke was taking a little too long.

Summer is half over if you go by the school calendar (which we do, well, because it’s law). August hopefully will go as smoothly as July and I am planning for a few reading days in the sun. It is a hopping 4H month coming up (although it doesn’t ever stop), we will be heading camping with my bestie Shawna to Ponhook, the Farmers market we started in Barrington has gone amazing and has two more dates in August, two horse shows, and some soccer thrown in (because who doesn’t love the rush-home-to-throw-some -food-in-the-kids-and-go-again thrill ride). Not to mention we are bringing home a new young ram, the sheep need to be sheared, the pigs finished off for slaughter, another batch of meat hens started, and preserving the food from the garden.

The reluctant farmer and I took a an overnight getaway from the farm to, of course, another farm. We took a wagon ride at New Ross Farm to go to the back pasture to check out our new Cotswold ram.

I tell you all this not to brag about how “busy” life is, because in this world today, “busy” has sometimes become a status symbol and a badge of achievement for “good moms”. Contentment where I am is the only goal I want to achieve. I tell you the things we are doing because that is the reality of raising your own food, homesteading and raising kids today, intentionally and purposely, this is how we want to live.

Strawberries getting ready for jam. I put up 22 jars to give as gifts and get through winter.

We sacrifice plenty to get all this done, but we wouldn’t if we didn’t love it. We put up 22 jars of strawberry jam the other day and I love looking at it, knowing come winter the taste of those strawberries will be amazing on a piece of homemade bread. I like opening my freezer and seeing we are “chicken rich” from our last batch of meat hens. Chicken rich! Ha I just made that up…I’m keeping it.

Our pastured chicken and my favorite salad with our dehydrated strawberry chips .

There will be plenty of times I fail as a “good mom” this month and I will not beat myself up over it. I will not confuse procrastination with flexibility. My new August mantra, I may get this cross-stitched for my kitchen.

I don’t think July could have been more perfect: a new grandson, Oliver Randy Jon Waybret, arrived healthy and happy on July 13th, weighing 8lbs 5oz. Owen has been over the moon in love with his little brother and so are we. There is absolutely nothing better than new grandson cuddles and Owen sitting beside me telling me all about Oliver, and anything else that pops in his head. I love how 3 year olds think.

He is looking so proud !
Oliver is growing fast , pictured here at 9 days old.

Farmers Market Update

A small group of us started a Farmers Market in Barrington and it has been an amazing experience of community and seeing how creative people are in our area, with either making it or growing it. I sell farm eggs, dehydrated strawberry chips, wool dryer balls and whatever else I can haul together. It’s growing slowly and we have to start somewhere !

Littlest Farmer Update

The kids are working on their 4H achievement day projects and newsletters for the upcoming Shelburne County Exhibition. Charlize made a beautiful western show shirt for her project, and matching tail and mane bags for her horse. I won’t even say how many curse words she said while trying to get her hems just right however all good now. I’ve been there lol.

The brats (my sister and Charlize )

Luke attended Lumberjack camp all last week and LOVED axe throwing . We were looking at the targets wondering if we could build one for home when Luke sighs and says “ too bad Dad isn’t handy.” (Out of the mouths of babes …however trevor has lots of other great qualities so we are keeping him) .

Sorry for the extreme cropping …I kept my distance in case it went wrong !

They learned a lot of canoeing skills

Garden Update

I feel like this should be a captains log: Day 30- Beets had to be resowed AGAIN. Crew morale is low. Not sure if we will make our goal.

Beets have not done as well as they should have. Beans had to be resowed, as my feral chickens (damn leghorns) got in and ruined them twice until I raised the fence. I gave up on yellow beans after only three lone plants came up after planting twice. Kids don’t like them anyway, I say as I comfort myself.

We will just eat brownies instead of yellow beans

It hasn’t all been doom and gloom. While nothing is ready, due to such a wet cold spring, potatoes are looking fantastic, as are garlic, carrots, cucumbers, squash and zucchini. Tomatoes are doing well in the temporary hoop house we built. Much to my husband’s dismay, because this means I need a permanent one built. Next year.

Potatoes have been sown every two weeks all May.

Farm Update

Cotswolds are a dual purpose sheep:Meat and wool.

We visited our young cotswold Ram from Ross Farm Museum, who will be moving here shortly and siring lambs in the spring to Tyger and Willow, our ewes. Fingers crossed. New stalls are being built in the fall for them to birth in. Stay tuned for more updates and probably a few curse words from hubby.

Meat turkeys – Broad breasted white

Meat turkeys are growing well and the last batch of meat hens did really well on pasture and we are building a lightweight chicken tractor to do the next batch to get us through winter. This will be around 40, some of which will be ground chicken, some whole and some halved. The ground is the most expensive to do, but its still worth it to get the processor to do it. We aren’t there yet, and that is just one of those choices as homesteaders we make to trade off time or energy or efficiency. We both work full time off farm, so again there is that flexibility and allowing ourselves the freedom to make raising our own food “fit “for our family.

I’m getting closer to that tractor ! This has a tiller attachment too.

It’s been a month since I blogged last and there is so much more to add however there are chores to be done, chicken stock to make, and a garden to weed.

Send ice-tea please, and I would love to hear how your summer is going. Leave me some comments!


Jenn xx

P.S. couldn’t resist slipping one more picture of Oliver in 😍

Oliver -15 days old

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