September 2, 2013

garden notes

The summer raced by at alarming speed, it seems. It is such a busy time for us as homesteaders. We put in a few new gardens, enlarged the existing ones, and brought in another 50 chickens. Aside of the heirloom tomatoes, the gardens were slow to start as we grew from seed, not having started them indoors in the spring. Currently, we have been harvesting:

acorn squash
summer squash
winter squash
swiss chard
herbs (basil, sage, mint, lemon verbena, lemon balm, rosemary, cilantro. oregano)

We have an abundance of squashes in different stages of growth throughout the gardens, and pumpkins! We are attempting to grow a giant pumpkin this year (:

There are seven apple trees producing around the property and I am very excited to make tons of applesauce and can it. The apples are not quite ready to be harvested yet, but I have to make sure to keep my eyes on them and get there before the bears and deer!

I am drying calendula and comfrey so that I can make enfused oils, and then healing salves. I have started a few medicinal tinctures as well:
a combination of burdock root/dandelion root
red clover
echinacea flowers/roots/leaves

echinacea tincture ~ freshly made

And I am steeping a batch of infused oil of oregano. Jason made bee balm tincture last fall and he has made an infused oil of mullein flowers this year. I am LOVING this part of the gardening/harvesting/creating process. It makes my heart so unbelievably happy (:

Here are a few pictures of the back gardens ~ they are from a few weeks ago. The gardens have exploded with growth since then!

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