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Update Part 1

I know in the last post I said I would be better about keeping the blog updated, but yall... life went from crazy to insane in the membrane real fast! I'll try to update you on all the happenings, instead of chronologically I'll do them grouped together by subject.

First we'll start off with the garden.

We are in zone 8b, which let's be honest it a weird zone. We can almost grow year round, except for late January-February and July-August. Those four months are essentially our only chance for a real freeze and utter hell. Yes, it's no secret that Texas is hot. But July and August make the devil's kitchen look like an igloo in the arctic.

The gardening plan is get the plants in early, keep them alive, reasonably pest free and harvest by the end of June. Aforementioned July comes in like the heat from an open oven, all Texans take pointers from the animals and we hide from the sun.

No lie, when we first moved here we thought it was so weird that on the weekends no one would be out during the day. You would see people out in the morning, but once lunch hit, it was a ghost town. Then once the sun starts to get low and you can feel the heat leaving, people emerge like survivors who have just ridden out a disaster. That's probably the best way to describe summer here, a disaster. Oh and funny thing, we had neighbors when we lived in north Texas that would have an authentic Fiesta every weekend, like clock work, the sun would get below the horizon and you would hear the Tejano music start and smell the BBQ, it was pure Texas magic.

Ok enough dreaming of smoked brisket, back to the garden.

All in all I'm impressed and a little shocked at how well everything did.

Everything started out really good, growing steadily and I was slowly winning the battle of the weeds. We even had a couple great harvest days, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, peppers, jalapenos and even some strawberries!

The girls love being in the garden and helping me plant and harvest...weeding however, is the bane of everyone's existence. And then life took it up a notch and I was sidelined. Mid-May, I had to have surgery. which effectively ended my ability to weed and physically take care of the garden as much as it needed. The girls and Karen tried, or said they did. But we're basically just harvesting Jumanji at this point and hoping for the best.

I know that was a lot of botanical catch up. And you might be thinking, wow, what did you do with all that produce? Did you eat it, sell it, give it away?

Well friends, I'm not sure if it was the painkillers from the surgery or my adventurous side, but I took a dive into canning!

We had a huge harvest of green beans and I decided now was as good a time as any to conquer my fear of using a pressure canner. With Karen at my side, we processed 8 quarts of green beans! Not only did we put food away for our family, but I didn't turn the canner into an IED and blow up the kitchen, that's a win in my book.

Once that hurdle was accomplished, the garden gave us 29 cucumbers, did someone say pickles? And while I was in my canning tailspin, I also made some pickled jalapenos and banana peppers! I'm no pro, but I definitely have been bit by the canning bug.

Well, that's the state of the garden and the harvest we got from it. The next update will be on the coop and it's inhabitants. Thanks for sticking with me as life got crazy and I seemed to drop off the radar. There are plenty more adventures to be had on this little farm, I hope yall enjoy being a part of it.


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