The past month

Wow!  I can't believe it has been over a month since I last posted.... so much for my weekly updates!  I will try to do better.  It has been a month filled with many adventures. I will give you a synopsis of the past month.

At the beginning of July, I completed my first ever 5K in Elsie.  I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to doing another one this month at the AgroLiquid Farm. Mid-month I had the opportunity to play in the Mid-Michigan Festival Orchestra, which is a community orchestra that meets for 3 rehearsals and then does a concert in the park.  It was a great time, and I had the opportunity to play some great music.

We finally made it past the cold and rainy weather - we did end up losing most of our black bean crop, but the corn looks decent, so that is a blessing, and we are praying for a good crop from that. Since the weather stayed warm and dry for a couple weeks, the garden started thriving again. I had been quite discouraged at the state of our garden, but God provides, and we are starting to harvest now.

Some of the garden - popcorn, peas, green beans, and camoflauge carrots.  What are camo carrots?
They are the ones that are disguised by the weeds.  :)

The tomatoes are doing well - we just started eating some of those.  :)  

Some of the vines - the biggest one is the zucchini one.  Zucchini always seems to thrive.
Since the zucchini has been bountiful already, I have been trying out some new recipes.  I tried a cookie recipe that was outstanding!  I will post the link to that recipe in the recipe section. Today I think will try zucchini fries. I'm convinced you can make french fries out of any vegetable.  Last summer I made kohlrabi fries, so I think zucchini fries will be good too.  :)

I have been able to can one batch of green beans, and am looking forward to canning some salsa with our tomatoes and peppers. Canning is one of my favorite homemaking activities.  I know by the end of the season I might grow weary of the long hours in the kitchen, but it is worth it!  

We didn't have any strawberries during strawberry season, but our plants are starting to produce now.  :)

We have been enjoying harvesting other things as well - our first batch of meat chickens went to get processed mid-July, and our second batch is getting ready to go this week.  

The turkeys are growing too.

Probably our biggest highlight of July was the Clinton County 4-H and Youth Fair. It was a wonderful week - we had a lot of fun, met a lot of great new people, and were blessed to be able to spend time with friends and family during the week.  The kids also enjoyed the week, and Wyatt had a great first year showing animals. We are already looking forward to next year.  

Wyatt and "Frank" at the Chicken Show. 

Wyatt with Stan and Nightshade
Wyatt got a Rosette on his pencil drawing!  
Norah with the lemon pound cake she made for fair
John and Norah hanging out in the swine barn
This is what happens at the end of fair week.
Somewhere during the month (or maybe it was June? time runs together sometimes....) our feed wagon had a hiccup. The axle bent quite badly, so we had to find something different.  Kevin found a running gear at the junkyard, brought it home, painted it up and now our feed wagon should be good for many many trips.  :)

"New" running gear all fixed up

Our next equipment "project" looks to be finding a stock trailer.  So, if you know of any good leads.... let us know!  :)

On Saturday Kevin cut our oats for harvest. Watching the crops get harvested is one of my favorite things. I am continually amazed at how plants can grow from such a tiny seed. Such a small seed can produce such a bounty. Even though it has not been the greatest year for crops to grow, when I stop and am thankful for what we do have, I am reminded of all the blessings around us. In this fast paced world, pausing and taking a moment to be thankful and count our blessings is some of the best medicine around. God's beauty is all around us.

Also this past weekend we were blessed to be able to host my friend Alex Zsolt.  Alex is a Musicianary - he is a pianist, composer, and arranger, and came to do a concert at our church. It is always a blessing to have him come - he is a very gifted musician, and is very inspiring. We did a flute/piano duet that Alex arranged on the concert - that was also a lot of fun. We had a great time visiting, and the kids loved having Alex here too.  

Top: Judy Beavers, Me, John, Kevin, Chuck Emmert
Bottom: Norah, Alex, Wyatt

Thanks for reading! I am thankful for all of you who follow our blog and support our farming endeavors.  Take time this week to count your blessings.