Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer in Full Swing

I feel horrible complaining about our prolonged cool spring, given the sweltering heat in the rest of the country, but IT IS ABOUT TIME we had weather above 80 degrees for more than a single day at a time!  Yes, sunshine and temps above 80 for the WHOLE WEEK!  Now, in mid-July, it finally feels like summer.
So what have we been up to?  Well, after putting up hay on Nine Trees, which I think I mentioned last blog, the spring work was done on the farm.  We went out there again last weekend and set up a drip watering system in the orchard that is gravity fed from a cistern that our neighbor generously lets us fill from his well (until we get a well drilled next year).  The trees should benefit from the more efficient use of water, and I have hopes that the wind-break hedge that I planted this spring might actually survive and grow.
 Despite the hours in the car (six each way), the killer gas bills, the "roughing it" in the camper, and the consumption of half of our weekends during the summer, every visit we make to Nine Trees is like a balm for my soul.  It is such a fresh, beautiful, free place, and we are all in our element. I love that our girls are happy as clams playing out in the weather, the most thrilling things being a tiny spring with frogs in it and of course the gravel pile by the barn.  I love that we go to bed when it gets dark and wake up when it gets light, that we fall asleep listening to the crickets and owls.  I even love working on the land in the sweltering heat or the gusting wind. It is impossible not to stop and smell the roses.  It is also impossible not to dream.  This is where we are going to settle down for good! I love so much of what the military has given us... the friends, the overseas experiences, the perspective on life, but I will be SO happy to be able to stop saying "goodbye".   I will be able to plant a garden and watch the plants mature, make friends and watch our friendship mature, watch our family mature without the stop-hitches caused by deployments.  I will enjoy our last few years in the military, but I will enjoy it even more when we are done and living on Nine Trees!
OK, enough pontificating on my part.  The last thought of the day... thank you to my dear husband for putting the second planter box in my hoop house this year.  With the cool spring nothing would be growing yet, and here I am harvesting.  We have been eating lettuce and turnips for weeks, the peas are in fine form, and we had one of my favorites... stuffed squash blossoms... for dinner last night.   I love fresh produce!  Combined with the fresh eggs from our chickens, I can feed our family 1/4 of what we eat in a week right from our garden.  Enjoy the pics!