Summer on the Farm

Seasonal Farmlife Tour by sheholdsdearly.com

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It’s time! The Summer on the Farm blog is here!

If you’ve been following along the past few seasons, I’ve been sharing each of the seasons on our small 4 acre urban farm. We started out with Winter on the Farm, then Spring on the Farm, and now, Summer on the farm!

Summer on the Farm by sheholdsdearly.com

The Fields

A good portion of our 4 acres is grassy fields – and during the winter and spring, they’re beautiful and lush and green from all the water we get here in the Pacific Northwest.

The summer, however, is a different story. I like to call them our golden fields – because that sounds dreamy and lovely.

In all reality, though, they’re actually just pretty much dead. We’ve tried watering some areas really well through the summer before, but even with being super diligent – they turned “golden” anyway.

I think it might be a topsoil issue, because our whole yard is said to have been once a riverbed, and is really rocky beneath our grass.

I’ve always said, the only time we’ll have green grass through the summer is if we get to host one of our children’s weddings here. (And boy, have I got some dreams about doing that someday!)

Seasonal Farmlife Tour by sheholdsdearly.com

The Garden | Summer on the Farm

I shared a lot about our garden this Spring as we were ramping up, and here are some of the highs and lows as we’ve gotten more than half way into summer.

Carrots |

We planted over 2,000 carrot seeds, and as you can imagine – that means we have a bumper crop this year!

A running joke around here now is that if you take a garden tour, you get a complimentary carrot.

Luckily they’re absolutely delicious, and they are great for snacking on – both for us, and our floppy eared friends which I’ll share more about in a minute.

Summer on the Farm by sheholdsdearly.com

Three Sisters Planting |

I attempted to do a three sister’s planting this season, which is an old companion technique where you grow your corn, squash and beans together in the same bed.

The idea is that the corn grows and creates a natural trellis for the beans, and the squash grows in the shade of the corn and beans later in the season.

Unfortunately, mine was a complete fail.

The corn got stunted by the growth of the beans and squash, and didn’t get tall enough for the beans to trellis on. So the beans are much more bushy and less of a vine. It makes harvesting beans a bit trickier, but we’ll make due through the season.

I think I got the timing incorrect, as I’m researching more and realizing that the plantings need to be staggered specifically to provide the right symbiotic relationship.

I guess we’ll try again next year!

Summer on the Farm by sheholdsdearly.com

Zucchini |

Our zucchini plants are doing really well.

Perhaps TOO well.

Every year I remind myself that a family of our size probably only needs the zucchini from 1 plant… but planting just ONE seed seems so strange, so I plant a few more.

This year I planted 6 and they all germinated and grew.

Needless to say, we have a lot of zucchini. We’ve been eating lots. Giving lots away to family and friends, and giving lots away to our local food bank.

One of our favorite ways to use up zucchini is Zucchini Breakfast Cookies. Yum.

Watch the Video!

Maybe next year… 😉

Summertime Country Living by sheholdsdearly.com

So much More |

There is just so much more going on in the garden that was a success, but I want to go ahead and move on to the next area.

Summertime Country Living by sheholdsdearly.com

The Orchard

I’m really pleased with how the orchard is shaping up this year! I’m proud to say it’s improving year over year!

We’ve had to actually prop up branches on some of our apple trees because they’re getting so heavy with fruit.

Summertime Country Living by sheholdsdearly.com

And the plums are looking delicious and so close to being ready.

Summertime Country Living by sheholdsdearly.com

And we even got pears this year! They’re tiny – but so tasty!

Summertime Country Living by sheholdsdearly.com

The taste of natural foods is one of my absolute favorite things about having a farm. Carrots, kale, pears and beets straight from the garden and orchard taste like nature’s candy.

Blackberries

Down along our creekbed, we have an entire wall of these blackberries.

We just love them, especially picking enough for a cobbler.

Basil Blackberry Cobbler Recipe:

10 Minute Prep time + 30 Minute Cook Time.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Apples, chopped
  • 2 pints Blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Large handful Basil Leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup honey (approximately, depends on the tartness of your berries)
  • 10 Tbsp flour
  • 6 Heaping Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Cup Oatmeal
  • 2 Sticks cold butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Combine the apples, blackberries, vinegar, basil leaves, and honey in an oven-proof casserole dish. Mix well and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix your flour, sugar and oatmeal. Cut butter into the flour, sugar and oatmeal mixture.
  4. Then rub with your fingers to make a chunky, crumbly mixture (not uniform).
  5. Sprinkle the dry crumb topping over the top of the fruit.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbly.

This recipe adapted from the book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver.

Seasonal Farmlife Tour by sheholdsdearly.com

Summer Improvements on the Farm:

Over the course of the summer we’ve been doing some projects around the exterior of the house and garden.

They’ve included:

And now, the main event…

The Bunnies

Anyone else just here solely for the bunnies?

I just think they’re so adorable!

My daughter’s raise lop eared rabbits, so we almost always have one batch of babies around.

They’re just darling and so energetic and cute. We all love them around here.

Seasonal Farmlife Tourby sheholdsdearly.com
Seasonal Farmlife Tour by sheholdsdearly.com

Firewood | Summer on the Farm

My husband and son are hard at work cutting up our firewood for us to use in the Fall and Winter in our wood stove – which is our main source of heat in our home!

Seasonal Farmlife Tour by sheholdsdearly.com

And that brings us to the end of our Summer on the Farm tour!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief snapshot into what life on the farm looks like to us this season.

Summer on the Farm by sheholdsdearly.com

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Summer on the Farm by sheholdsdearly.com

Until next time,

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