July is a balancing act.
We are walking that very thin line between trying to get things done on the farm, and making sure we don’t spend the entire summer just doing things on the farm. We could spend a lifetime doing all the things that need to be done, and so we try to chip away at projects and keep on top of the weeds and harvest what’s ready and plant for a fall garden, while at the same time still making time for fun.
Kid fun, anyway. Because you all know I find weeding and watching the ducks high entertainment.
And so, we head to the river beach.
Iris and Avery swim like little water dogs when the tide is high enough; otherwise they play in the mud and collect clam shells or look for little schools of fish to harrass.
I like to think of this as our own private beach, although it’s not. It’s only a couple miles from our house though, and devoid of tourists (a rarity on the other public Oregon coast beaches). Usually we’re the only ones there, except for fishermen using the boat ramp.
We bring a light lunch, our beach toys and something to read.
Sometimes other summer-harried moms with kids come and the kids all play and I think to myself what a jewel this little beach is; what a gift it is.
I hope they remember these days always.
On the flip side, it’s also canning season.
Canning season lasts much longer than the actual growing season – I’ll be preserving food until October or later. At this point it’s usually just a single jar of pickles every couple of days or so, although we’re also doing about 8 half-pints of jam every week or so and the tomatoes are starting to come on now, too.
I don’t even hardly bother to clear the counters of jars and lids and piles of cucumbers and recipe books anymore. The water bath canning pots are always on the stove, just waiting. Our freezers are full of peas and berries and kohlrabi and other vegetables. We’re actually going to have to buy another freezer to hold all that’s left to come!
It’s a good kind of busy to be.
I’ve been lazy in the actual meal department, though.
Summer snacks are carrots, pulled fresh from the garden, and cherry tomatoes in the greenhouse.
Many of our lunches and dinners lately are of the no-cook variety: hummus plates and cucumber salads and cold chicken sandwiches. Basically anything that can be consumed cold, raw or barbecued is on the menu.
In fact, if you have any favorite no-cook summer meals let me know in the comments! I need more ideas!
And, finally, lest we start believing that summer is going to last forever, the winter firewood chopping is begun again.
Jasper has been busy finishing off the four or five logs that were left in the woodlot from last year, and then he’ll start pulling more downed trees in from the forest to cut.
We’re planning on building some more temporary firewood storage along the east side of our house, closer to the back door. Someday I hope there will be a side porch there, with comfortable lounging chairs and string lights and bird feeders and grapevines clinging to the roof, but for now I’ll be happy with more firewood within easy reach.
That way I can be a little bit lazy in the winter, too.