Homestead Happenings

Sanity still reigns on the wee homestead and I thought maybe a few of y’all might need a decent dose of it during these crazy dog days of summer amidst continued global chicanery.

The garden looks more like a jungle, but there is a method to the madness. Mostly it’s called ‘too hot to bother’. Still, it looks better than it ever has this time of year (which is saying very little) so I’m proud of a few things worth sharing.

The pigs are eating well off the luffa, which does so well here it actually out-competes the grasses. I wish we liked to eat it too, but I do use the sponges. It’s widely consumed in some cultures, so I might keep trying recipes to see if anything can improve its very bland taste. Plus, the bees love it, so it’s definitely a keeper.

We’re pretty limited on the veggie harvest this time of year, which means eating okra almost daily. I’m really not a big fan and it’s not even a fun one to harvest. It’s prickly and the fire ants scout every inch of it waiting to fall into your gloves or onto your thighs as you cut the spears. Its only redeeming qualities, if you ask me, are that it thrives in the heat and the flowers are pretty.

It’s our first harvest of scuppernong grapes and I’ll soon be making some wine and jelly. I’m kind of sick of canning, after all the pickles and having tried several new canning recipes this year, but I must find the grit somewhere and get back to it. For my latest experiments we’ll soon be tasting pickled watermelon rind, melon butter, and some exotically flavored cucumbers. That’s in addition to all our usual staples of pickles and salsas and sauces.

Green scuppernongs, yum!

I’ve also made poke wine! It tastes pretty weird, but is supposed to be an excellent medicinal, so I thought it would be good to have on hand this winter. Despite popular hype, poke berries are not poisonous. Well, not exactly anyway. The seeds inside the berry are poisonous if chewed. You must extract the juice or swallow the berries whole.

Buttercup decorated with Poke berry splotches 🙂

Our pear harvest was quite small this year, but those will be processed soon too, into cider and preserves. My favorite, figs, have been doing better after a couple years of total failure. Too bad we eat them too fast to preserve them!

I’ve settled into a nice routine with milking our goat Summer and am extremely pleased with the cheeses I’ve been making. It took some getting used to, fitting it all into a workable new plan, after making mostly large-batch cheeses for several years. I’m using only traditional methods now too, so no more expensive cheese cultures to purchase.

Organizing seeds and preparing the fall plantings are also in high gear. It’s a real challenge in 90+ degree temps to be considering the cool season crops. I’ve got some started indoors under lights and my direct sow method amounts to throwing a variety of seeds in the ground every week, waterIng liberally, and keeping fingers crossed. Usually, eventually, some seedlings get brave and make an appearance and if we’re lucky, will produce something before the first frost.

Handy Hubby’s still rockin’ the new utility room and it’s already looking fabulous! It’s been a 100% DIY project for him and he never fails to impress. Once done I’ll give him a proper staging and big kudos post.

Well, that’s all folks, thanks for visiting!

Author: KenshoHomestead

Creatively working toward self-sufficiency on the land.

8 thoughts on “Homestead Happenings”

  1. Howdy, I had a grin to myself as I was just talking to Mum the other day about planting luffa, great to know pigs eat it. I am trying to plant as much fodder for us as well as the menagerie, you get the gist. Your utility room looks so great. The crowning glory of your fam in the last photo, Bubba is my inner chill spirit lol just glorious.

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  2. Yes, it’s very thick and has a peppery taste, but it’s not bad. Medicinally it’s supposed to be good for arthritic and rheumatic-type issues. You might remember this past spring I wrote about poke salat (you told me about the song!) and we ate a bunch of it (only flash-boiled it twice b/c when I did it the recommended 3 times the leaves just disintegrated into the water). Well, the pain from a shoulder injury from over 2 years ago is finally gone, and I really wonder if that’s what finally did the trick?! Here’s a bit of info online, it’s interesting, but it’s definitely one of those plants with contradictory info all over the place, which I think you already realized. http://www.susunweed.com/herbal_ezine/May08/wisewoman.htm

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  3. Love your doggies! And, yes, okra is a pain in the ass to harvest. My grandmother grew them. Awful sticky things. I do like to eat them, though, even with all the snot.

    I’ve had a couple of poke plants growing in my yard. So, you’ve made wind from the berries? What are their medicinal qualities?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I mean to sit down with your mountain range of materials very soon, and with great pleasure! I have not revisited your Disinformation dissertation recently, but have every intention to give it a close examination. That you are a gardener and botanist even is like 2 cherries on a sundae and I cannot wait to dive in! Thanks for taking the time to share.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Kensho Homestead,

    I can see that you have indeed been busy with various things and still find time to compose and publish posts quite regularly.

    Speaking of posts, I would like to inform you that “Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity” has been very recently improved with extra paragraphs and analyses, plus more eye-catching animations as well. Have you read more of it since?

    Considering that you have such a green thumb, I would like to confess that I am also interested in botany and gardening, for I have been a keen gardener. You are very welcome to take a good look at my four horticulture websites containing a great deal of information available to you as follows. Simply append the usual dot wordpress dot com to the end of the following words to visit the corresponding websites:

    queenslandorchid
    queenslandbegonia
    pottedplantsociety
    rhsq

    Please enjoy the websites to your heart’s content.

    By the way, thank you for commenting on my latest post about snowflakes, an antidote to the summer heat. Before autumn arrives, I would like to wish both you and cute Buttercup all the best in the final month of summer as follows:

    In SUMMER the song sings itself” ― William Carlos Williams

    Yours sincerely,
    SoundEagle

    Liked by 1 person

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