Updated: May 16
I love all of the seasons!
When you are homesteading, whether on 1000 acres or in your back yard, your world revolves around the seasons.
The first half of Summer for me is about keeping the garden and animals well hydrated, harvesting the produce, pulling up the garlic, picking zucchini as soon as they are ready, harvesting berries.
On my small homestead I only get a small amount of berries every day, so I wash, prepare and freeze what we are not going to eat, so when I have enough, I can preserve them for the Winter.
The Muscovies need fresh water in their pools more often in the Summer and it’s the best time of year for maggot bucket production, so I move the bucket regularly to reveal the protein treats.
Lemons need to be picked up twice a day to help prevent fruit fly taking over. Picking the ripe lemons before they fall is even better.
Our poultry egg production has been coming in, in waves. I had many broody ducks that were stealing the freshly laid eggs, I had to spend a few mornings removing the broody ducks from the coop to break the broody cycle, the eggs weren’t fertile anyway. Now I am getting the eggs again and when my drake is mature enough, the ducks can hatch out some eggs.
The spring chicks are growing nicely.
The Larder Pantry is in constant action the first half of Summer, so long as it’s below 35 degrees Celsius. (that’s 95F)
When the temperature is above that, which it occasionally is, I don’t want to create extra heat as there is no air conditioning here and it is hard to cool the home down.
I was gifted this beautiful mushroom compost, which is perfect to go straight on to the garden bed where I harvested the garlic. I won’t dig it in or disturb the soil; I’ll just put it on top and sow some cucumber seeds straight in.
Keeping the incoming eggs in order is important, so no eggs get spoilt.
Once the garlic has cured, I cut the stems down and place it on my drying rack, I grow a few varieties of hard neck garlic’s and they can last up to a year on the rack
I love Dehydrating fruit, the majority of the work is getting the food on the trays and then the machine does most of the work without much need for my attention.
Slow cooked broth is a good use of older produce that didn’t get used or preserved at its peak and although it takes a few days to make, the work is mostly cutting the veggies at the start and straining and bottling at the end and it gets used for so many meals.
When the dehydrator and slow cooker going, there is time to catch up on correspondence.
In the early morning, when the lavender plants are dry, I harvest some flowers. Where I live the plants are usually always dry in Summer, unless I have just watered or it actually rained overnight.
The oils are at their most concentrated in the morning, and the aroma of sweet lavender will stay with me for the rest of the day.
I don’t harvest all my lavender plants in one morning; I take It slow over a few weeks and harvest half a plant at a time. Pacing myself is very important with CFS and I have learnt it is better to do a little often than do a lot at once and end up bedridden for days.
Curry Plant and rosemary also dry well when hung and the drying herbs make the Larder room smell more wonderful than usual.
I make melt and pour soaps with different dried herbs from my garden; this is rose petal and rosemary soap.
Storing dehydrated fruit in containers with a tight seal is important for the food to stay good. I use old coffee jars; they have a plastic seal in the lid so my food can last for years, but we usually use it up in time for the next harvest.
This beautiful wild rabbit is ready to process. Out of all the meats I process, wild Rabbit is the easiest, unless you include Yabbies, they are easy too but they are messier.
I use at least six lemons a day and so I can have lemons all year, with hardly any Lemons wasted, I have to regularly squeeze them.
The juice gets stored in glass jars and stored in the freezer, that’s why I leave plenty of head space, when liquid freezes it expands and I don’t want my glass jars shattering when that happens.
I can then get a bottle out the night before I need it and keep it in the fridge while I use it.
Making Salves gets done when I need a certain herbal salve or when I am getting low on my regular salve stock.
This is rose petal and rosemary salve; it smells amazing and is quite refreshing for the nose when applied on the lips.
I also freeze orange juice in large cubes, perfect for late Autumn Mulled Wine. The Orange peel is dehydrated for cooking and crafts. On hot dry days it only takes a few hours outside.
The Dehydrated orange slices have to be done inside on the actual machine and take a lot longer but are worth it. I make up Mulled Jars, which are jars of the dried orange slices, cinnamon, star anise and cloves.
With These ingredients, along with orange juice, red wine and honey, I am ready to make Mulled wine on the first really cold Autumn day, which for now, is a long way off....
I still have the second half of Summer to enjoy and that is when Summer gets extreme!
Happy Homesteading Friends
Moat Cottage Homesteading
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HOW TO DEHYDRATE FOOD PLAYLIST - Dehydrating to Preserve Food #DehydrateFood
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