This season has brought us many new things. Probably the newest and most exciting thing is the arrival of our third son mid-May. This makes us not only outnumbered, but the parents of 3 kids under two. If you are the praying sort and feel so inclined, send some our way ... lord knows some days we need it.
Besides family expansion everything else seems to be expanding too. The garden got bigger and Little One being a mere week old helped me plant the potatoes, tomatoes, and sunflowers. Of course my husband helped too because bending over isn't too easy with a baby carrier. It was a real family affair! We also acquired about 100 or so established blackberry canes from friends and are looking at about the same number of red raspberries to be added to our existing raspberries. It is a really nice thing when folks share their bounty with their neighbors, whether they need to thin out their raspberry patches or a clump of rhubarb; it's how to keep things going and inspire others.
I started home-brewing my own kombucha. It's almost crazy how easy it is! I named my SCOBY Jessica (SCOBY stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, in case you didn't know) and when she isn't working she hangs out on our counter. My husband calls her “the placenta”, which is not very kind to our dear sweet Jessica. She perseveres however, making me and the boys some very nice probiotic goodness. So far I have only done pomegranate and it has been really tasty!
We had a very mild winter and early spring and all of our bees made it through the winter! YAY! Then tragedy struck with freezing temps after the bees had un-clustered for the season and two out of the three hives died. There is a silver lining though. I got a phone call from my husband who had been out helping my grandfather get his drill around for this season's planting and the dead hives at his place each had a new wild swarm in them. This isn't the first time my grandfather has been blessed in the bee department; since getting a hive in 2012 he has had a total of 5 swarms come to his property and 4 of them have made it into his hives or bee tree. We are planning on putting a lure up at his place since he apparently has prime honey bee real estate!
I can't wait to see what else this year brings us!
I hope your summer is bringing you bigger and better things!
Rachel is a gardener, beekeeper, wife & mother of three wild and crazy boys, and lover of all things homesteading. Visit greenpromisegrows.com to see more!