With August’s arrival, summer feeling nearly over and the fall chores (firewood, harvesting and preserving the garden, new school year..yes it’s a bit of a chore for the teacher!) looming overhead I’m feeling the urge to pause for a moment to breathe and grab my bearings. No need running yourself ragged until you’ve got nothing left to give. I’m learning to give myself permission to rest! Why is that something we have to allow ourselves to do?! It should already be woven into our mindset just like we schedule ourselves to get a haircut or teeth cleaning. Note things to practice until it becomes habitual for regular self-care.
The farmers market at the lake the last couple weeks have gone extremely well. It was so sweet to have customers there early to snag extra loaves to share with their friends. I really enjoy being a part of the community in this way, meeting new people, catching up with others.
It’s funny that most of the vendors are my neighbors. Well, everyone’s considered a neighbor within 5 miles in a rural area! We seem to have a sweet little niche of growers and creators in our neighborhood which makes me even more glad we settled where we did.
I harvested my first ever crop of garlic! Last fall I planted some 170 cloves of garlic and I pulled up nearly that amount. I still second guess that I have that much because it just doesn’t look like it but surely enough, it is. I’ve laid all that garlic under the lean to to dry. Which means all over my deep freezer and clothes dryer! Soon I’ll get them all hung up pretty to store through the winter.
It was so satisfying to pull all those babies up! I tried a large variety of garlic because I just didn’t know what I’d like, or what would store best or even grow in this climate. I grew long storing ones, purple striped ones, fat cloved porcelain kinds and some pretty rose colored ones. Who knew there were so many varieties?! What’s even more satisfying is that I just grew my own seeds! I can take from my harvest and put them back into the ground for next year. Although I don’t think I’ll need quite as many…! Josh and I had a raw taste test of the purple striped garlic for fun and whoowee it was spicy! That initial bite was a lot more than we expected, but then it died down and had a pleasant garlicness haha. I can’t wait to try all the different types and see what I like best!
With all the summer berries coming through I put up a couple small batches of honey sweetened blueberry jam a few days ago. With our food sensitivities we try to use honey or maple syrup for sweeteners and have to stay away from pectin. Pectin is usually used in jam making to thicken and gel it up BUT it’s not necessary. Depending on the amount of natural pectin the fruit has you can get by using nothing or lemon juice, which is high in pectin. Making jam this way does use less sugar so you don’t get the same quantity of jam per batch, you’ll get less, but it is healthier and closer to the old ways jam used to be made. This blueberry jam came out thick enough, because it’s got to to hold up on that morning toast of course! It finished slightly sweetened where the actual blueberry flavor shines through, a win in my book.
I know this month will too be gone in a blur. We’ll be celebrating our firstborns 16th birthday. I’m taking a quick trip back home to see my parents. Josh is having another surgery to remove the screw in his ankle. Along with starting seeds for the winter garden (yes, you can grow veggies year round off grid!), continual feedings for the wild men in my home and of course lots of bread baking! I’ll remember to pause, breathe, thank the good Lord, and enjoy these days while they’re here.