(Keep reading. I’ll get to the homesteading stuff.) “Don’t stop posting to social media.”

That’s what she said. Not just to me, to all of us listening at the moment. “Don’t stop posting to social media.” I think about posting. I’m still posting pictures and blurbs on Instagram but I haven’t blogged in two months and it’s been at least that long on my writer’s account on Facebook. The bakery’s fb account is a little busier but not by much (yet, it will be). I’m busy. You’re busy. Everyone is busy. It’s summer. We don’t have unlimited time to get a lot done before hunting seasons open and winter arrives. I’m always on the go, and I’m loving it. Except social media. I’m writing this now knowing that I will be away next week and not posting to social media while I attend a writing retreat in the Adirondacks, my sixth year. Forty-eight hours from now I’ll already be south of Bangor.

What we’re (collectively; you, me, others living similar lifestyles) doing is important. It’s important to get away from the shit on television, internet, and social media. Not one of us has an enriched life because we watched someone be shot. I’m thoroughly disgusted by the state of the world now and having a hard time biting my tongue to people who don’t bite theirs. I don’t like that about myself. The hate and discontent make me angry and sad at the same time. We learn things about people we interact with that we probably didn’t want to know. In an effort to get away from unhappiness a lot of us stepped away from most everything online. I wish I hadn’t. I wish I’d kept writing.

So here’s my plan. I’m not here to teach you anything. If you learn something it’s a bonus. I barely even give the how-to’s in recipes. The right direction for me and this blog seems to be a journal style kind of writing. It might be light on pictures because they take time but I’ll include at least one.

High Tunnel

pheobe in high tunnel
Pheobe waits for insects bouncing off the high tunnel. She’s feeding herself while contributing pest control.

The usuals are happening here. There are too many weeds in the high tunnel but I’m getting ahead of them. Pumpkins and squash are growing up string and getting closer to the steel purlins. They’ll spread out and get stronger every day, strong enough to hold their fruits until I cut them down. Oh I might have to move a ladder over to a pumpkin if it gets too big, and give it a place to rest. For the most part, the plants take care of themselves other than a twice-a-week watering and pruning. Same thing for tomatoes and cucumbers minus the ladder solution. They never get that big.

Cinderella Pumpkin
Cinderella Pumpkin Vine. It’s grown to 6′ tall since I took this picture.
Volunteer Sunflower
Volunteer Sunflower

Perennial Garden

I’ve vaguely mentioned the new perennial garden. I’ve wanted to do this for years. It started last year when Steve and I spread polyethylene (greenhouse poly) over a space that’s about 70′ x 40′. I’ve uncovered half and started planting. Stella d’Oro daylilies line a straight path that lines up the faucet on the back of the house and the door to the high tunnel. I’ll hide the hose under the lilies next year. This is the only straight line in the garden plan. Smooth curves. There aren’t a lot of perfectly straight things in nature out here.

Cleaned out the front and side perennial gardens. Lots of spreading out to do in the fall. Future compost.

David Austin roses, peony, tiger lily, forsythia, rhododendron, speedwell, campanula, astilbe, echinacea, asiatic lily, salvia, bee balm…things I’ve forgotten. That’s the “planted” list. I’ll move more lillies, peony and liatris this year. There’s a small burning bush, a mock orange, and three high bush blueberries in varying sizes to move from the nursery garden to the perennial garden. The plan I started with took five years to fill the space but it will be done next year. And then I’ll rototill to expand, put the poly down to solarize the soil (kills weeds and seeds), and expand. There will be a dry stream running from a natural spring by the garden shed to the edge of the field. It will run in spring and fall, and in summers like this one when the rain is relentless. Garden flooding in July? Yes indeed. This garden doesn’t look like much right now but it will be beautiful.

Orchard

The orchard looks very nice right now. There aren’t going to be any plums and probably not a single pear but the apples and cherries are loaded. Steve’s mowed about half of the grass and let the center, filled with white clover, for the bees. He also left strips of wild flowers around the outer edges for the bees and butterflies, and they’re always there. The late, cold, wet spring wasn’t good for the peas and plums but being the eternal optimist, I’m sure next year will be better.

Today

Today is a baking day. I’m making two or three kinds of cookies and a batch of cinnamon rolls for a charity fundraiser. It’s raining and chilly so it’s a great day to have the oven on. Tomorrow is a work day and then I’m away next week. I plan to be here when I get back.