Oh, July. This has been my favourite month of the year since I was a little kid. I love that school is out and long days at the lake are in. This July was been off to a remarkably cool start with lots of rain and cold nights. Although it meant less time at the river, I was happy to have plentiful rain after last year’s scorcher. Here is my July in review on the homestead.
Here in the “M” family we have lots of exciting things on the go. They’re not all farm related, but they entail some of my other passions.
Highlights of July:
–My birthday. I know. I’m getting older. But it was a wonderful opportunity for reflection. My husband also planned a full day with lots of adventure and quality time. I’m so happy to be where I am now.
–Swimming. It has been a cool summer here, but July has been my chance to get into the tranquil, stunning fresh-water swimming locations we are blessed with here.
–Booking travel. Mr M. and I have decided to take some time away to grow as a family, get refreshed, and reconnect with our sense of adventure. Discovery, curiosity, and experiences have long been valued pieces of my life, so I’m intensely excited to bring these into my place as a mother using my favourite medium.
–Tomatoes. That’s it. I wait all summer for the first bites of vine-ripened tomatoes, and it never disappoints.
Biggest challenge of July:
There is so much going on! It’s great, but at the same time it can be hard to focus on and accomplish any one thing. I do feel like a lot has happened in July, but I just can’t keep it all straight! One day I will get good at lists and time blocks. Until then, I’ll have to make peace with mad chaos.
-Make raspberry jam: Why, yes, I did. I also made apricot jam, so there’s that.
-Start a vegetable ferment: Not yet. There’s still this afternoon, right?
-Stake and prune all tomatoes: Yes. But it was mostly the work of my fantastic room mates. We’re beginning to enjoy the fruits of their labour now.
-Hatch/purchase a queen for our hive: Yes! Yay! We actually had another local beekeeper offer us a frame with a queen cell. We opened up our hive to check in and discovered a healthy and busy queen moving the hive right along. So that was an unexpected success.
-Share a weekly post: Almost. I’m going to count this one. I’ve even built a website for a local alternative school this month!
I’m not going to set any August goals for the homestead. I have a few things to wrap up here, and then I’ll be taking some time away.
Some things I found worth reading this month:
–Dried Bananas Candy: We don’t buy bananas while local fruit is in season, but they are a popular option around here in the winter months. I don’t like banana chips, but these chewy dried bananas look like a tastier option. I also like author Susannah’s suggestion to use up the half-eaten bananas that kids tend to leave behind using this idea.
–10 Tricks for Clean Eating on a Budget: Right on the heels of ways to use up your kid’s leftover banana is this list of ways to save money while still eating well. While we raise most of our own food (a great way to save money), there were still some useful suggestions for me on the list. If you’re a regular at the grocery story, this list will provide even more value.
–The Best 7 Kitchen Plastic Alternatives: Reducing plastic use is always a noble cause. Sometimes I need to read posts like this to steel my resolve. There are a lot of suggestions on this list that are just as easy, are cheaper, and are healthier than the plastic options we so readily use.
–Making Herb Cordials: I really love cordials, but I’m bad at making them. This post includes a handful of creative recipes, but also gives basic measurements so that you can venture out with your own flavour profiles.
–How to Buy Used Kids Clothes: To me, buying my child’s clothes secondhand is simply common sense. As a toddler, she outgrows them so fast and new clothes are ridiculously pricey. There are also massive amounts of textiles sent to our landfills every day (I don’t even buy myself new clothes). Meghan gives a few of her tried-and-true tips for finding good clothes that are gently used. If you’re new to secondhand shopping just give it a try. It won’t hurt anybody. In fact, you’ll do some good in the world.
What are you looking forward to over the next month? What great resources do you have to share? Let me know it the comments (I will check them out!).