A journal of our day to day; homesteading and homeschooling in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Mid Summer Days
Summer is flying by at an alarming rate. We have high hopes and expectations for this fleeting time of year. We demand that every day be perfect; blue skies, sunny, seventies/eighties, with rain at night to water the garden. If we get anything less, we complain about the sub-par summer, and reminisce about those perfect summers of the past. Ah, we fickle humans.
The kids and I have been making the most of our days. If it is sunny, we are outside; in the garden, playing in the pool, picking strawberries, pulling vegetables, mushroom hunting, walking goats and playing on the playground. When it is late afternoon we venture down to the house and the kids play on the porch while I pop in and out trying to plan and make dinner. If it is cloudy or rainy I am a more focused cook and house cleaner. If it is sunny I can hardly bring myself to stand in the kitchen for more than ten minutes.
We are finally at my very favorite time of year; the time when every dinner starts with a basket of produce pulled and picked fresh from the garden. We are harvesting salad greens, chard, spinach, bok choy, carrots, beets, scallions, onions, zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli. The shelling peas are filling out, the beans are flowering, the tomatoes are green and the cucumbers are beginning to produce fruit.
Soon enough I'll be overwhelmed with trying to use things before they get too big. Shredding zucchini, pickling cucumbers and canning beans. I envisioned myself shelling peas at Noah's soccer games. But next week is the last week of soccer and I've yet to pick any peas. The garden is late this year, and of all things, it is because it was too hot in May - and the wee plants survived but were stressed. They finally took off mid June when the weather cooled and the rain begin.
We have Birch Boletes and Orange Birch Boletes, which are considered edible, to good eating. They are related to the King Bolete, also known as Porcini, which is the best eating of all, but alas I have yet to spot it here. I bought a pound of fresh morels for $16 at the Farmer's market, it was a splurge for us, and we enjoyed them thoroughly. The kids had fun helping me find and pick (cut) boletes. The first night we just floured the mushrooms, fried them in butter and sprinkled them with sea salt. The next night we made a mushroom thyme cream sauce and served it with grilled salmon. The last night I sauteed the last morels with zucchini and served them atop flatbreads with goat cheese and parmesan.
Here is to making the most of summer, wherever you are and whatever your aspirations may be.
We are a family of four (with one more on the way), living in the Arctic Boreal Forest above Fairbanks, in the Interior of Alaska. I write about our simple life and trying to keep our life simple in a day when the typical American life is anything but. When I first started writing this blog I had a toddler and a baby and we were a growing homestead. I wanted to share our day to day and all the lessons we learned along the way, from mixing our own chicken feed to goat kidding season and cheese making. As our children have grown, home schooling has really taken over and I have had to examine every aspect of our lives to keep our days simple yet fruitful. These days you will still find me posting and sharing pictures of our chickens and garden, berry picking and salmon processing. I also hope to be writing about home schooling decisions and lessons as well as other interests and hobbies the kids and I explore. Reader interest and feedback is what keeps me writing, so please leave lots of comments!
The here and now of our homestead is what I'm writing about. Compelled by a sense that we are participating in something significant, heading back to our roots... this is my attempt to share what we are learning along our journey. For those of you on similar paths, whether you are raising kids, a flock of chickens, a couple goats or run a farm, well I'm hoping to learn from you as well, so feel free to put in your two cents!