Friday, July 18, 2014

Rainy July and the homestead

We are having the rainiest summer I can remember. Yes it is beautifully lush and green outside. And no, I'm not really complaining. On the plus side the inside of my house is in better shape than most summers. The garden fares o.k., but certainly behind with the cooler weather. The kids started picking carrots this week - small but worthwhile. I pulled the first batch of beets for a salad and am already wishing I'd planted more. I cut the first few ribs of celery stalks this week and have pulled a few scallions and picked two zucchini - unfortunately I tossed about eight to the chickens this morning that were rotting from all the rain. We've eaten one head of Broccoli with lots more to come. I've picked one full size English Cucumber from the greenhouse and I have a lovely lush bed of productive cilantro plants. Otherwise we are eating lots of greens; kale, swiss chard, spinach, lettuce and napa cabbage.

Dustin and I are following a "Clean" Cleanse right now. It is supposed to last two to three weeks and we are on day 11. The basics of the Cleanse are to fast twelve hours overnight, start and end the day with liquid fresh juiced veggies, fruits or vegan smoothies (types of fruits and veggies are limited), and eat a light meal in the middle of the day consisting of easy to digest solids, some meat like fish or chicken allowed. We have been skipping the meat for the most part and sticking with green salads, cherries, nuts and some brown rice, lentil or quinoa salads. For us the goal of the cleanse was to get rid of some toxins and "reset" our bodies. Dustin looks and feels significantly better. I feel about the same, but I wasn't sure how much better I could feel before we started as I already had good energy levels and pretty great. Given that neither of us felt crummy at the get go I'd say that we must not have had too much of a toxic overload. The hardest time is after the kids go to bed, resisting the urge to delve into our night time snacking habit. 

As a result of putting so much time into diet and health, I have been motivated to get better sleep and make some time for myself. Thanks to my mother-in-law who was in town last weekend, I have made it to three yoga classes in seven days. The most recent class I went to was called a SUP yoga class. It was on paddle boards (something that has always appealed to me). So we had an hour instruction on paddle techniques and practice followed by an hour of yoga on the water. As soon as I saw the classes advertised I was somewhat obsessed by the idea of doing yoga on the water, and it was every bit as wonderful as I thought it was going to be. I thought it would take several classes to get comfortable enough to go into inversions or complex poses, but I managed a few partial headstands and managed to not tumble overboard.

Tomorrow is chicken butchering day. We have fifteen Cornish to butcher; which is a nice number for an afternoon. Once they are butchered, there will be three Bourbon Red Turkeys with a lot more room in their moveable hoop-house. The pullets from this year are also scheduled to move into permanent housing this weekend. We have about twenty 2-3 old layers that I'd also like to butcher. I wanted to time it right that we'd butcher previous to a rainy day so that I could spend a rainy day indoors canning chicken. I don't think that will be a problem. Our Augusts are usually cooler and rainier than July. I can only hope that maybe the two months got reversed. We need some warm dry weather otherwise I'm not going to have any tomatoes or winter squash, the strawberries and zucchini are all going to rot... and the mosquitoes are never going to go away.

And now my bed is calling me so I better end my night before I break down and eat the kale chips that are for my afternoon snack tomorrow.

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