I am completely full of summer right now. The children are home during the day and our schedule is intense and full, yet we rarely leave the house and property. We go back and forth between the kitchen, the garden, the shed and animals, the swing under the tree, round and round. We have had our forays to the river to swim, meet friends for a picnic dinner, or run errands in town, but the center of our world this June is home. Our morning starts with milking the goats. The children feed the kids with hands full of grain as I milk. We then make the rounds of the greenhouse and garden, pulling a few weeds, grabbing a couple of peas and back to the house to filter and put the milk away. The middle of the day is chores, playing, working, napping and whatever else it is we do (most of the time I am not sure) and then later in the day we are back to the garden to harvest, pull a few more weeds, collect eggs and water the animals. There is a rhythm we are all attune too, with each of us having our particulars.
Compost is a constant. The compost pile grows in the field as we pile on weeds and straw bedding from the chickens and goats and up at the house the ComposTumbler is almost full. Every year we struggle with the distribution of compost and composting materials as there is always a high demand. In early summer there is little dry brown material, a necessary ingredient for the ComposTumbler. I do have lots of weeds and grass clippings- fresh green material. The pigs are being fed the grass clippings and what they don’t get make a great mulch as is in my raised beds, but composted they feed the plants more readily with nutrients. Straw bedding does not compost well for me in the Compact ComposTumbler, but would probably do much better in the larger models. Newspaper is in abundance though, and shredded makes a great brown material. There is something right about all of those words, the happenings in my community, the work and creativity, the births and deaths being broken down to re-nourish us through food. Something to think about anyway as I stand over the composter tearing up the paper.
And I like to think, because of all of this (and the exceptional growing weather) the garden is growing like mad. There are big green tomatoes on the healthiest looking tomato plants I have had in a long time. The potatoes I can’t hill fast enough- my husband commented last night he wished we had a truck load of light fluffy top soil to dump on them. I am with him there. There are peas and more peas, garlic scapes and greens. There are chanterelles from the forest, strawberries and sour cherries from a local farm, and fresh trout caught in the river. And of course lots and lots of goat cheese! No matter how exhausted I am I remind myself it is now, lovely and full. The cherry pie made so late in the day on tired legs was worth it beyond words.