Nectarine-Lime & Blueberry Jam

Caramel Cake


lillies at last

cukes are growing!

gifts from the coop girls


purple coneflower & a helpful bee



a very overgrown tomato patch {asparagus too}

squash bed #1



What a beautiful week we've had!  Mild temp's and low humidity.  Hooray!  Today is rainy but my garden is enjoying it immensely.

We accomplished some canning and freezing this weekend.  I say "we" purposely because my husband is very helpful and works right alongside of me.  {what a guy!}  We canned 12 half-pints of Blueberry-Cinnamon Jam, 4 half-pints of Nectarine-Lime Jam {very good by the way} and 6 quarts of pickles + 2 quarts of refrigerator pickles.  For the freezer, we put up 3 gallon-size bags of corn.  Based on last winter's use, we'll need to put up another 1-2 bags.  My beans will likely be the next item for the freezer and I have a ton of green tomatoes just waiting to ripen.  I feel Tomato Jam coming soon.  Jay reminded me that we need a LOT more Tomato Jam than we canned last year.  {yes dear, I do remember....}  I also want to try the Zucchini Pickle recipe Meg posted this week.  I've made Freezer Zucchini Pickles in the past but haven't canned them yet so I'm excited to give it a try.

So we've still been struggling with Daisy pecking at her eggs.  A very bad habit the previous mean girls taught her.  She doesn't eat the egg, rather lays it and turns around and pecks into it.  Lizzie is broody again {no surprise, she has spent more than half her life broody} and immediately hops in the box upon Daisy's departure and sits on the partially pecked, oozing egg.  She doesn't seem to mind getting yolk all over her underside.  Go figure.

Although golf balls and fake eggs didn't work with the mean girls, we decided to give them a go with Daisy, hoping that if she pecks at the fake egg and it doesn't crack open, hopefully {fingers crossed} we'll break the habit.  {so far it isn't working....}  So, in the coop I went with my bag full of fake eggs.  I began putting two in each box and then came upon Lizzie's box.  I first lifted her up as she howled and hissed and cleaned out the broken Daisy egg she was laying on.  After I put her back down she growled a little more.  I offered her a piece offering of 2 fake eggs.  She took them, turned them around and around, then finally pushed them underneath her tiny little body.  Typically you wouldn't want to encourage a chicken to stay broody with fake eggs but if the girl will sit on  broken eggs then fake eggs are really no different.

Mama Claire with Sam & Renee

On to sad news.  Unfortunately our wonderful chicken, Mama Claire, is no longer with us.  She is very much missed.  Not only was she kind and patient, but she raised all our chicks for us, including 2 of her own.  It's increasingly difficult as the older girls continue to age.  We still have Lizzie, Emma, Big Allie & Trudy from the original group.  They add a tremendous amount of character to our coop as did Mama Claire and the other girls who have gone before.

The garden is doing very well and continues to produce mounds of veggies daily.  We have found out we have a new woodchuck in town.  One morning I was going out to get the coop girls up.  My back was turned to the coop as I grabbed my cleaning supplies and I heard a "bang" of something or someone running into the outdoor coop.  I turned around to stand face to face with a woodchuck.  He apparently thought it would be easy to go through the fence and shop for goods in the outdoor coop.  Not so.  Off he ran.  We've found him twice, since then, in the garden, picking and choosing his meals for the day.  Between him and the bunny I'm not sure what will come of my veggie patch.  And then to top it off, Oliver discovered the pleasures of picking ripe blueberries.  My plants continue to produce berries but I have to beat Oliver to the bushes each day.

Oh, the gardeners saga!

Hoping it has been a lovely weekend for you all!


Kathi said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Mama Clair. It sounds like she was a wonderful bird. Your photos are gorgeous.
Kathi @ Oak Hill Homestead

Anonymous said...

Can't remember the last time I had caramel cake. I can almost taste it just looking at your photo of it!

daisy g said...

Sorry for your loss. She had a good life with you, so for that I am grateful.

Your garden is looking plentiful! That lil' stinker Oliver!

The boys are looking mighty handsome in the black and whites.

Productive weekends are so rewarding!

Unknown said...

Sorry about your chicken, we do get attached! The dogs look to be in good form and your pantry must be looking good too! I had a productive weekend too, but paying for it this morning! :(

elaine said...

Your weekend photos are amazing - love the jars of jam, and such lovely jars too. It's always sad when a hen goes and she was such a beautiful bird too. You sound like you have been really busy in the kitchen - it is too hot here at the moment to stand over a hot stove, so I have been freezing stuff till later in the year when it is cooler, unfortunately I am fast running out of space.

born imaginative. said...

Okay, I know I'm going to sound like a broken record, as I tell you this every week, but I really do love your weekend posts. There's always some beauty, something that makes me smile, something that makes me hungry, something to inspire me, something I can relate to (chickens eating eggs-we ended up culling a couple years back...we couldn't get them to stop!) and something I learn (tomato jam?!).

Anyway, forgive the broken record...I'm just a fan! :)

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thank you all.

Elaine - that's why we're canning outside now. It's just too hot to have the stovetop running for that long. We have a makeshift countertop this year but plans to build them into our deck next year.

Jackie - sounding like a broken record is ok in my book! :) A heartfelt thanks to you.

Mary said...

So sorry to hear about your sweet Mama Claire. Your boys look very handsome in black and white. Beautiful garden pics, and now that answers the question I left in the comments on your blueberry pie post. I was wondering if you grew your own. Can you tell I'm reading backwards? Playing catch-up. My schedule has been all upside down of late... car troubles, health issues, just life stuff.