Last Month On The Homestead: June 2024



June was a whirlwind of all different types of weather, weeding and watering the garden, making products for our soap business, and remembering to take the time to enjoy the little things.  Thanks to a fair amount of rain, the garden thrived, and the grass is still very green!  The temps were actually very nice.  We had a few days of high humidity and 90+ degrees (feels like temps were over 100) and then the humidity would drop back down and so would the temps.  We were able to open the windows and doors numerous times, which is always something I look forward to. 

The Garden
We had to put up some extra fencing within our fenced in garden because of the baby wild bunnies and this seems to have worked.  At least so far.  I'm not willing to assume we are in the clear but am grateful that my plants are growing again.  I lost all but I think 3 plants of corn.  Lesson learned once again.

I harvested one cherry tomato (can you consider that a harvest??) at the start of the third week.  I was so excited!  This is the earliest, I believe, that we've ever received them.  I cut it in half so that we could both enjoy the delicious flavor of summer.  It didn't disappoint!  Since then, I've harvested a small handful.

My green bean plants struggled initially (the bunnies did not help with this) but seem to be doing good now.  I'm thrilled because we like to freeze a LOT of these.  The cucumber plants look great and have flowers, and our pepper plants are loaded.  I have struggled in the past with peppers, so this is very exciting.  This was also another crop that the bunnies were targeting so I'm grateful I caught it in time to save the plants.  I've harvested tons of herbs, lettuces, and greens and have an abundance of kale growing - another crop I like to freeze a lot of.  The first round of cilantro has gone to seed, the second round is probably getting close to going to seed and a third round has been planted.  It's one of our favorites.  My zucchini and yellow squash plants look great but no harvests as of yet.  

Harvests in June were the small handful of cherry tomatoes, tons of herbs, lettuces, and greens, as well as asparagus, broccoli, rhubarb, and sugar snap peas.  The asparagus bed is getting sparse so I'm hopeful we'll have new spears coming in the next year or two.  Garlic was harvested on the last weekend and is now hanging to cure.

One of the larger bunnies + mama robin
Oh, the bunnies.  They are so sweet and still hanging out on our property.    We have plenty of clover that seems to keep them happy and have continued to leave portions of the garden untouched so they can hide out in the tall grass.  One lives under the chicken coop, one under the garden shed, and the others on the other side of one of our stone walls in the weeds and trees.  The one who lives under the chicken coop is the tamest of them all and is ok with me walking around him/her and going about my chores.  As long as there are no loud noises, it seems perfectly content.

Monty the snake has evaded capture.  Ugh....  I really would like it to be relocated but that hasn't happened as of yet.  No more sightings and I am very careful when walking around the garden, especially around the areas of taller grass.

We have baby robins!  Well, "we" don't but you know what I mean.  Mama robin insisted on making a nest in the basket hanging right next to our back door.  The door that we use all day every day.  We actually thought she'd come to her senses as she stopped building it one day and hadn't returned.  Two days later when I went out first thing the nest was completed, and she was in it.  I can't see in the nest, so I took my phone and held it up to take a picture inside the nest when she left it.  Three eggs were what I found.  I was excited but also a bit bummed.  Excited to see the entire process but bummed because I knew we'd have to stop using the back door, deck, grill and outdoor eating area for the most part once they hatched in order to allow mama and papa robin the space to do what they need to do.  As of this writing the "kids" are 9 days old.  The photos below show the progression.  I've been taking 1-2 photos everyday of them.

In The Kitchen
I've been making a lot of salads.  They just taste so good in the heat of summer, don't they?  I even have my husband on a salad kick.  Fresh produce from the garden plus a few things from the farmers market or the grocery stores make them incredible.  We can't wait for fresh cucumbers and more tomatoes to harvest.

I have not preserved anything as of yet.  I opted not to preserve rhubarb and instead made a few desserts that we love such as Rhubarb Quick Bread and Rhubarb Snack Cake with Cinnamon Sugar Crunch Topping (I made this once with the topping and once without as I'm trying to avoid refined sugar - it's delicious either way!).  My rhubarb patch is only two years old and I'm hoping it will be even more prolific next year.  All other produce harvested was eaten fresh as well.

I made spelt sourdough bread every other week.  Because we've had a handful of cool mornings with low humidity levels, I was able to turn the oven on without heating up the house.  It's all in the timing, isn't it?

Our summer meals are pretty simple.  We're busy with our business and I've got plenty to do in the garden and remainder of the property so that, coupled with the heat means I like to spend less than a half hour preparing meals.  I have my husband's summer dinners on a 45-day meal rotation with the exception of a couple of meals like BBQ pork ribs (the recipe is for the oven I follow the same recipe in the summer but cook them on indirect heat in the covered grill), burgers on the grill and grilled pizza.  He likes those more often than the others.  My meals are super simple (salads, black bean tacos, bean & veg burgers, and more salads) and I don't mind eating the same thing a lot more often.

The Coop Girls
They are enjoying free ranging when the yard gets more shaded.  Until then, you can't convince them to come out of their coop and I don't blame them.  When they do venture out, they hang out under the trees a lot of the time.  Their egg production slowed last month and has stayed consistent at that lesser amount.  They've enjoyed all of the summer extras like watermelon and cantaloupe rind and other fruit and veg scraps.  

He is doing very well!  He loves watching mama and papa robin but could care less about the bunnies.  We thought for sure he'd be all over them as he is with most other animals but nope.  Not any interest at all.  He has also lost all interest in his morning pate, which I figured could happen.  He's not driven by food at all (never has been), so it was weird that he was so demanding about it.  One morning he demanded it and then never ate it.  So, the next morning I didn't put any out when he demanded it and he's completely forgotten all about it.  He's back to only eating his dry food.

That was June on our homestead!  I hope you had a lovely month as well.  As always, I'm trying to remind myself to savor the days, even when it's extremely hot and humid.  Time passes so quickly that it's nice to find bits of everyday unique to this time of the season.  Of course, the garden is a large part of this - I miss it tremendously when we can't grow anything.  Speaking of the garden, what goodness did you harvest from your gardens so far?


  1. Isn't it funny the different personalities our fur babies have? Sometimes you just have to laugh at their eccentricities. It's been fun seeing the little robins on IG. It sounds like your garden is doing great. I hope your husband finds and captures Monty soon, so you can relax in your yard.

    1. Their personalities are indeed funny. Always unique. I, as well, am hoping for the quick capture of Monty! Thanks for stopping by Laurie!

  2. Love seeing the little Robins hatch.

    1. Kathy - isn't it amazing? And how much they changed on day 1 let alone in a week! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. What spectacular photos of the robin babies! You are harvesting so much. We don't grow much in the summer. Right now we have drying beans, squash, sweet potatoes and okra growing.
    It is more challenging in the summer for me to find the blessings, but I keep working at it. Rainy days are the best, as it cools things off just a bit.
    Enjoy your week!

    1. Thanks Daisy! Summer is tough for me as well. Partly because we're so busy, so time just flies by, and partly because I am not at all a fan of heat or humidity. It's a daily reminder for myself. 😊 Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your week as well!


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