Herb Harvest

I haven’t done so well with writing much this summer. Sorry about that. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the last few months and I’ve frequently thought “I need to write about this,” but I didn’t know where to start and I’ve had to let my thoughts simmer longer. I think I will share some of them soon, but I decided to catch you up on the last few weeks first.

We are doing well.

I usually think of August as being the hottest month of the year, but actually this summer this month has felt cooler than July. There are days when it’s humid out and we turn on the air conditioning, but mostly the temperatures are pleasant.

Last weekend I saw some leaves beginning to change color. It seems too early, but I think that every year. Autumn always seems to take me by surprise.

Indigo Bunting – Photo from Pixabay

A beautiful blue indigo bunting has been visiting our bird feeder lately. We’ve only seen them briefly in past years so it’s a joy to have the bunting visit regularly.

Theo, one of our two outside cats, have discovered the birdfeeders. He often hunkers down and waits for an unsuspecting bird to land on the tray feeder and then he leaps up to catch it. Usually, all he does is bonk his head under the feeder, spilling the seed onto the deck. I affectionately call him a “dunderhead” because he bonks his head so much. Theo is much better at catching rodents so I think he should stick to them. I don’t mind if they catch rodents, but I hate it when/if they catch birds. When Hannah Joy notices all the spilled seed, she demands to go outside and she eats it. In the summer I put my house plants out on the deck. I’ve begun arranging them under the birdfeeder to try to block Theo attempts. I have to move the plants away in the evening because I don’t want the raccoons to crush my house plants when they climb the post to the feeders.

Several weeks ago, a large Mama raccoon started bringing her two babies to the feeders after dark to eat what the birds left. They weren’t tiny–more like teenage raccoons. Lately I’ve seen only one of the babies visit so I think that perhaps they are old enough to go out on their own.

Drying herbs in the dehydrator

I’ve been busy harvesting and drying my herbs. Every few days I go out to my herb garden, cut some of the herbs, arrange them on the racks, put the racks in the dehydrator, and then wait a day or two for them to dry. When they are dry, I chop them up and put them in jars which I label. I love growing and using my own herbs.

 

My ginger plant
My ginger plant…and Little Bear

 

Earlier in the Spring, I sent away for several pounds of ginger roots. I dried them in the dehydrator and then ground them up. I do the same with cinnamon bark. I kept back a couple ginger roots and planted them in a pot in the house. I wasn’t sure they’d grow, but I figured it would be fun to try. It took forever, but they finally began to grow and now I have a decent-sized plant.

One of my roosters

The last time my most regular egg customer stopped in, a week or so ago, he brought along his daughter and her husband, who were visiting from out-of-state. He wanted them to see the chickens who are laying the eggs that they all say are delicious. I always let my egg customers meet my chickens if they want. I have Rhode Island and New Hampshire Reds. They really are beautiful. Until I got my first flock about four years ago, I didn’t know much about chickens so I think it’s fun to share what I’ve learned. Maybe I should open a petting zoo. LOL. The birds are actually more interesting than you might think.

My egg customer had previously expressed interest in my herbs, which started me considering selling them sometime in the future. However, I am not ready for that step yet so I just gave a few to him. He didn’t recognize fresh herbs so I’d cut each type, put them in separate sandwich bags, told him what they were, and he labeled them. Sometimes I’d say, “This one smells really nice” and he’d take it and smell its aroma. I gave him snippets of sage, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, and parsley.

We had a bit of rain last Saturday. When EJ and I went out to put the chickens and cats in the coop for the night, I slipped in the soggy, slippery muck (i.e., mud + chicken poop) in the chicken pen and fell on my back. I did not fall fast or hard, and I did not hurt myself at all. EJ said that it looked like I was just slowly and gently lying down in the muck. He exclaimed, “What are you doing???” Lying on my back, I started laughing hard, and I kept laughing as we went into the house, where I got out of the mucky clothes as soon as I could. EJ put the clothes in the washer while I cleaned myself up.

Sometimes when you fall in the muck, you just have to laugh.

 

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