This summer, like every other there is a whirlwind of acitity at our house. Baseball games, sports camps, trips to the swimming pool, bike riding, playing with friends and helping with farm chores fill the days of our kids and the evenings and weekeds of my husband’s and mine are chockful of gardening and lawn chores.
During spring and early summer, we spent alot of time in the garden planting, and then weeding the garden. Now we’re spending time reaping what we’ve sowed. The other night I startd picking raspberries at 8 p.m. and finishd in the garden at about 10 p.m picking beans. All the while I was picking beans I was being scolded by a raccoon who was likely telling me to get out of the garden so he could get to work on the sweet corn.
With summer so busy, it’s no wonder it flies by and my husband, kids and I are shaking our heads in disbilief that school starts in less than a month. While my kids like school they definitely do not belong to the camp looking forward to being back in the classroom .
Nor am I anxious for them to be there. I can’t relate to the moms I’ve heard talking about how they they are anxoius for school to start because their kids are so bored. My own find plenty of things to do every day and I’m happy to say that a lot of them are what I would consider to be old-fashioned, and creative fun.
This week my two sons spent hours dismantling a broken barn fan and then building things with its parts. They took the fan’s tires for example, and put them on an old bike they had taken apart, and pulled it behind another bike.
Then they took those bikes apart and made a double bike. Neither of the bikes they made worked very well but they had fun creating them and learned a litlte bit about mechanics and physics duirng the dismantling and building processes.
Here’s to more crazy, and anything but lazy, days of summer.
Â Â Â Although, I don’t do well in the heat, I’m not going to complain aboutÂ the weather of the past couple of days. The warm temperatures will help dry up some of the standing water and help the crops and gardensÂ grow.
Â Â Â Â Despite the heavy rains this summer, our garden is flourishing. Unfortunately, the weeds are, too. We’ve managed to keep them from taking over the garden fruits and vegetables by weeding around the plants, but as soon as it dries up enough, we want to cultivate between the rows.Â
Â Â Â Â Instead of going to the lake for the Fourth of July weekend, my family and I will spend it on or near the farm. Garden weeding is one ofÂ the projects onÂ the weekend list.Â Others include mowing, painting and baling alfalfa hay for our horses. We also hope to take in a county fair and will go to a cookout at my brother’s house.Â
Â Â For me, being on or near theÂ farm beats driving to a lake.Â I can enjoy beautiful scenery, be in relative isolationÂ and best of all, spend time with my family, without spending a lot of money on gas.
Â Â Â Â Wherever you spend the Fourth, I hope it’s good one!
Time has flown since I last wrote a blog. During those past couple of weeks the weather has taken a big turn for the better. The sunny, warm days have dried up many of the ponds in the fields, and our garden and farmers’ crops are growing like crazy.
This past week we picked black raspberries and lettuce. Over the weekend, our beans and peas should be ready. I’m sure there will be more raspberries, too. I’d love to make some black raspberry jelly, but I don’t know if I will be able to gather enough. It’s not that the raspberries are not prolific. Rather, it’s because my children love them so much it’s hard to keep enough on hand for a batch of jelly. It seems selfish to tell them they can’t eat the fresh fruit they love so much. Their favorite way of eating raspberries is to pick them off the bush and pop them in their mouths.
Maggie, our yellow Lab, also likes to eat raspberries. We have to keep her in the house while we’re picking or she would strip the bushes before we get the berries picked.
This is my favorite time of summer; the grass has slowed down its growth a bit, the garden is producing wonderful fruits and vegies and the start of school is still several weeks away. Now if the mosquitoes would become a litle less fierce, farm life would be near-perfect.
One of the benefits of the rainy spell is that the countryside is a lush green. The trees, grass and alfalfa fields are flourishing in the wet conditions and our garden also is growing by leaps and bounds. We’ve eaten the last of the radishes and have picked a lot of spinach that’s waiting to be made into salad or steamed for a side dish. Soon we’ll be eating beans, peas and raspberries.
The wet weather also has been good for weed growth, so the other night I applied a liberal dose of Deet to ward off the mosquitoes, and did some weeding in the carrot, beet and lettuce rows. The stand of carrots looks pretty good, but the lettuce and beets are quite pitiful, with only a few plants scattered here and there. We’ll probably plant another row of lettuce, but I think it’s too late for the beets. We’ll probably have enough for ourselves, but not any to share with fellow beet lovers.
The mosquitoes didn’t bother me too much when I was weeding the garden, thanks to the Deet, so I asked my daughter and husband if they wanted to go on a walk that evening. Even though I have lived in the country for most of my life, I still am struck by the beauty of North Dakota in the summer. The evening light cast a soft glow on the green corn and bean fields growing on either side of the road we were walking down and even the field ponds looked pretty with the setting sun reflecting off of the water.
North Dakota summers are fleeting and during a June like this, where cloudy days outnumber the sunny ones, I appreciate the nice ones even more. Enduring a few mosquito bites is worth paying the price for drinking in the summer evening beauty of the North Dakota countryside.