Summer at the ranch

08-23-08 Garden Harvesting 005  Ah, the ranch life!  Summer here is so much more enjoyable when you have the chance to work with nature.  We’ve been tending our new garden and 08-24-08 Garden Harvesting 001harvesting some wonderful things!

Lots of onions for the picking, 08-24-08 Garden Harvesting 002plus string beans have seen a couple of harvests.

However, folks around us, especially those from the city, seem to think summer has been a bit of hit or miss.  09-05-08 Preserving and Pretzels 002The garden somewhat reflects this in its growth and development.  However, these raised beds are experiencing the inaugural planting so I fully expected to see some areas doing better than others based upon how much llama poo I was able to mix in there. 

Over the years, we’ll just keep adding more and more llama poo; black gold to the gardener!  Until then, I keep brewing some compost tea and side dress; that’s a fancy way of saying you are mixing poo with water and pouring it around the plants. The pickling cucumbers have been seriously loving it!  The first harvest is already brining with some of our garden fresh 08-29-08 Bobby Sizemore visits and meal 002dill heads for dill pickles. Yum Yum!

Nothing beats fresh pesto made with bunches of basil from the garden.  Our friend Bobby was visiting from Palm Springs and has fantastic culinary skills. He gave Glenn a break from the kitchen to cook us up a mean batch of penne with chicken and fresh veggies from the garden! We were quick to throw extra helpings of pesto to the top.

 

09-05-08 Preserving and Pretzels 006

Meanwhile 09-05-08 Preserving and Pretzels 001I’ve been having lots of fun in the home baking department.   I love soft pretzels and found a recipe that is a real treat.  After rising, you boil them in water, then bake.  I’ve topped them with salt, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds.  The ones with poppy seeds make great turkey sandwiches.  I am going to keep this recipe handy for future treats for guests.

I also started a wild yeast trap.  Every bread has to rise with yeast and typically you do it with the dry yeast you get from the market.  However, you can capture a bit of your own live local yeast with its distinctive flavor and use it to bake your own sourdough breads.  It’s as easy as putting a jar of water and flour on your counter until it starts to ferment and bubble with a brew of wild yeast.  Now that I’ve got my pet starter growing, I’ll keep it alive in the refrigerator where it will continue to develop in its complexity and flavor.  Our first sourdough loaf didn’t last more than a couple of hours out of the oven, so I know I’m on to something here.

09-11-08 Introducing a new section of pasture 007

The above photo is the newest grassy addition to the available grazing for the herd.  With the help of another friend we used some field fencing to follow the contour of the slope and gave them access to the grass that was growing on the other side of the service alley.  09-13-08 Preparing logs for poles 001  Down in the lower pastures, Tim and I are prepping the 20 foot logs we pulled from the under story of the woods.  We are going to set these in the holes we augured out so they become poles for a lean-to shelter when we start keeping the herd down in this area.  If you look close you can see some of them have been painted with a silver coating that will protect them when they are in the ground.

09-13-08 Painting the Main Room 008

Finally, we have some color in the house!  The biggest painting project was tackled first and that was the wall in the main room of the house.  In the picture above you can see the effect it has in making the room even more inviting and welcoming.  We can’t wait to have guests!

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About David

Making manifest the change I want to see in the world through the hospitality of a humble little homestead campground with yurts and alpacas.
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2 Responses to Summer at the ranch

  1. Kuskulana says:

    Wow what a bounty!
    And wow you guys have been productive too!
    I love Sourdough bread, always have.
    Hey that space above that doorway could use a Northern Lights or Alaska Sunset framed photo, don\’t you think?
    Take Care and nice to hear from you again

  2. Deborah says:

    You guys have been very productive as usual.  After looking at all that bounty I\’m off to the kitchen for milk and oreos
    Blessed be

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