We've had the pleasure of a lot of chickenvision entertainment over the summer into the fall. In addition to the ten laying hens we've had since April, we now have one rooster (party-crashing Mr. Perkins), and five chicks who will be four weeks old today. Our primary purpose in having chickens has been to have our own source of backyard protein in the form of eggs (and, someday, old chickens and ornery roosters) and to flex our livestock-raising muscles to prepare for pigs, goats, and other animals we plan to raise in the not-too distant future. I'm enjoying having chickens more than I thought I might (I'm partial to animals that don't run away from me) and in the coming weeks we'll be expanding the coop and adding another outdoor run to prepare for even more chickens in the future.
It's been all about tomatoes here at Ridge Pond Farm these past few weeks. Between our kitchen garden tomato jungle, my parents' large garden and our farmer cousins at Crooked Door Farm, we are awash in tomatoes. And I couldn't be happier. Now is the time for eating them fresh and putting them by for future meals.
The Bangor Daily News posted my latest piece today, this one on calendula.
I love calendula for its color (in the garden, kitchen, and dried in the apothecary), its many skin benefits, and its long-blooming season.
We've just passed the half-way point between summer solstice and autumn equinox. The calendula in my garden began blooming in early June and should continue into the fall. As the days get incrementally shorter and the evenings grow chillier, the calendula will remind me of these warm days of summer. When I begin to worry about the coming winter, calendula will help me remember that summer will always return.
Yesterday, the first official day of summer, was rainy and cool. Today the clouds stuck around a good portion of the day but by this evening it felt like honest-to-goodness summer out there. I took my shoes off and went barefoot to do some stretching/yoga on the lawn. It was beautiful. Summer frogs on the pond singing their summer love songs. Bright, bright blue sky and white, white clouds. Happy chickens having their mysterious clucking conversations. Lettuce from the garden for dinner. More storms tomorrow but tonight is what the words "early summer evening" mean.
No stellar video quality here but this is what tonight sounded and looked like: summer evening 360.
We've run the woodstove more than we would have expected in June so far but the forecast is looking warm and seasonal for the next several days. Some images from the farm over the past few weeks.
These last two are not from our farm, but from my parents' who live a couple miles away.