July 2016 Homestead Update

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It’s hard to believe that another month has come and gone and it’s already time for another update! July was definitely an exciting month on our little homestead!

The Vegetable Garden

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This was the month that we finally got to see the fruits of our labors starting to pay off. We’ve been enjoying fresh lettuce, kale and sugar snap peas! We also just harvested our first batch of jalapeno peppers that we will be pickling and canning soon. It is so wonderful to come in from the garden every few days with a basket full of goodies to enjoy!

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And the excitement has only just begun. Our tomato plants are full of green tomatoes. We have anywhere from 2-10 tomatoes on each plant! This is really exciting for us because in the past we have struggled with tomato plants. At our old house, we had issues with blight year after year. Last year, we had a tomato planted in a pot and it ended up with blossom end rot which was very disappointing.

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We just planted a fresh batch of seeds for fall harvest as well! Back in May, we had planted a bunch of seeds including carrots, beets, and turnips. However, they never came up? So we had a big patch of garden that had nothing in it. We had some leftover seeds, so we decided to plant a fresh batch and see how they do. So far, so good! All of the seeds came up and seem to be doing well. I just got finished up thinning the seedlings today. Hopefully they continue to do well and we will have a decent harvest of root vegetables this fall!

The Herb Garden

Our herb garden has also been doing exceptionally well this year. So well, in fact, that I’ve been having trouble keeping up with it. I have already cut them back multiple times this year and they just continue to grow! Which is a good thing, I’m not complaining! It seems like as soon as I get one batch dried and prepared for use, I’m out there cutting them back again. So far, I have 2 quarts of dried spearmint, 2 quarts of dried lemon balm and 1/2 quart of dried tarragon. And that is in addition to topping off my “working” supply of herbs in the kitchen. It definitely is exciting to be stocking up my pantry with lots of herbs to use over the winter!

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The Tractor

We have a small lawn tractor that my husband uses to mow our yard. We were lucky enough that a friend actually gave it to us for free! This is our second year using it and so far, it has been running like a dream. The only “repair” that we had to do was buying it a new battery back when we first got it.

Well that all changed about 2 weeks ago. My husband started his usual mowing routine and made it about half way around the house on his first pass when all of a sudden it stalled out. So, he started it back up, it ran for a few seconds, then-BANG!! The bang was the sound of the connecting rod shattering into a million (maybe a billion) pieces. So, he had to mow our acre with his push mower which took an hour or 2 longer than it typically takes on his tractor.

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Now, my hubby is pretty handy but he has never torn down an engine before. So, with a little research and help from his grandpa, he was able to tear down the engine, order the parts he needed and rebuild the engine!! Rather than spending thousands of dollars on buying a new lawn tractor, we were able to repair ours for about $150!! Now that’s definitely quite a savings! Now, thanks to my hubby we are back up and running! We will probably save up over the winter this year to buy a new one in the spring. We don’t want to push our luck with our freebie and end up without anything. We like to think ahead and make sure we are prepared before the need arises.

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What is keeping you busy this summer? Share your homesteading stories and excitement in the comments below! I love to hear from my readers!

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