Although the weather has been nice this week, not much has moved forward on the construction of our house. Our builder needs to finish a project he started when we were having our cement work done, but he should be back to our place soon. I did take some time this week to recheck and rework the window placement in our house so that is a little step ahead I guess.
Even so, we have had some productive time at the farm. We have been able to go out with the kids a few times in the evening with the nice weather. They had fun using sidewalk chalk on the new slab while Ethan and I got some things done.
One of the things Ethan and I worked on was enlarging the pig pen. We more than doubled its size with some more cattle panels that we picked up at an auction awhile back. As you can see, this project took us late into the evening, but it was much needed. The pigs now have access to more of next year's garden plot. There is just a small corner left to be extended and they will have full access to plow up our garden. They are doing a great job, however we are looking forward to being able to move them out on pasture once we get up a perimeter fence.
I also worked a bit in the garden putting tomato cages around all of my tomatoes. I won't get a bumper crop this year due to our garden's late start, but I am hopeful that I will have some to can. I am also hoping to be able to can some green beans. I planted 3 different varieties. One of the them really took off. One has about 5 plants up, and the third didn't have any germinate. I think I know which I will choose next summer, but I'll give the others one last try for fall plantings before they get crossed off the list.
We now have chickens again too! We brought back 6 hens from Ethan's uncle last night. This time they are residing at the farm which will make some happy. I am looking forward to having farm fresh eggs again, as well as homemade egg noodles. Boy, have I been missing those!
Tonight I also took a walk down to the ravine to check on the blackberries. There were a small handful that were ripe enough to pick, but there are bucketfuls soon to follow. Thankfully the blackberries have decided to grow above the ravine, instead of in it like the raspberries did. The raspberry season is now pretty much over, and although they are a bit sweeter and more delicate than blackberries (which have a core that remains), I am excited about the blackberry season. I have considered trying to make some blackberry jam. Do any of you have any favorite blackberry suggestions or recipes?
Also, you might notice my new berry picking bucket. One night when Ethan was gone I took his drill to an ice cream bucket's bottom and sides. I am hoping that all of the holes made will help some of the little critters who end up in the bucket to escape. It would make cleaning and washing them much easier if they did!