Life, glorious life, keeps happening here – it’s hard to find time to write about it all! This is my catch up photo essay of some of June’s happenings! Enjoy!
Locust blossoms (top left): We experimented this year with locust blossom pancakes. We had been enjoying dandelion flour pancakes (using just enough pancake batter to hold the dandelion petals together, they turn out more like fritters than pancakes) when locust blossoms started blooming. They are almost too sweet to eat alone, so we experimented by making pancakes in the same way we did with the dandelions. It was a smashing success!
Wild strawberries (bottom left): Our field was FULL of wild strawberries throughout the first weeks of June. I could not walk up or down the hill to the yurt without getting hopelessly sidetracked following the trail of bright red sweetness! Occasionally I had the restraint to collect them without immediately popping them into my mouth. In those cases, I enjoyed them smothered in heavy cream. The joy is unreal. I have learned that wild strawberries are an unfortunate sign of soil fertility. We are listening, researching, and planning on how to bring fertility back to our eroded hillside. While we look forward to signs of increased soil fertility, we will miss the abundance of wild strawberries in the coming years. But this year, our first summer, we enjoy the earth’s sweet gift. Even when we have taken too much from her already, she continues to give.
Red Clover Blossoms (right): In the latter weeks of June and early July the red clover blossoms adorned our meadow! When the early July heat wave made most afternoon work unbearable, I walked slowly through the field plucking these beautiful blossoms. Our new loft (see below) became a perfect place to dry these beautiful flowers. The dried red clover blossoms will be used for tea – an herbal support for reproductive health.
A Two-Storied Yurt
In late spring, we covered a quarter of our yurt with a sleeping loft. I’m always so nervous when we do projects that significantly change a space. I was eager for extra room the loft would provide, but I was worried it would break up the oh-so-beautiful openness of the yurt. It took some tweaking and adjusting, but I actually like the space more with the yurt than without it! Project win!
It’s been a dry spring and summer with one particularly sweat-drenched weak of high heat. Our water source is a decent haul from the garden, so when we heard we were going to get rain for the first time in over a week we schlepped together this contraption:
Never have a felt more like a legit homesteader than I did in stepping back and admiring this piece of work. We have plans to build a more permanent rainwater collection system that doesn’t clog up access to the woodshed or use material (like the sawhorses) that we need for other projects. However, for a 15 minute throw-together job, this temporary system is earning its keep – one inch of rain gathered over 20 gallons!
Dreaming of Winter Nights
My husband, Mark, spent the 90 degree days of summer preparing for the -20 degree nights that are much closer than they feel as sweat pours down our faces. Piece by piece, he carried a huge, storm-felled oak out of the woods to our woodshed in the early mornings before the sun crested the hill turning our vale into a radiant oven. The result is beautiful:
A nearly full woodshed is a picture of stability, of seasonal rhythm, and of attentiveness. Last winter we got our wood as we needed it – our summer was too busy and our arrival on this land too recent to have a full woodshed going into the cold. This year, we are that much more in step with the season. Next year, we plan to be two steps ahead – splitting wood for the that winter during this winter.
We are sinking into this place.