Summer is officially here! The garden is so close to full production I can almost taste it when we go out in the evenings. Actually I guess we have tasted it- I've been able to make a few small salads with fresh greens, spring onions and a few baby radishes, served with a delishious bluberry-basil vinegrette from vinegar I made myself! Delicious! The peas are blooming, as are the tomatoes and zucchini and last night we put up trellis for our rapidly growing pole and lima beans. I have a few hot peppers that are getting to pickable size, now I'm busy looking over my canning cookbooks for a good hot pepper relish. If you have a good recipe, I'd love to hear about it. I can't wait to get started canning for the summer!
Hay production is going well, as of last week we had 2 entire fields dry and put up in the barn, which put us exactly 2 fields ahead of where we were last year! Dan spent yesterday cutting more, and if the weather is as beautiful as the forcasters are predicting, we will hopefully be done with our first cutting hay by the weekend, including the oat hay which I cultipacted much earlier in this blog. The fields that have already been cut are growing back at an amazing rate, and we fully expect to be getting a good second crop later this summer.
Our broiler chickens have done so well out on grass, despite the unpredictable weather, that they've reached butchering size in just 7 weeks. We started processing the first ones last night and hope to wrap this batch up by the weekend. Chicken is the one thing we butcher start to finish here at the farm, but I don't mind too much. Dan and I each have jobs to take care of during the process, and it runs pretty smoothly. We have had orders rolling in for our chicken so if you are interested, contact us soon. We're already sold out until mid to late August, so don't miss out! For me, the first real taste of summer comes with some absolutely fresh chicken cooked over our charcoal grill with a wonderful garden salad.