So far it's been unseasonably cool this July. Not necessarily a bad thing, don't get me wrong. But unusual to have this kind of cool on. It's rained once- and I saved 71 gallons of rainwater for the garden. Seriously hoping this weather isn't an indication of a hard winter- I can't afford to miss work due to being snowed in this winter.
Really need to start checking around to see if I can pick up a free or super cheap rain barrel or three. Just off one morning rain I collected over 70 gallons, had to keep bottling it till I ran out of jugs! It would be sooo much easier to utilize bigger barrels, lol.
But the other day while it was still nice and dry I got in some hardcore adventure mowing. The alley behind the barn is now cleared out around through the sable- now it's a matter of keeping it mowed down. Got some trimming done around the chicken coop, and now I've come to the realization that the coop area needs a lot more work than I initially thought it would. Including a shitton of cleanup of grape vines and scrub trees, as well as a goodly bit of repair and cleanup on the coop itself.
Then I mowed down a path all the way along the south and east sides of the horse pasture- that was major as hell. And a round path around the "campground" on the back 40 corner, and that was pretty darn serious too. Started trying to hack in a path around the north side of the horse pasture, but I didn't get too far- the mower was complaining, and I realized I have a huge amount of tree and brush to clear out.
I have major work to do in filling in and smoothing out the rutted section on the south side of the pasture- too much of a wet dip and a lot of heavy truck action has resulted in the area being almost impassable when dry, and horked when wet. Not too sure what cheap/free solution will be to that one- my sister suggested "just get a load or two of gravel". Shit, she has no idea how expensive that idea is. I would love to dig out and put in a cross drain pipe- but that is stupidly expensive as well.
In gardening news... the garlic is curing up right fine in the solarium :) I've bagged off the first 8 of the tomatoes for seed saving! I've also started the fermenting of the first tomato seed, patio tomato. The Crosby Egyptian beets are finally starting to pop up, and the earliest of the radishes I sowed in the raised beds are popping up too- too bad I can't remember the order I planted the radishes in, heh. Raspberries and gooseberries are coming in now as well, and I picked about a pint of each today. The gooseberries are already in the freezer- a nifty trick is to freeze them, then shake them in the bag while frozen, it tops and tails them perfectly in a snap, and then can be rinsed off, perfectly clean!
As a random aside about canning... the place I work at uses tons of boxes for incoming goods. I've discovered some of them are absolutely perfect for storing canning jars in. There are candies that come in pint jar boxes, other candies that come in 24 jar boxes- with dividers, and all the fried apples and cobblers come in 12 count boxes that hold quart jars perfectly, again with dividers.
And sigh... really dying without a dehydrator. I don't know where I will pull the money out of my ass to get another one, but time is coming up fast to seriously need one. But I'm down to my last jar of corn, and onions, and running really low on celery too. And got summer squash starting to come in, and cukes that will need dehydrating. Garg.