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Trying to take advantage of the cooler temps, I spent a morning in the garden planting zucchini and crookneck squash.  If I plant them early in the season, the bugs always get them.  I was told that if I wait until the end of July to plant them, the squash bugs cycle will be over and I will have a better chance of getting my plants to survive.  I think there is about an even opinion on either side of this issue, but I felt it is worth trying.  The hornworms sure have tried to eat their fill on the tomato plants.  Thankfully, they are pretty easy to spot and I take great pleasure in giving them to the chickens for a special treat.

Last week we were very excited to bring home a pair of Calico Holland Lop bunnies.  It is a new project for our daughter who earned her own money for them.  I have to admit that the moment I held one, I was sold.  Calicos seem to be a favorite on our farm and these bunnies are the icing on the cake.  We were fortunate enough to find a great second hand rabbit shelter at a good price.  After some discussion, we finally decided to face it toward the south in a grove of trees near the garden and greenhouse area, but some trees were still going to have to come out.  My husband’s beloved father takes great joy in playing on his dozer so we marked a few of the smaller trees that needed to be taken out to make room for the rabbits.  Taking out trees can take an act of congress on this farm because we love our trees, however, we carefully chose a few smaller trees that were taking room from the larger ones and some that were leaning in strange ways.  It will allow for room on the forest floor for the rabbit shelter and allow the larger oaks to spread out a bit.  We have chosen to leave most of the woods untouched, but I do appreciate the small spaces where we have raked up the leaves and brush to allow the grass to spread and cover the forest floor beneath the trees.

It is interesting how with each season we enjoy different foods.  Summertime brings the joy of barbecue, potato salad, watermelon, deviled eggs and lemonade.  This week we enjoyed teaching our daughter how to make Texas BBQ Brisket.  It takes certain spices, temperatures and cooking time to get it just right.  She added deviled eggs and fresh apple cobbler to the meal.  Boy oh boy was it good.  Some friends of ours have shared their recipe for homemade blackberry ice cream that I am anxious to try next weekend.  If we can make a good batch of it, I’ll share the recipe with you.

Saturday morning was the monthly Fordland Swap Meet.  We sold several chicks to a chicken friend of ours and a FBCM (French Black Copper Marans) pullet to a sweet gentleman from Rogersville.  I think us chicken people do more buying and selling from each other than anything, it seems we just end up passing chickens around!  It is a great place to see and visit old friends and find that treasure that you didn’t even know you needed too.  This month, I got a large cauldron pot.  It has a crack in the bottom of it, which will allow it to be perfect for a flower pot and I proudly brought it home wondering where to put it.  The day was topped off by purchasing a large cabinet incubator that holds hundreds of eggs at once.  Not sure what we’ll do if we can ever fill it and hatch them all out!  I think that’s the fun of it, the anticipation of what can be done with something.  Will we succeed?  What will we learn?

Speaking of learning, we also went to see the great movie ‘America’.  If you have not seen it, I would strongly encourage you to do so.  It is a very uplifting and encouraging documentary about our country and it truly hits the mark.  Our nation has been shamed from within for long enough, twisting our history into something it isn’t, especially through the schools and colleges.  It has taken a gentleman from India, who has lived here for thirty years and who dearly loves America, to stand up and say enough.  Seriously, go see it.  We are not a family who ever goes to see a movie, but we felt we needed to not only see, but support this one.

Have a blessed week!

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