dalthauser: (Dorie Roo)
We were blessed with rain this spring.  We had yet more last night.  Halleluja!
Rain means so much to me since how the plant life on the homestead fares is much influenced.  There is a difference between rain water and well or city water.  Rain water is not processed or treated, and it is designed by nature to hydrate life (mammals drink it - plants absorb it).

The homestead garden is looking gorgeous.  We've harvested a huge amount of lettuce, radishes, and swiss chard.  The summer squash, peppers, and tomatoes got a massive early boost.  The blackberries, grapes, and fruit trees also have hit the ground running.  EVERYTHING is just flourishing!

This spring we discovered that we have five total Mulberry trees.  I knew I had the one over the chicken coop.  I didn't even know I had that one until about 3 years ago.  A couple weeks ago Marcel was walking the property perimeter and found the others along the fenceline.  I don't know how I/we missed them before because they aren't babies - they must be several years old.  My only thought is that they started producing fruit when we were down in Corpus Christi.  Well, however it happened - we are thrilled.  We collected enough to make a few pints of Mulberry Jam.  Next year I am going to make syrup to add to water for drinking.

My friend Bea has a Loquat tree.  We harvested a lot from it and processed them into juice.  We froze it for now.  Not sure whether we want to make syrup or wine from it.  Loquats grow well here, and many folks have them in their yard.  We are deciding whether we want to grow one or simply barter with people who have them already.

Marcel and I both share the same feeling inside right now - it's a blend of happiness, gratitude, enthusiasm, and a general feeling of well-being. Not just about the good weather.  About everything.  It's not that things are perfect.  There are still daily challenges and setbacks.  It just feels like we've arrived at where we are supposed to be in life.  We are both looking forward to the future.

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dalthauser: (Life is Juicy)
I'm a little late with the May highlight slideshow.  Once I get this done - I'll work on June.  I have a long weekend with the holiday, so I wanted to catch up on things that give me pleasure but never seem to be able to set aside time for.

Some things in May that were awesome

*  We discovered that the annoying tree behind the chicken coop is a Mulberry tree!  (annoying because you can't walk behind the coop because the tree is right there taking up the whole space)

*  Dad came for a visit, and Marcel got to spend time with him.

*  Summer garden in full production.  We did pretty good, but the squash succumbed to the vine borers - that was sad.

*  Our Delaware hen (who was born on the Acre) sat on and hatched 4 babies (the other two I hatched in the incubator).  It has been fun watching them grow under her watchful eye.

* I spent Memorial Day weekend with Marcel helping him with the restaurant.  Enjoyed the time together.

dalthauser: (Default)
If the slideshow goes too fast, point the mouse anywhere on the picture - then you can hit the stop (square) button then click on FF or REW to advance manually. :-)

dalthauser: (Default)
We recently took another step in our homesteading journey.  Adding to our family of fruit trees.  We are adding two Jujube trees and another Fig tree.  

Jujubes (not the candy) are small fruits.  They are also known as Chinese dates,  I've never tasted one, but they say they have a flavor like an apple.  They are often dried.  I chose this because I've never seen them grown and would like something unique.  Also, they are supposed to grow very well in our area.


Panache Fig -  We already have good luck with figs.  I have a Texas Everbearing fig tree that is about 6 1/2 years old now.  I enjoy eating them and making jam with them.  They require very little attention once they are established.  I chose Panache because it is beautiful, and it's supposed to be a good fig for eating fresh.




Received our trees from Trees of Antiquity (not the cheapest supplier out there - but they have a good reputation and offered a variety of fig we had a hard time finding elsewhere).    


They all came healthy and with good roots.



We prepared the holes for the trees a couple weeks ahead of time, and we purchased a truck load of compost the morning we planted them.  We mixed native dirt to compost at about a 4to1 ratio.  


I'm just posting this one because I think my husband is one foxy dude..... (the bandana around his neck is not a fashion accessory - he has a cold, and it's keeping the Vick's vapor rub warm.... haha)


We set the trees on a little "hill" and spread the roots out as much as we could.  


We  covered them with landscaping fabric and made a temporary fence around them to keep the chickens out.  We'll remove the fencing after about 18 months once the root systems are firmly established.


We hope that these trees will provide good shade for the chickens in summer.  Since they are deciduous - they won't give shade in the winter, but the days are short then - and it's cool - so it's not as much of an issue.

On a side note - today we also culled two chickens.  Marcel taught me how to humanely kill and clean them.  It was a bit traumatic I will have to admit, but I am committed to learning to live this homesteading lifestyle.  We stewed the chickens to make chicken soup since the birds were rather old.
dalthauser: (Life is Juicy)
 My dump cart and I are spending so much time together, I decided I'd name him BOB.



dalthauser: (Default)
Marcel has a friend who is thinking about leasing a San Antonio Restaurant space on E Pecan Street (right off the Riverwalk).  While Marcel and Michael talked I took pictures and watched the pilot episode of the BBC mini-series of Jane Austen's "Emma" (you can get all four episodes on iTunes for just $2.97 - and after watching the Free pilot - that is just what I did).  

Crowne Plaze is kitty corner to the property

View from the balcony of the property



We had lunch across the street from the Witte on Broadway at Cachita De Mexico (Muy Bueno!)

Then off to Central Market where we bought some groceries.  My find was Beemster Nettles Cheese from Holland (with "tamed" Stinging Nettles) - Marcel's was fresh white, red, and black Currants as well as German Tilsit cheese 





Then we got home and finished putting the cart together.  Two thumbs up! - if you have a garden, this is the cart!  I got it at Lowe's for $119, and it's worth every penny.



On a side note - I'm feeling a little less anxious since I stopped had time to re-think my course and once again let the universe energy direct me.  We'll see what the future holds as it unfolds.  





 
dalthauser: (Default)
We made Preserved some Texas peaches yesterday - and whipped up a big batch of Pesto from the basil int he garden.  This all the canning I plan to do for this year.  Putting the garden to bed this weekend, so I can have August for some other projects.






dalthauser: (Default)
* Thanking the universe for all the rain we had so far this year - my garden is in heaven.

* Fig harvest is going great - about 30 pounds so far - and plenty more to go.

Dried Some





Made preserves out of some (8lb of figs makes 5 pints of preserves)



Cyber was fussy yesterday - couldn't get comfortable.  She was all over the place




I found this on the hard drive - Sierra must have had one of her Myspace photo sessions.
I loved this - took my breath away.



dalthauser: (Default)
 We harvested the solo Pluot today and ate it.  It was mighty tasty!





dalthauser: (Default)
* We were busy at the restaurant over the weekend.  I helped on Saturday and Sunday in the kitchen.  Met Marcel's new cook and waitress - two thumbs up.  This morning we walked on the beach before Marcel went to work.  It was rather nasty - lots of seaweed and trash from last night's festivities.  I got to feed the Seagulls though, so that made it worth it.

* I drove up from Corpus Christi about 2:30pm.  It's a 3+ hour drive, and I don't have A/C - which is usually not a problem - but today felt so hot that I stopped at Academy in San Antonio and did some window shopping just to get some Air Conditioning.  I picked up a lunch bag sized backpack cooler ($6) to take tubing (will carry some sodas, sunscreen, keys, and camera).

* I got home and headed right outside to take care of business.  Got everything watered - fed the chickens/collected eggs.  Got some pics of the rest of the afternoon.....................

Cucumbers grow so fast.  Luckily the Armenian cukes taste good even when huge (those spots are water droplets - just finished watering)



Fig tree must have started going into ripening mode on Saturday or Sunday because there were tons of succulent figs on it.  This year it seems I will have some competition from the critters.  This is fine - there are plenty (PLENTY) to share.  I harvested 6 1/2 pounds this afternoon without breaking a sweat (1 pound went to the chickens due to large critter bites.  Usually I leave the bitten ones on the tree for the critters to finish off - but sometimes I can't tell until later which ones were chewed on).

Butterfly and Beetles sharing a tasty fig.  The butterflies are all over the tree - which I didn't expect.  Usually it's just friendly wasps (never been stung - not once) and Beetles.


I didn't notice this bird nest until I crawled inside the tree to do some harvesting. 


Multiple varieties of beetles this year...................

Variety 1


Variety #2


.... and my personal favorite because he stayed on the fig when I picked it, let me see him up close, and he posed like a super-model on a photo shoot (BBB MAGAZINE - Big Beautiful Beetle).







5 1/2 pounds of moist delicious figs - Life is Good
dalthauser: (Default)
*  Baby chicken still growing.  Still don't know for sure what the sex is.  He/she is alone a lot, but it doesn't seem to mind much.  Mama chicken is sitting on another egg as we speak.................(stay tuned)



Fig tree is filled with figs, but they seem to be ripening slow.  I put the watering can in front to show actual size.

Closeup of figs forming


Cucumbers are still doing great. 


This is butternut squash that volunteered in the compost bin.  I was going to pull it up, but Marcel asked me to leave it alone.  Glad I did because there are a lot of squash there.


The Pomegranates have some fruit on them - I didn't expect that since they got hit so hard with frost in the late spring.


The lone Pluot is starting to mature.  Looking forward to enjoying it with a friend soon. :-)

dalthauser: (Default)
Because the storm dropped about 10 inches of rain on us - we decided to go ahead and harvest the garlic, shallots and onions a little early.  Otherwise they would become engorged and split from the excess moisture.


Marcel with some of the Garlic harvest


A wheel-barrow full of trimmings from the onions and garlic.


Cleaned onions and shallots ready for distributing (fridge, restaurant, friends) :-)


Drying Garlic & keeping the backyard vampires away :-)
dalthauser: (CHICKEN BUTT BUTT)
I need to do a full update, but there's not enough time right now. 
Here is a picture of the baby who managed, somehow, to get up into the coop and cuddle beneath the mother.
If you look close you can see the head peeping out from underneath her :-)

dalthauser: (Default)


Butternut Squash


Mints in the toilet (yummy)


Cucumber in the foreground - getting ready to start vining.


Believe it or not - this is my lavender (remember when I built the bed and the 4 plants were so tiny? haha)


Foreground Bush Beans, then Tomatoes, in the back Sunflowers


Blackberries! - I've lost track of how many gallons I've harvested - unbelievable this year!




Chickens having a Siesta under the Sego Palms


I had two Pluots on my tree this year.  I guess the baby male Plum tree came through his first year.


dalthauser: (Life is Juicy)
Here are pictures from when I took my mom and niece to meet Marcel in Port Aransas. 
We took these pictures at his restaurant.

Waiters Christopher, Alan, and Sean


Sierra, Jerrica, and my mom (Barbara) - getting ready to feast :-)


Jerrica getting peppered by Sean.



Jerrica's Goulash w/Spaetzle & veggies


Sierra's NY Steak w/garlic butter -  with taters & veggies


Me & My Hubby who walked me out to my car when I headed back :-)
(my arms are FAT.... :-(  )

dalthauser: (Love Doves)
Our homestead is just overflowing with Love don't you know..... ;-)
(Marcel's Potatoes aka Ladybug Lovenest)

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