Jeff got us some cherries from a farm not far from our house. They’re delicious and the last few days we’ve been going outside to eat and enjoy them. With how juice covered Bracken gets, it’s probably a good idea to eat them out there. I think it’s safe to say cherries are one of Jeff’s very favorite fruits.
Bracken spotted the first ripe blackberries growing over the back shed. No surprise there. If there’s any fruit in the vicinity, he’ll be the first to spot it. We haven’t found any other ripe blackberries in our other favorite spots to look for them. The location by the shed is sunnier, so we’re appreciating the few early ones.
We continue to collect the little yellow mullein flowers. The mullein is towering far over our heads. To collect the flowers, I gently bend the stalk over a bit until I can reach them. Many tiny blossoms fall to the ground when I do that and if I’m lucky Bracken is there by my side and happy to search the ground and collect them in his basket.
Jeff and I enjoyed our spring mason bees so much that we decided to get summer mason bees. The kind we got are called leafcutter bees. They do well in hot summer temperatures and are great for pollinating squash, cucumbers, beans, etc. It says “they will pollinate most any flower around them” and “they use sections of cut leaves to place their gathered pollen and egg in.” Since they usually take awhile to hatch from their cocoons (4-6 weeks) we purchased them so we could begin hatching them out and have them ready when our summer garden crops were in bloom. There was a surprise to our plans, however. Jeff received the bees while Bracken and I were in Iowa. He checked them and the bees immediately started hatching out! We weren’t expecting that. He quickly finished the wooden house he made for them and put them outside. He wasn’t very happy with how the house turned out because he was in such a rush to finish it, but I’m grateful he was able to make it so quickly. (We admired the beautiful wooden mason bee houses that we saw here, and Jeff was inspired to make one.) It has layers so you can open it up in the fall to collect the cocoons and clean out the house for the following spring. We’ve been watching the house to check on our bees and have seen them fly in and out on occasion. We’ve also been looking around the yard to see holes in the leaves. Jeff spotted some on our elderberry bush. Looks like they like the elderberry leaves. We’re hoping the timing will all work out for them to pollinate our squash, beans, and cucumbers. They’re all getting very tall and growing fast, but I feel anxious for them to bloom.
Something was eating our basil down below, but now it seems to be bouncing back. Jeff planted a bunch more little basil starts. I’m already dreaming of pesto.
The grapes are getting plumper. At this rate we’ll be enjoying our first grapes here this fall. Yes, please!
Bracken asked us to put a calendula flower in a vase in the kitchen window. Every time his flower wilts, he heads out to the garden to get a fresh one. I love all the different colors and varieties of calendula we have blooming here right now. They’re such bright bursts of color throughout the garden. I’m glad we planted them here and there and all over the place.
We’re so appreciating the abundance of eggs from our chickens right now. We love being able to gift some to friends who can really use and appreciate them. This week, however, I’ll be using them all up in some recipes. (Planning to share a favorite recipe soon.)
Bracken and I adorned St. Francis yesterday. I added the lavender, he added the flower. Our days get so crazy and busy sometimes, I so appreciate anything we can do to slow down for a moment. When I take time to pause around the garden and bring my camera along, it does so much to renew my spirit. Just simply watering is a full time job right now. Not to mention running our business, cooking meals, and keeping up with everything else around here amidst the whirlwind of daily life. You know how it goes. Jeff and I get a bit overwhelmed sometimes. But when I stop to collect little flowers, check on the bees, look for ripe blackberries, eat cherries with my loves, and appreciate the growing grapes, it helps me to breathe deeper and puts things back into perspective a bit more.