August On The Homestead

If I were to put a name on August this year, it would be The Smoky Month, Part 2. As like last year, the Cascade Mountains burned. For half the month the smoke hung thickly over us, making it a pretty sucky month. It was very hard to get chores done, even with a mask on. Air quality was pretty bad to say the least.

Still, I cannot complain about the garden. Fruit and berries ripened on schedule. The heritage alpine strawberries I started in January produced bumper crops this August. The first tomatoes came in, and the blueberries continued.

The red raspberry I saved last year and brought with us was heavily covered in flowers in early August.

White Soul Strawberries.

Sun Gold tomatoes.

Alistaire helping me pick in the tomatoes. I pick in the cool of the evening or in morning, as last year I started showing a skin allergy to tomato vines (it’s pretty common), and the heat of the day makes it much worse. Long sleeves and get in quick and out faster.

The fall carrots coming up strong.

Alistaire with a red strawberry picked.

At Mother Earth News Fair I picked up a big group of unusual lavender plants to bring home. I put 5 of them in front of the caged grow beds.

And more berries during Smoke Fest 2018. I’d go water, and quickly pick.

The Dogwood tree put on seeds, which I always find pretty.

Salal berries coming into season.

Not one I like eating, too hairy for my taste. But great for dyeing!

First of the Evergreen Huckleberries.

August brought a lot of work. We started working on the upper part of our land, slowly starting the thinning and clearing out. The grapple on our tractor has helped a lot.

We buck the logs, then split when we have time.

Kubi was something we thought long about and picked up a few months ago. What it can do in a few minutes would take us hours or days. I cannot say how much it has helped us with this messy land.

Yellow Wonder and Regina berries.

Before our island got a full fire ban we made some amazing pizza in a wood burning stove I will talk more about later…I mean, this is pizza from a dream! Soon we won’t have a fire ban and can enjoy it again.

Oregon Grape producing native berries.

Mama and her 2 dorks, busy at work. These 3 have been regulars around here all summer. They like to sleep in the upper property most nights.

Late summer red raspberries.

And the influx of tomatoes starts! The payoff for all that work….

The smoke blew out finally, and the temperatures have settled in the last week.┬áMid 60’s to low 70’s, and evenings where you need a sweater. Soon the tourist season will end and the island will become quiet again.

September brings finishing new beds down in the field, installing the greenhouse (hopefully) and working on clearing more of the forested areas into healthy forest.

~Sarah