End of August on the Homestead

And here we are at the end of August. Our twenty-first year of homeschooling is well underway. We have had our first wood stove fire of the season. There was a recent skiff of fresh late summer snow in the nearby mountains. I am in the mood to make or bake something nearly all of the time, it seems, as summer has begun a perceptible transition to autumn. I *love* this time of the year. {smile}

:: Matilda ::
The air is still quite smoky, most days. We don't have any fires nearby that I am aware of but my children still think it "smells like a campfire" outdoors and there is a haze in the distance and hovering over the mountain that we live on. We continue to pray for the safety of those directly affected by the fires that are still burning.

The pastures crunch beneath our feet when we walk through them since the tall grass is so dry, and only the hardiest of wildflowers remain.

:: lovely lady ::
Our hens have been roaming each day and gobbling up the grasshoppers that seem to thrive during the end-of-summer dry weather. Most of our chickens are getting quite old but they are still blessing me with enough eggs to keep my homestead kitchen supplied, for now.

We lost one of our old chickens this month. That leaves me with a teeny flock of eight hens. Lord willing, we will be getting more chicks in the spring.

:: some of our happy ducks ::
Our ducks are laying occasionally, too! We have three female ducks in our bunch of six. Again... thinking of adding to the numbers in the spring! {smile}

:: chicken walkabout ::
The grasses in the barnyard and close to our house are still pretty green. Our chickens roam about each day to do what free-range chickens do. We have been rotating our goats onto the grass, too.

I found the *cutest* wethers for sale recently... they were perfect in every way except they still had horns. We have maintained a hornless herd for many years and as tempting as it was to bring those fellas home to our farm I had to tell myself no. Patience, patience!

Our quest for more dairy goats continues as well. I am purchasing goat milk at our local grocer for now and I can't wait to have our farm produced goat milk again someday.

And we are thrilled that we got our three biggest winter prep projects completed this month. Our propane tank is filled, we got our hay, and we got our firewood. Woot!

:: my first loaf of artisan sourdough bread ::
Do I need another hobby? {smile} I must because I am becoming interested in artisan bread baking. After baking nearly all of our daily bread and buns and rolls and other baked goods for the past twenty-five years I have become interested in making my loaves kinda artsy. Fancy, but in a rustic way.

Ralph (my sourdough starter) and I have been baking together for about eight years (Ralph is fantastic!) and today we made our first loaf of sourdough artisan bread. I used a knife to score the top and just went for it. I was pleased with my first attempt... it does smell delicious.

:: smoky August sunset ::
One more day and August will be but a memory. For me, it will be a good one. I do hope that August was a good month for you as well, friends.


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