The southern heat is killing me

My view from the milk stool has been silent lately. My Yankee blood is showing – we’ve had what feels like hundreds of days in 90+ weather with very little rain. This happens every year, I don’t know why it upsets me so much every year. Partially because every year, it hits me with my pants down – or at least so it seems. Let me tell you, when your pants are down in this type of weather – you know, when you’re sweating like a pig (do pigs sweat?). It makes it hard to pull your pants back up.

Anyway, last weekend, Wally and I got the irrigation installed but it doesn’t seem to be as effective as it should be. Drops of water are coming out of the holes in the drip tape, but it’s not soaking the garden, however, in doing some quick research, drip irrigation needs to run for a long time in order to get an inch of rain. So back to the drawing board on that, however, there’s not much left growing in the garden. As I wrote a while back, the soil/compost mixture that I purchased from Earth Farms Organics in Dallas was awful. It was awful this year and awful the year before. It’s like planting in sawdust – which essentially all it seems to be – ground up and composted wood. The good thing is, we now have a tractor that we can turn compost with so we’ll never have to buy it again.

I’m down to milking once a day which is a relief. I’m getting about 2.5 gallons from the six goats I’m milking. I took a break from making cheese. It’s tough this time of year because of the wild yeast in the air and the bloody fruit flies. I’m back to making it again. I’ve got a two gallon batch of feta cheese salted and air drying as well as two gallons of milk fermenting. It’ll be made into ash-coated lactic acid cheeses. I managed to figure out how to get the humidity up in my cheese cave which will help. I found a used cheese press which should be shipped to me soon.

It looks like we’re finally going to get some rain over the next few days which will help. I try to get in the garden every morning and get something done in it – be it weeding or harvesting weeds for the rabbits. I planted cover crops all around the beds which is working pretty well. I’ve got three healthy squash plants growing. I have to remove the squash bug eggs several times a week, but I haven’t seen any squash bugs. The cover crop is feeding the bees. The Bermuda grass is still trying to take over – I have to pull it up as it tries to grow over the mulch that covers the black plastic that’s under the beds. I do have a lot of beans to harvest and it’s almost time (or in some cases past time!) to get fall crops planted so I best get my butt in gear.

So, I’ve been silent. I’m tired. It’ll all be okay. I’ve been cooking some amazing meals lately, many of them including products we’ve grown as well as other local ingredients. Next year, if all goes well, we’ll have babies on all of the goats so if I’d rather not milk, I don’t have to. And as it always works out, I don’t have as much milk available and now everyone wants it. Oh well.

Until later …