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Busy Farm Weekend

 giant orange and black bumblebee

We had a busy weekend filled with farm activities. This past week, we took care of Patch the donkey while his owners were on vacation. He's a sweet animal. But it did mean a few extra chores every day. Everyone helped and we even managed to get his stall all cleaned out on Saturday before his owners returned.

I've spent many hours in the garden, planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting. We also weeded around our hundred or so blueberry bushes (that was a terrible chore). Yesterday, I saw a giant orange and black bumblebee on the blue borage flowers. It was the biggest bumblebee I've ever seen. It was drifting from flower to flower, just like the smaller bees. Above is the best photo I was able to get, but it doesn't do the bee justice. I mean, he was ENORMOUS, the size of four regular bumblebees.  

My husband helped me hang a vintage goose tea towel rack my sister gave me ages ago. We had to put a couple of anchors into our lathe and plaster wall, which is why I hadn't managed to do it myself. Wall anchors and lathe and plaster scare me. I just know that if I tried to do it, I'd end up smashing a big hole in the wall. Take a look at the result. I'm using it to hang herbs for drying.

goose tea towel rack vintage

It holds the herbs perfectly, and this is about as many herbs as I have the enthusiasm to bring in at once. Although I do have homegrown catnip in the food dehydrator right now.  I give some to the cats and the rest can be used in tea. 

goose tea towel rack vintage

Isn't the tea towel rack charming? I've been wanting to hang it up there ever since my sister was sweet enough to give it to me. It fits this house perfectly.

I also made some plum jelly using frozen plum juice from last year's harvest. The juice was saved for making jelly when I had more time. Well, it was time to use it up. This plum jelly is slightly tart. I used Pomona's Pectin so that I could use a recipe with less sugar.

sour plum jelly

I have a feeling I'll have a hard time leaving the jelly alone. If you love sour gummy worm candy (and I do), you'll love tart plum jelly. Just follow the recipe inside the package of Pomona's Pectin.

It's getting to be that time of year when I set a goal to harvest and preserve a little bit every day. Right now, herbs are a good choice since they will want to start flowering if not trimmed back.

The bees are doing well. I've been making regular posts in our bee journal. To keep from getting stung through my jeans again, I've been wearing a pair of my husband's pants over the top of mine for an extra layer of protection.