Steamy, sticky, muggy and hot August is the usual weather here in Western Illinois, but this year it has been dry and moderate, mostly in the eighties with cool clear evenings. It reminds more of September and I end up dreaming of the crispy crunch and aroma of autumn leaves. But not so fast please. So much yet to do this summer...
The peach tree delivered a plethora of peaches - dripping-down-the-chin-juicy-sweet. Many were scarred with Japanese beetle bites but they tasted amazing nonetheless. I'm already trying to figure out how I can do better next year. Our four pears trees were all struck with fire blight to some degree but not so much that I had to remove limbs. It was our best pear year ever. I've saved the last one for me....it lies in the fruit basket ripening. I can hardly wait.
I harvested the garlic just in time this year. So many years I wait too long and the tops break off and I have to go excavating the garlic field to find the treasure. Due to the drought, the garlic is smaller this year, but the concentration of oils is superb. I completed the harvest and set them in the garlic dryer for a couple of weeks. Now they are ready to sell or to make into garlic powder. But of course I will save the biggest ones for seed.
Before progress on the house could be made, we had to wait until the guys from Morton Building braced the sides of the basement prior to backfilling. The south side of the basement is a common wall with the garage and so we had to compact layer after layer of rock/clay mixture, four to six inches at a time - ten feet tall and about four feet wide. Gary worked for days while I was preparing for Market. But Saturday we had to finish so I gave him a helping hand. By 9:30 at night we completed the job and actually had a pretty presentable surface prepared for the guys. Rain was expected the next day.... it never came.
While we worked on the backfilling, the guys worked on various walls of the house. This is the north end of the building over the walkout basement. Believe it or not, they will attach this somehow to a giant crane and set the whole thing in place at once.
This is the view outside and through our current living room window. The crane could be seen from a mile away. It lifted both the north and south walls and also the giant support beams. Amazing.
In one day the house had structure!
By the end of the week the guys will have framed and placed most of the windows inside and out, and applied most of the siding on the east and west sides. Today, they even started insulating the ceiling and placed some metal on the roof.
I set up a camera in the work site which takes a picture every thirty seconds and have recorded the daily progress through time lapse photography. When they are completed I will have the days all put together into one video and we will be able to see the whole process. It's really fun to watch. The camera did not capture the height of the building on the first day with the crane.... I had to guess how high the house would go. Since then I've adjusted the view and doubled the picture rate which makes for a smoother video.
And on a different note, I'm truly enjoying the flower farming this year. Zinnias, cosmos, ammi graceland, verbena, dahlias, snapdragons, gladiolus, goldenrod, foxglove, strawflowers, and asters make up the current pickings. I had the pleasure of picking flowers for a wedding this week. Eight huge bucket fulls. They were beautiful. I hope their special day was filled with the wonder of color.
The days are full. Oh-so-full. But the scurrying of summer is slowing. Now I wait for broccoli starts to grow, beets to fill out, and pumpkins to swell. The mums are just starting to open. The gourds are forming and the winter squash sweetening.
And the farm stand is finally open!
Today's Journey Joys: podcasts on long drives on Hwy 80, waves of field corn in the summer breeze, our farm home taking shape, fall produce beginning, safe journeys to far away places, adventures for father and son and fish, mom and daughter time together, hummingbirds greeting me at the flower garden, meat chickens ready to process, apples crunchy and sweet and frisky kittens playing.