The Weekly Digs #214

by Becky

I know Fall is not far off, but with today’s above 100ºF temps, and the upcoming week of the same, I told Cam today when we were working in the garden that I felt like I was literally being cooked. 

We both laughed at the truth of it, then came in to see my little temperature gauge saying 105ºF with a “feels like” 124ºF temperature. Whoa! We were definitely in the warming oven temperature range 🙂 

Ever since having Riggs, I can’t seem to get myself up and ready early to beat the heat. So it’s partially my own fault we were cooking in the afternoon sun. 

Aside from sweltering in the sun, I’ve felt pretty good this summer with how well we’ve been keeping up with gardening and preserving. My spirits have been positive and I haven’t had postpartum depression like after my other pregnancies, yay!

Then this week Cam went back to work and Cruz went back to school. With my two big helpers gone most of the day, I was doing ok on Monday, but by Thursday I was crying randomly all day and reality was really sinking in. Trying to keep up has been hard!

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In the Garden

This is by far the busiest we’ve been and we have several gardening and preserving projects colliding. We are harvesting big buckets of beans, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and basil. 

In the midst of this, I’m also planting fall crops. I transplanted all my cabbages, which was awesome! Then came out a few days later to a major disappointment. A quarter of the cabbages got eaten by cutworms. 

Cabbages surrounded by cups to avoid cutworms. So far so good.

Luckily, I had some excess plants that I had already started and I replanted in a few spots, then I took plastic cups, cut out the bottoms, and slid them over the plants. 

Everything was looking good until today, and my cabbages were wilting in 105ºF heat. I don’t really have enough shade cloth to go around so I’m making a mental note to have more next year during the transition to fall crops.

A Case for Silage Tarps

Another fall crop I got started on was I planted my carrots directly into the ground. Then instead of covering the carrot planting with burlap like I usually do, this year I decided to try silage tarp with the white side facing up. 

My local farmer friend told me to try it a few years ago! He mentioned that is the way he plants them in the heat. 

I hesitated to follow through on his recommendation for a long time because I was scared I’d mess it up and kill my carrots. But I got the guts to try it this year.

When I first got the silage tarps, Cam and I made a video about how we wished we had bought bigger ones. But over time, I found even my 24x100ft tarp to be heavy and I have cut mine into smaller pieces so I could move them myself. 

And now that they are more easy to maneuver, I’m using them more and utilizing them better. At one point I thought I would eventually phase them out of my garden all together but they have been so useful, I am planning on buying 1 or 2 more.

I love all natural things, and I know the plastic in the tarp is not natural but I think because we use them on a temporary basis, there is very little negative impact. The benefits far outweigh any negatives! I bought my silage tarps HERE.

So back to the carrots, I planted the seeds and watered everything really well before covering with white side up tarp. I’m hopeful it will work, but this heat is insane. Time will tell  if my carrots will germinate or not. I ordered another pack just in case, although it will be getting late in the year if I have to plant again.

Preserving

When it comes to preserving, I got a double batch of chicken enchilada soup done. 14 quarts and two late nights up till 1am canning each batch of 7. Recipe comes from THIS BOOK. It’s the same book I use for cajun black eyed peas and some sausage and bean soup I made earlier this year.

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11 comments

Capri August 20, 2023 - 7:40 am

Hi Becky,
I have followed your blog and youtube for a while, and your content is the best!
It is so impressive that you get so much done with a little one, I remember how hard that is- things will get easier!
Hang in there, and thank you so much for your wonderful and informative videos 🙂

-Capri from California

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theseasonalhomestead August 20, 2023 - 10:31 pm

Hi Capri! Thank you so much! I really appreciate your kind words.

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Joanna August 20, 2023 - 1:26 pm

Wow!! I knew it was hot there but I had NO IDEA it was THAT HOT 💔😫🥵 You must be exhausted with the heat and all you do on your homestead!! Along with general mom duties, you homeschool also ❤️👏👍 Very amazing.
I’m sorry things started getting overwhelming when Cam and Cruz started leaving for the day. I am saying a prayer for you as to not get too depressed 🙏🙏🙏 You can do it!! You are one of the strongest moms I have ever had the pleasure of watching ❤️

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theseasonalhomestead August 20, 2023 - 10:32 pm

Thank you Joanna! I’m so grateful for the encouragement. I really need it right now 🙂

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Katie C. August 20, 2023 - 1:32 pm

Thanks for your reply to my questions 👍

That soup looks good. I’m going to have to check my Ball canning book for that one. I just recently canned pints of crushed tomatoes and quarts of chicken stock. I found a good price for onions so I’m going to try French onion soup next.

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Katie C. August 20, 2023 - 10:11 pm

Ok, I looked and couldn’t find a safe tested recipe for chicken enchilada soup. Would you publish yours or put up a link to it? Thanks

Stay cool!

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theseasonalhomestead August 20, 2023 - 10:30 pm

Yes, I linked it in the blog post! Sorry I forgot to do that earlier!

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Elisabeth August 24, 2023 - 11:45 am

I do not know how you do all things you do. No wonder you miss your helpers. 💕 I do not know you but I would like to encourage you to take care of your self, take your special little times just for you. To refresch your mind body and soul. I just had an experience from this summer that really had me down on my knees . Where I had to stop and start taking care of myself too. Taking care of others and prepering our garden took all my strength until I could not go on.

Interesting with burlap and silage tarps. Never heard anyone use burlap. It seems like a good way to do it. My parents used some kind of big black building plastic when I was a kid. Not the best thing probably for a garden but easy to work with.
In late spring/early summer they planted the potatoes in newly turned soil . Put the plastic over and left it for two weeks. The black plastic keept the moist and made the soil warmer. Then the potatoes had grown a bit but no weeds. In that way we seldom had to weed.

Now I leave some potatoes In the soil In the fall. Put ground cover over it. Like I do with the garden I will plant on come spring. In the beginning of summer I remove it and have potatoes growing. I do the same with garlic and have sometimes done the same thing with onion. It works well. Early potatoes and onion. But a bit more weeds than with plastic.
A friend of mine used old floor boards that she put over her carrot seed for 10 to 14 days until they show. It has worked well for her. So I guess keeping the moist and keep it dark and cool is the trick for carrots.
It works where we live in zon 4 to 5 in sweden.

Thank you for sharing.

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theseasonalhomestead August 27, 2023 - 2:50 am

Thank you! I really appreciate your thoughts, I needed to hear this. Also love the idea about keeping potatoes and onions in the ground over winter!

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Alison G August 21, 2023 - 2:52 pm

I never comment om blogs or vlogs or anything, but I can’t keep pushing down what I feel our Heavenly Father has laid on my heart as I struggled so hard and put WAY too much pressure on myself after the birth of our son.
First I must say an immense thank you for being so informative and allowing your viewers and readers into your life so much. You are an inspiration, and I have learned so much and am planning to ramp up my “landscaping garden” to do more and purchase more organically grown food because of you and the information you share. Honestly a complete life and perspective change to improve the lives of my family after they have had health issues.
Secondly, I have to say that while you have showed all of us how much you can do in the garden while also keeping your home and family going, from one over-achiever to another, your family needs you and your mental health in the long term, they need you more than your garden and preserving needs you. Your family needs you to take care of yourself and baby Riggs more than they need your homegrown food this year. I hope you understand this is coming from the heart and from the Lord, not from malice. Take a deep breath and know that you are doing the absolute best by taking care of yourself now so that you are able to take care of your family in the years to come.
I don’t care at all if this comment is not published, I just continue to hear God telling me to remind you that you are not alone and your babies need you more than the garden right now. Deep breath, Mama. Hugs!

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theseasonalhomestead August 27, 2023 - 2:46 am

Thank you! Honestly, I keep feeling that too, that I need to pull back somehow. I have been praying to figure out what I need to do less of so I can have more downtime. The garden is medicine for my mental health so I can’t stop entirely. I also have some business commitments I’ve already made and I need to fulfill. But once the crazy summer season settles I hope to relax and enjoy family time more. I appreciate the comment so much as it is so true.

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