Sunday, November 6, 2016

Shawwal 1437 /August 2016

August wins, hands down, as our favorite month of the year, masha'Allah! Although we were already living here last year, we were traveling a great deal and really weren't on the farm enough to see the changes in weather and growth, This year, we were here the whole month and have named it Amazing August, wa al hamdulillah,

Of the 31 days in August, we had rain for 28 of them – long, nourishing rains, huge thunderstorms with torrential rain and hail, half-hour drenching showers, you name it! Every morning, bright sunshine and by afternoon/evening or night, the familiar approach of clouds and that blessed water from Allah. While temperatures in July were in the 60's at night and 80-90's most days, August nights were in the 50's to low 60's and day temperatures fluctuated between 70 – 80 degrees F.

This was our month for maximum growth. We enjoyed zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, onions, and corn from our land, sunflowers grew in rows large as trees with 40 – 60 heads per plant, the pasture flourished, and the cream line on our Jersey cows' milk was almost half the jar, masha'Allah. Needless to say, we ate plenty of homemade, organic ice cream during this month!


Here is the recipe we love the most.

1 quart raw cream
1 pint whole raw milk
3 organic egg yolks
2 teaspoons non-alcoholic vanilla
pinch of sea salt
½ – ¾ cup organic maple syrup

Mix together well, freeze in a shallow container, stirring every hour for first four hours then leave to set.

August was also a month for preparing for colder months, as we reassessed our aims and did a reality check regarding animals over the winter. We originally came here to be modern-day homesteaders, taking care of our needs as far as possible and selling any surplus. We have gone far beyond that within the past year, but considering the cost of feeding animals and the amount of work involved, we started looking at downsizing to return to our original plan. With three pregnant cows, and one still needing to be bred, we started planning to sell three, keeping only one for our family. We also decided that it wasn't cost effective to keep the meat rabbits over the winter, because it is too cold for the bunnies to survive immediately after birth and so we would be feeding them for six months of the year with no production.

We continued to have difficulty getting the final permission to get our mobile home moved, and resorted to calling our congressman, and then our governors office. Al hamdulillah, the governors office came through and on August __ we finally got our mobile home delivered. This was important because we knew we would need time to renovate it before the weather became too cold. During the time it was sitting, before being transported to our land, the wood stove and an air conditioner were stolen from it. Al hamdulillah! We knew that Allah would give us better than what was taken from us, and that on Yawm il Qiyamah we would be extremely thankful to whoever stole from us, when they provide us expiation or elevation.

The mobile home was painted completely orange by the previous owner... walls, ceilings, floors, closets – everything. It also had a propane water heater and furnace that we didn't want, and appliances that we didn't need. We first went about stripping it of old carpeting, excess shelves, removing the water heater and furnace, taking out all the appliances, and moving all the things we wanted to keep to storage until we finished renovating. 

The children were excited that they left a homemade sled, some good books, and bag of winter hats, gloves, and scarves.

Shariyf was pleased that they left tools, a water pump, air beds, storage caddies, and several trash bins.

Mai was grateful that they left high end baking trays, kitchen ware, and all the large stones surrounding the wood stove.

With an estimated two months needed to paint and move in, armed with painting supplies, rags, and buckets of soapy water, we set aside time each day to work on our new home.

Check back for the next update to see our progress.

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