Summertime in the Mountains

Starting Tuesday I will be starting a little summertime book exchange and seed exchange here on the blog. So get those extra fall/winter seeds out and those homesteading books dusted off!

Summer is usually a really busy time for us. This year, however, our garden is much smaller which cuts out a lot of the canning and cooking and weeding I usually do. The garden size is almost disappointing for me this year because I became accustomed to a large space to work in with a tall fence to keep hungry critters out. Now we have just one lonely garden bed surrounded by fencing. It will take until next spring to buy enough fencing to make a space like we have had in previous years, but we’ll get there. The first year somewhere new is always the hardest, isn’t it?

In the meantime, I would like to take the remainder of this year to learn (or rather teach myself) some new skills.

Archery
Our lot is bordered by only two houses and a nice big field… the perfect area to shoot some arrows. I have this ridiculous idea in my head that I’ll be crouched out in the brush or riding horseback hunting hares and deer in my yard like some native. That will never happen, but I do want to learn for the pure fun of it.

Fiddle
I bought a cheap fiddle (violin) on Amazon a year ago and have, admittedly, not played it much. I was teaching myself to play it fairly easily by just downloading some tablature for songs I already know. Tablature is like sheet music for people who can’t “read music”. It is very convienent and is also how I learned to play guitar years ago. No one is going to be playing orchestra or symphony worthy pieces around here, but it would be nice to be able to play more than Home On The Range or Jingle Bells. Yep, just two songs. If I could spend the rest of the year learning to play Orange Blossom Special (the ultimate fiddle song) decently, I would be a happy girl.

Hunt
Hunting has never really been on my radar until recently. Not because I am squeemish about killing animals or even dressing animals. It has just never been an intrest of mine. I am also not to fond of deer meat. But now that I am faced with the possiblilty of needing to process goats at some time in the future, I think that a hunting experience would benefit me; especially considering I have never processed anything larger than a rabbit. Making friends with a hunter seems like a good next step.

Are there any new skills or hobbies you are looking forward to this year?

8 thoughts on “Summertime in the Mountains

  1. and I am the opposite I had a job processing deer during deer season when i lived in Nevada so I learned how to cut the different cuts and make grouns venison and sausage meat. so if you want help when you process goats let me know I will come out easiest if you have a way to hang them up from the tendons on their back legs then gravity does alot of the work for you, thankfully the deer were gutted and heads removed before i processed the meat. i cant look in their eyes they have such gentle looking eyes

    • Taking off the heads is definitely the hardest part… no matter what species. It will be at least 10 more months before I do in any goats, so I’ll let you know when the time comes. We can do a little trade: butchering help for meat. I am kind of hoping I can sell the little buggers before then though. I rather have cash on hand than spend cash on feeding them longer.

  2. That exchange sounds great, Sarah!
    As to the fiddle, if you buy the tapes for the Suzuki violin programme and listen to them (one song at a time for the first week or so), it will help you immensely. My younger son played Suzuki violin from age eight and was excellent at it. Now I’m thinking of it, they likely have the music on CDs these days 🙂 It begins with “Twinkle, Twinke” and goes on to variations of that (to master rhythms, etc.), then on to other well-known songs. Once you get through those, you’ll have a great start. You might even find a Suzuki teacher willing to give you a lesson at times or to trade a lesson for something off your farm. Just a thought . . . ~ Linne

    • I have heard of Suzuki violin, but I guess I hadn’t realized that they sold tapes or CDs with the lesson manuals (or in addition to). I’ll have to order a copy on Amazon or something. I did look into teachers around here for Cami, but not surprisingly, could not find any.

  3. We’ve just started winter so I’m into the learning stuff now (not that Iever stopped 😉 ). A friend came and culled our lambs the other month and I was out there, elbow deep learning to kill then skin and gut, then butcher 2 sheep. Making sausages was next. We’re also hard at work with home educating the kids and that’s a lesson a minute! We’re also looking into kids being on the autism spectrum so there’s lessons to learn and skill too with living with ASD and how best to work with our kids. I still have 2 lamb skins in the shed needing processing so I will be learning to tan skins too. Grafting is on my list to learn as I’m growing as many of our apples from seed as I can. I also need to learn to prune and both of those skills will be practised on the local seed grown wild apples around about town. 🙂 I hope to pick up archery again in the Summer and continue to hunt with my friend. So much to learn, so little time! 😉

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