Saturday, July 20, 2013

Farm Journal: Summer

"The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord." Psalm 33:5

As I looked out my cheery kitchen window this morning, this verse sang into my heart. How bountiful are the displays of God's goodness all around us, if we'll just take the time to notice them! After all, He wasn't obligated to make my garden vegetables so colorful and tasty. The sunsets so vibrant. The flowers so fragrant. But all this beauty around us is a daily reminder of His extravagant goodness. I'm so grateful -- aren't you?!

Alan and I celebrated our first year of marriage last month. What a delight it is to be married to this selfless, wise, passionate man of God. I continually marvel with heartfelt gratitude and enjoy every day with him!

And along with celebrating a year of marriage, I've also experienced my first year as a farmer's wife, complete with all the seasons of farming. The crazy planting and harvest hours. The opportunities to drive the grain cart -- or just tag along with my husband for the day. The cozy winter evenings. Buying cattle and cheering them to gain. Yep! It's been quite a learning experience for me!

This was my view last month, as I perched in the passenger seat and watched the waves of grain pour into our combine.

I've also enjoyed trying lots of new recipes as the summer fruits become in season. We've had an abundance of company again this spring/summer -- a complete delight. And since Alan and I both enjoy hospitality, our home is rarely quiet and I have ample opportunity to cook for more than two!

Of course, another major project these past few months has been the completion of a long-time dream: our children's CD! It was a rather hectic few weeks, getting everything completed with the deadlines we were hoping to achieve. Selecting. Arranging. Recording. Photo shoots. Graphic Art design. Decisions, decisions, decisions! But I'm so grateful for how well the finished project has turned out and I'm counting the days until the actual CD arrives! 

Another adventure this summer has been our gardens. Yes, this is just one of our three gardens -- and our vine plants are going WILD! Its fantastic to step out our back door and bring in buckets of produce. Our entire menu plan has now adjusted to fresh veggies fixed with as much creativity as I can muster.

And please don't ask what gave me the idea to plant 7 hills of summer squash. For a table of two. Yes, I know I was a bit crazy! Does anyone have new ideas for how to fix squash?! We can't eat it or give it away fast enough!

Ahhh, the joys of summertime gardens! 

As I look at the bounty around me in on the Kansas farm, 
I'm once again reminded of my verse for today.

Have you stopped to notice and to thank Him for His goodness?!


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to hearing your new album! Your crops are a lot further along than they are up north here. Our favorite thing to do with squash is to make spaghetti boats. Cut in half the long way, scoop out the seeds, fill with thick spaghetti sauce and bake till done. Add cheese on top of course for best taste!

Anonymous said...

When my summer squash are ahead of everything else, I cut them up and freeze them, and add some into my spaghetti sauce later on. I've also see somewhere where they sliced them into rounds, topped with a dollop of pizza sauce, a nice pinch of cheese, and baked it for a low carb "pizza" snack.

Anonymous said...

We love grilled squash, as well as roasted squash in the oven. Fried squash, zucchini bread. Yum!!

Anonymous said...

Shred your squash (including zucchini & carrots) and freeze. This winter you can use it in cakes, spaghetti sauce, and soups.

Sharon said...

It's wonderful to hear from you Rachel.

Love updates from the farm!!

Kristi said...

I actually used my yellow summer squash to make sweet dill pickles, since the recipe said I could use either cucumbers or zucchini. I don't know that the pickles will be crunchy, but they are sure to taste yummy on sandwiches!
Blessings to you!
Kristi (Unger) W.

Pearl said...

Squash lasagna.

Chinese like to stirfry squash, zucchini, mushrooms, and tofu in some oil & soy sauce. It'll be a different taste. :)

Other than that? I'm not sure. I just went through squash abundance myself.


Hannah Kilpatrick said...

We have made dill pickles with summer squash that are delicious!

Jenny said...

Wow - you have been busy!

Beautiful photographs! x

Sarah and Amanda said...

Its so great to hear from you! We're so happy for you and Alan, God has truly blessed you! Sounds like a very full and exciting life you have.

One thing we do with our yellow squash is chop it in small pieces, sauté it in olive oil and onions, and serve it with Parmesan cheese on top. :) Thats AWESOME that you planted that much squash! Its fun to have surplus :) Hope you can find lots of uses for it.

May God bless you! Have a wonderful summer :)

Aaron and Naomi said...

Since our summer squash did great this year, but not our zucchini, I've been using the squash in place of zucchini in my favorite zuc. recipes. Also tried summer squash patties the other day (like a fritter/hush puppy, only made like a tuna or mashed potato patty) and they turned out well :)

Anonymous said...

Looks like you all are keeping busy but that's a great thing to be busy! I don't like not having something to do.
In Christ,

Jennifer said...

Here's one of our favorite ways to make zucchini squash. Gardens look great! Can't wait for the new CD.

Alison said...

What a wonderful "Farm Journal" installment! Your gardens look and sound lovely. It's great to hear that you and Alan are doing well and that you are enjoying your life together. I took am excited about your new project, as well as "Step by Step". :)