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Happy Fourth of July! This week has been amazing! Our week started out with light showers and continued until Wednesday. It was such a blessing. Here in Wyoming the grass just is not growing well. With the light late frost and then the extreme heat of the 100s in May, I fear that hay is going to be expensive and hard to find this year.

On the homestead, George and I have already made the decision to start talking to our hay producers now. We want to try to get at the top of their list when they decide to sell any of their hay. One of my worries is that with these drought like conditions, many hay producers will not have extra to sell. The pastures are also not as lush as we hoped they would be because of the late spring rains. But thankfully, with the addition of our electric fence supplies, we are able to implement a more strategic grazing system. Lord willing, if we get no hail this summer, we may be able to make our pastors last until December for the horses and November for the goats. This will result in less hay being fed, but we can't predict what next spring will bring us. We are still planning to get the same amount of hay we got last year. For the goats, my goal is to get 3 ton of Alfalfa and 2 ton of grass hay; instead of just 1 ton of Alfalfa and 4 tons of grass hay. Alfalfa is just a better feed for my diary girls through the winter. The higher calcium and protein help with their milk supply in our below zero temperatures. I ordered another electric fence for our goats in hopes of expanding their allotted grazing area. With a normal drying out of the grass every summer, the grass begins to lose some of its nutritional value. So, as a result the goats will need to eat more to get their daily requirements. I'm finding that rotational grazing is full of small idiosyncrasies. But, once I get them to line up a person can double or even triple their production on a small amount of land!

In the garden, we got our first harvest! The snow peas are doing amazing this year. Monday we got our first harvest that was beyond my morning snacks. I think the main reason I grow snow peas is to pick and eat a few everytime I'm in the garden. Let me tell you, I needed that extra energy this week with the heavy rains; the weeds got ahead of us. I think all of us together have put in 20 hours just weeding the garden. The pig and the chickens were happy to get all the extras. One thing I did notice is how much my soil in the new market style garden has improved this year. I have added compost to my garden every year but just not in this amount before. I've always been limited to the amount of compost I add by my checkbook. But, now with the addition of the goats and the goat barn I finally have enough waste to make large amounts of compost for ourselves. It's awesome!

Last year, I placed a large pile of compost on a section beside my garden I planned to extend out to this year. This spring we tilled this whole pile into about a 30 foot by 20 foot area. I can't believe the change in my soil structure. I have clay soil which resulted in me battling compaction and a hard crust that makes germination almost impossible. But, now my soil in this area is crumbly and the worm activity is just amazing! Compost has always been the solution. I just was not adding enough to make a difference. I think this is going to be a huge game-changer! Just maybe a Market Garden is in the future for Red Ridge Farms!

In the kitchen, I have been struggling with getting our menu plan back on track. With Covid eliminating some of our basic staples in the grocery stores in March, April and May I had to set a few of my recipes aside. I've been struggling to come up with new ones and now with summer in full swing I need to change over to my summer menu, but we have just been so busy. My goal is to do that this week!

Lord God, you are the Creator, you are the cultivator, You are The Great, I Am! Through you everything is made, through you everything is decided, everything is laid out in your book of Life. I ask you Lord, to lay your hands on our country, to fill those hearts of hate with love! To let love grow and expand over our country until we understand each other's pain, and our differences. The way you made us, is who we are! Who you made us is something that we can't change, how we grow up, the education that we get, are all things that happen. It is sad that our country still has places that don't get a good education and don't get what they need and it comes down to us. We as a society think about ourselves, we don't think about others we think about what that person did to us and what those people are going to do to me. We don't think about what we can do for them, how can we help them? Our country was founded on that principle, Lord how we can help others and today people don't do it. People don't try, it's hard to watch Lord and I know in the Book of Daniel you have promised to be our savior. No earthly king or rule can save us. In your name,Jesus Christ, I pray amen.

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