Project Week

Project Week: Pantry Check, Wood Splitting, Garlic Harvest

Project Week: Pantry Check, Wood Splitting, Garlic Harvest

Chocolate Box Cottage Diary Vol. 1
Week 27: July 9, 2021

It has been a quiet week. Sam took the week off and we have been working on projects. We are planning a week-long staycation later this summer with planned activities and rest; you could call this Project Week. The main tasks we had in mind were: a mid-summer pantry check, wood splitting, and the garlic harvest.

Project Week: Wood Splitting
Done; the wood is all split and stacked for next winter

Sam is continuing to make progress on the “new” woodshed made from materials salvaged from the old one. It reminds me of a Rubik’s cube the way all the bits and pieces need to fit together in the building process. We want to avoid buying any new wood because it would not match. And it’s expensive. And it’s a fun challenge for Sam. He split next winter’s wood supply, by hand, and it is neatly stacked on pallets for air circulation so that it will cure properly and burn well in the Blaze King wood stove.

Gate at Chocolate Box Cottage
Chocolate Box Cottage boasts an unusual number of gates; at least 15. Gates require periodic maintenance to swing and latch properly.

Sam completed a slew of small fix-it projects:

  • straightening gates that used to hang a bit “off” 
  • cleaning out the henhouse and repairing the henhouse door
  • weed eating, and more.
Sand Stars quilt in progress
The back of a quilt-in-progress is never pretty. This is an English paper-pieced (EPP) quilt made by hand by wrapping fabric pieces around diamond-shaped cardboard templates made from discarded manilla file folders. I named this quilt Sand Stars.

Meanwhile, I have continued working from home part-time. I found time to re-read several books (old favorites), complete some small decluttering tasks, and do some English paper-piecing (EPP; hand quilting). If you are interested in learning how, see the book Quilting on the Go by Jessica Alexandrakis.

I took a visual inventory of the pantry closet where I keep my home-canned foods and am making decisions about what to preserve this year and what to use up soon. 

Pantry Check
Our home-canned food supply is dwindling, which is proper for summer.
  • Plenty of jams and fruit butters; we are used to saving them, we need to give ourselves permission to go ahead and eat them! 
  • Zero pickles left
  • A smattering of tomato products. I like to have a 2- year supply of canned tomatoes and tomato products like pizza sauce, crushed tomatoes flavored with herbs, and salsa on hand. 
  • I don’t can broth and beans anymore, instead I freeze these.
pastured steak, zucchini noodles, biscuit
Grilled steak from pastured, local beef, spiralized garden zucchini noodles roasted with herbs and olive oil, and a drop biscuit

We both have enjoyed slower-paced mornings and unhurried meals. 

Watering is a daily task. No baking this week. We are eating our way through the last batch (6 loaves) of whole wheat sandwich bread I froze before the heat wave.

Project Week: Garlic Harvest
We planted garlic cloves from the grocery store the last 2 years since moving and leaving our garlic behind in our previous garden. This fall we plan to order seed garlic for planting.

We dug the garlic crop earlier than usual. Due to the intense heat of the past couple of weeks the leaves died back sooner. 

July 2021 Walkabout
I keep a notebook documenting our monthly walkabouts.

We also took a monthly walkabout our property, noting the upcoming fruit crops (apples, grapes, peaches, plums, pears, figs, blackberries), what is in bloom, wild herbs to be harvested and processed for medicine, and what needs attention around our homestead. 

I love my TUL mechanical pencils. Sam bought me a pack of 2 for Christmas. One lives in my day planner and the other floats around where needed. You can find them here:

If you would like to share, I would love to hear about your week in the comments!



    • We got a lot done…when I say “we,” I mean Sam.😆

  • You have created such a beautiful life. I thoroughly enjoy reading about it! It’s almost like reading a fairytale. Truly!

    • Oh my, now that is a sweet compliment, thank you! Life isn’t always easy, but the combo of taking a step back to see the big picture + focusing on small things to be grateful for can make any life feel more like a fairytale, including villains!

  • That’s a lot of gates but I love the style of the ones I’ve seen. Such a beautifully stacked woodpile. We could use some stacking lessons. Ours is just a pile heap! Lol

    • Sam approaches wood stacking the way most people approach a puzzle. He “sees” spaces and his mind automatically searches for the “right” piece to plug into the space. I’m not nearly as good at it. But hey, if you’ve got wood that’s what matters!!

    • You’re in luck, I just added the zucchini recipe! You can find it here:
      I will add biscuits soon!


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