We are now well on they way to autumn but our weather is still so hot. Last week we saw winds from the sahara blowing up through Spain. This wind increased our temperatures from mid 30s to 40+. It was uncomfortably hot day and night but thank goodness this week is cooler, a mere 35 during the day falling to a comfortable 20 something at night. We still have to follow the summer ritual of windows open at night and closed during the day with curtains shut to keep out the heat. This keeps the house very cool...about 22 degrees inside which can be a little bit of rest from the heat if it all gets too much!
In the last 6 weeks we have had 3 weeks taken up with visitors. We have noticed with having the well pump that our batteries are suffering whilst the visitors are here. Since our last visitors left 5 days ago we have consciously been cutting back on using power to enable the batteries to charge fully. It took 4 days to get them full, normally every afternoon they are full and this is when we have about 12kw coming in everyday! 
Since my last post we have had tomatoes ripen. We planted 100 plants in the spring and have had kilos upon kilos of tomatoes. I have made them into sauce for cooking and stored them in jars. We have done about 70 jars in total. I have made ketchup to last us the winter, jars of baked beans, dried the smaller ones in the dehydrator and made green tomato chutney too
o.
This is just some of our stored produce.


We have had a few friends give us their grapes this year. As they ripen we have been invited to go and help ourselves. We have been deseeding and drying them to make a store for the winter months. Kev has also been out picking blackberries, we put these into plastic pots and freeze them to make pies when cooked with apples.


This is just one bag. Kev has picked 3 of these so far!

Over the last few weeks, our friend the shepherd has been giving us lots of milk as a payment for the water we share with him. This has meant that we have been able to make lots of cheese. I have been leaving the milk in the fridge for 2 days and then skimming the cream off. I have been making butter with this cream and any surplus cream is stored in the freezer to use later in the year. After the cream is taken off I make the cheese. I have made fresh cheese to store in the freezer, added herbs and garlic to eat now and made a range of hard cheeses as an experiment to see which we like.


These are just some of the cheeses I have stored.

As you most probably see we are very busy preparing for the winter months. Almond time is upon us again so picking and husking begins in earnest this coming week. We sell the nuts and this year will be buying a petrol chainsaw with the proceeds. This will help with collecting wood, which is another thing we have been doing over the last few weeks. Our wood stores look healthy but this will only last a few months and so a lot more is needed yet!


This is pine


This is grape vine.

There is still lots more laying around it is just finding the time to go and fetch it.