The temperatures are rising here and it is getting too hot to work outside during the day. Hence not much has been achieved this week. I love and hate this time of year. I love it because it makes us slow down and take stock. We plan plantings for the autumn and decide on the important stuff that needs doing as the cooler weather arrives. I hate it for the same reasons...we have to slow down and so for the next 3 months nothing much will get finished. It gets very frustrating when things stop and are only half finished.
We have just started to get up at the crack of dawn to give us a few hours of cool work time before the heat sets in and we have to stop. This means that we begin to take a siesta in the afternoon, when it is really hot, to ensure that we keep up with our sleep. Our eating times also change. Very often it feels so hot that you just don't want to eat. We normally eat about 8.30 pm but at this time of year it can be 10 pm before we sit down to enjoy our meal. We have had an extra problem this year too.The weather has been so dry that weather warnings for forest fires came into effect a lot earlier than normal. This means that the enclosed barbacoa (barbecue) cannot be used. This just leaves me with the gas hob on which to cook and it can get very hard to vary our diet purely because of the cooking methods employed.
So, back to this week. The white turkey that decided to sit on duck eggs hatched all 3 this week. Unfortunately 2 died just after they hatched but 1 survived. We realised very early on that the white turkey had decided to abandon the duckling. The duckling was brought inside and put under the brooder with our other duckling Dora. They got on famously from the beginning, snuggling together. I am glad that Dora now has a friend as raising a single duckling is time consuming and can lead to disaster when they become older. We think that the white turkey had just had enough...she had been sitting for over 7 weeks in all. She wanted her freedom back and is now happily mooching around the land with the others.
Our little banty Black tail, hatched 2 live chicks this time around. 2 more hatched but died soon after. We are beginning to think that the rising temperatures are affecting the hatching rate, but we will keep our eyes on this to develop a plan for next summer.

We have also found another little banty sitting on eggs...but we cannot say when she started sitting as she has always been around at feeding time. 
We begun to set up the watering system for the fruit trees. So far 4 of the trees have been linked and the soil in between them too. I am planning on planting artichokes and fruit bushes here so that the trees will provide shade. Along the fence I want to plant sunflowers or corn again to provide some shade for other plants. The final watering system for all of the trees will be in 4 parts and come from a 1000l container that someone gave us. We are planning to put taps on the parts that are not yet planted up so that we can turn it off until needed.

As for what is growing in the garden...the lettuce is doing brilliantly and we have had some strawberries this year too. Our 2 surviving strawberry plants are giving off runners that we are pegging down around the inside of the horse shoe mound. Hopefully we will have lots of strawberries next year! I have just started to pick the runner beans and the cherry tomatoes are beginning to ripen.

Our larger tomato plants are fruiting and all the seeds planted out 2 weeks ago are beginning to sprout. The kale is still producing well and our potatoes seem to be thriving as well. The test will be when we dig them up to see if we actually have managed to grow any this year. We have 2 surviving summer squash plants that are just beginning to fruit. This dry year really has played havoc with our garden. It is sad to see all the beds at the back sitting empty, just no point in planting them up.
Unfortunately our grape vines have lost all their flowers. We have had a really bad year for fruit this year. Most of the trees have not produced anything but our little apple tree has about 30 apples on it.