Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

It's a nice rainy day for a Bonfire and to test out the new Cider Press with lots of family and friends. Yum!

Our entertainment for the evening will be watching Tart try to avoid Ajax who's trying to get some lovin' in the Love Shack -- and 'shack' it truly will be: a chewed on calf hutch...but it will be warm and cozy for the lovers and keep out the rain. At least Ginger is done crying out her love for Ajax, so he can focus on, uh, poor Tart.

Troy and Paul had a lovely run for the newspaper this morning. And now we're all settled in and happy for the day!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Love Shack

What a beautiful day. We took advantage of it, and set up the Love Shack for Ajax and his visiting guest. Tart from WindyFields Farm is coming tomorrow, in hopes that Ajax can fertilize her up with about...oh, six babies would be kinda cool...but maybe, let's stick with three...she's just a little goat! So triplets would be good. So, I'll have a talk with Ajax tomorrow about what he should be doing and then Tart will be here for some lovin' over the weekend.

I also tied up the bee hives for the Winter. How sad. Now, it's up to them to make it through until Spring. Everybody keep your fingers crossed for them--and all the HoneyBees out there!

I planted my garlic seed bulbs. I planted a box and a half with garlic...the one 4x4 box having done so nicely this year, I am hoping for an even BIGGER crop next summer.

Now, I just need to clean up some garden art and get that stored away and plant the last of the daffodil bulbs...and I'll be ready for a little bit of snow...then spring!

Happy Farming!

Ginger is either in heat, or about to die. She sounds

terrible, screaming out her love for Ajax -- who, right now, is busy eating, but in a few minutes will be trying as hard to get to her as she is to get to him.

What a life!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chickin' Killin'

No pictures, but I am sure most of you are happy about that!

We went to our friends' farm to help them process eight chickens. We'd never done it before, and we wanted to see what it would be like. I was thinking that I might come out of it a vegetarian, but I must admit, I actually feel better about eating meat. I feel that in having taking part in the processing of some birds and seeing what it actually involves gives me more of a 'right' to eat meat. It's knowing that I know exactly what's involved and that I am not pretending that it comes from Hannaford--you know, where the eggs come from...and the goat cheese...and the milk.

It was not a pleasant thing, but it felt good to be there to help. We didn't do any of the killing ourselves and Mark was kind enough to cut the heads off before they came to us, but we helped dunk them into the hot water to soften the feathers for plucking. We helped pluck and Paul helped to cut off the legs and wing tips. Mark took out the innards and then we helped wash and ice the birds. I think we helped to alleviate some of the pressure off of Mark and Laura and next time, maybe we'll feel a little more confident and can help with some of the...uh, messier parts of the process. And we took home one of their previously processed meat birds to try -- not sure I'm ready to say 'Yum' about a dead, whole chicken to cook...but maybe in a few days.

I guess the turkeys are next. Yikes...

Oh, and Dinner escaped the slaughter today...he was too free for us to catch...

Pictures for Mom

Lillie on the rocks!

Paul with Annie!

The chickens, including Dinner, our little rooster who is 'spose to go to the freezer today...but Paul let them all out...I think to save him!

And our Troy!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

~~ Zen Goatkeeping ~~

That's when all the goats charge you and they spill their food so they all fight over one bowl...and then while you're trying to fix that, goats that shouldn't be in that stall sneak in and start stealing food, so that your good milking goat is losing out on all the food and your non milking goats are just getting fat on food, and you're trying to push out baby goats while keeping in momma goats and you're ready to scream and cry and ... well, that's Zen Goatkeeping!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Things are cooling down these actually

snowed on Sunday! Not a good omen for our outdoor Halloween Bonfire, but we will carry on in any case. We must test out the new cider press...

The bees seem to have mostly settled themselves in for the winter. I have not seen them out and about for a while. And I must get to work on tying them up and sending out the final bee update for the bee share.

Goats are happy and fat. Ginger is giving us milk each day, though we have slowed her up with a few off days that confused her cycle of producing, but we are working on getting her back on track. Annie was in heat yesterday, bawling at Ajax, and Ajax was desperate to get out of the pen to get to his "love". Perhaps, when Tart from WindyFields comes for a visit, that will help satiate his appetite. In the mean time, we know Annie is due to heat again on November 10 for April decisions: breed her? Breed her to our Jax? Or to WindyFields Bud?

This Sunday, we are off to help WindyFields Farm slaughter chickens. They have 8 to do and we are thinking of bringing Dinner--the rooster, not food. Very sad! But as we have never killed or should make for an interesting day!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

One of Those Days

It's one of those days where you wonder why you get up at the crack of dawn to feed eleven goats, a bunch of chickens, and a guardian dog so that you can fight with the goats later for a third of a cup of milk and then search around the hayloft in the barn for three measly eggs.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Not so Bad

Got half a cup. Think we just need to keep at it and we won't have lost too much time and...milk.

The last of the boys got banded today. Aria's boys, Mozart and Puccini.

And we're starting to think about spring kidding! Yikes.

We went away for the Weekend and are now going to

test the theory that you can leave your milking goats with the babies for a few days and still come back and milk. Both our milkers look very small in the udder, but we separated them and will see tonight when we try to milk how true that theory is. Hope we didn't mess up the whole thing up--we don't have all the milk we need for cheese and soap yet.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Punkin Harvest!

Spent the day finishing up things in the yard and preparing for...ummm, dare I say it? Winter.

The garden is all ready for spring. I finished harvesting the rest of the potatoes and pumpkins and cleared out each bed and covered it with manure. I might put cardboard over the beds and cover with more manure, but that depends on how quickly time sneaks by. I prepared two beds for garlic and need to plant those.

We pruned bushes and mowed the lawn, cleaned stalls, trimmed hooves, and kept ourselves busy and out of trouble. I feel pretty good about things. I didn't finish all that I would have liked, but I feel that we're back on track.

Now, I am finishing up a batch of whey bread now, while P makes coffee! Yum.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vonnegut and Goliath

The two boys went to their new home with the two boys yesterday. They look so little without their brothers and sisters around...and so...lonely. But they are LOVING all the attention they get...and they don't have to share with six other baby's all for them.

C and C spent lots of time with the kids, loving them and playing with them and welcoming them to the new farm. The only time V and G got lonely was when everyone went in for a little while, but they settled down and are going to be very happy.

C and C promised to take very good care of their new buddies and feed them and water them and most importantly--love them. So we're all very happy.

Mommy and siblings here seemed a little confused but not at all bothered by the drop in numbers in the barn.

And we are headed for a good clean up of the barn, now that we have a little more space. And get things cleaned up after so many goats and prepare for...dare I say it...Winter. Yikes.

But still...four more kids for sale. We're hoping we can sell a pair before Winter really begins. And then have a pair to sell in the Spring. We shall see. It'd be nice to drop our numbers by another two before Winter really sets in, but either way we're happy! We love all of our babies! And we must admit, it was hard to see these guys go...and we know exactly how happy they're going to be AND we'll be able to visit. Can't imagine what it's going to be like to sell any of them out into the Great Unknown. We've been very lucky with our transfers so far...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Annie has reverted back to her old, bad ways on the

milk stand. It's driving me CRAZY! She's just fine one day and then a holy terror the next. And now, she seems to be in a pattern of bad, bad goat. We are going to try not feeding her grain in the morning tomorrow, to make sure that she is very hungry when it comes time to be milked tomorrow night. It will either keep her so busy with food she won't care that we're milking her or, more likely, turn her into a pissed off, crazy, psychopath!

It's very frustrating. She is too young to start this kind of behavior. And I am not sure how to cure her of it...except sell her to someone more experienced who can handle a psychopath of a goat. Ginger is just fine on the milk stand, so I don't think we are doing anything that's hurting her...she's just crazy--takes after her grandma.

Egg production is down to about two eggs a day. Yikes! But the young ones have not yet started laying, so maybe they will start soon. So, as long as the fox leaves our turf alone for a while, maybe we'll get more eggs.

Working on a Bee Update for those of you in the HoneyBeeShare. It's been a good year, despite the initial bad start. Hopefully, the happy summer bodes well for the fall and winter and we'll have happy bees in the Spring...and a good, fresh start. Keep your fingers crossed.

Goliath and Vonnegut go to their new home tomorrow. I can't believe they're big enough to leave the farm. But they are, and I think the two of them are going to enjoy the new freedom of only having to fight each other for grain at feeding time. And they are going to love not having to fight off a g-zillion other kids for attention. And I think Ginger is going to feel relief at having some of the leeches off of her. So, I think they're a good start for going to new homes. And I think they are going to TRIVE on the love and attention of the two little boys who are taking them.

For C and C: enjoy your boys, they're excited to come and be with you. They told me that this morning--although they are a little nervous about the long car ride. So might need extra love when they get home.