Saturday, May 29, 2010

Baby Goat Pictures!

It is late, so I won't be writing a novel, but I just got my baby goat pictures from our breeder. We will be picking them up on Friday. We are putting the finishing touches on the fencing and barn. It has been a crunch to get everything done and still have time to put the garden in. But isn't that the way it is every spring.

We are just so excited.

I shot a bunny out of the garden today which Luna, our retriever, was kind enough to roust out of a thorny thicket. I know the general thought is to not eat wild rabbits in the summer months, but I hate to waste the meat. I guess I'll think about it a little more. Most certainly, we'll cook it very thoroughly.

Back to the goats, we'll be getting Carissima, the nanny goat, as well as both of her kids. Carissima will, of course, be in milk right away. The other doe kid we'll breed next year. The wether...was just too cute to pass up. Maybe we'll use him as a pack goat when he gets older. Put some panniers on him and have him carry camping gear up into the mountains with us.

Spent the afternoon having a BBQ with some good friends. Good food, good fellowship. We are indeed blessed.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Built a goat milking stand!

I had a long week teaching. Boy am I ready for summer. Friday is here and I started the long weekend by building a goat milking stand. I am not much of a carpenter, but thanks to the excellent plans from Fiasco Farms I got it done. It was actually kind of fun to do some rewarding work that was outside of my comfort zone.

We also got some milking supplies in the mail today. Teat cleaning supplies and a filter/funnel that fits into a wide mouth mason jar. Surprisingly, the local farm and feed stores don't stock everything we need.

Our entire weekend will be spent on the farm. Working on getting the barn ready and putting in as much of the garden as we can. The ground is a little more moist than I would like as far as planting goes.

As soon as the sun comes out though the veggies will pop. I'll post some garden pictures soon.

Well, time to take Luna out to chase bunnies out of the lettuce patch.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Huge tree down

When I heard that big CRACK in the windstorm last night, I thought it was just a big branch breaking off. Turns out the whole tree snapped off and landed blocking our driveway.

A friend came over early with a chainsaw and we cut the tree up into big chunks. We didn't have time to chop it up, so I just dragged the limbs off the driveway with the tractor.

Our goat kid was born yesterday! We will be picking up mama and doeling in a couple of weeks! We are so excited! I've got two weeks to get the barn and fence tight, build a milking stand, and build a milking area.

We've got lots to plant, but we may get snow Saturday morning which kind of puts a damper on things. We've already got about 10 tomatoes in the ground. I might use the "wall o' waters" on them. We'll see.

Life is just so beautiful. I've never had it so good. Blessed be.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

quite a blow

We are having quite a storm right now! The winds are gusting at around 50 mph. I just heard a big crack back in the area by the old, old willow tree. Scary. Don't want that thing coming through the roof. Just this afternoon it was sunny and beautiful. I planted blue potatoes, more beets, and corn in the garden.

We are, as usual, running way behind on everything. I've got a ton to do to get ready for the goats. Finish the fence, put doors on the goat section of the barn, fix the big pick-up, and patch up the barn walls.

We've got a ton more to do in the garden too. Zoicks! Some friends of mine are having a "spiritual" camp out this weekend on the Salmon River. I'd love to go, but I just don't know if I can. The goats should be coming in about a week. They were supposed to have been born yesterday, but I haven't heard anything.

Well, not much I can do about the wind. And I can only get done what I can get done in the garden. The goats are coming, ready or not, so I better have it all ready on time.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Of hummingbirds and apple blossoms

The hummingbirds have been buzzing around our apple trees this week. They've been going from the tulips to the apple blossoms. We have about 5 different kinds of apples, a pear, a couple of crab apples, two plums, and some quince trees. We haven't quite figured out what to do with the quince fruits though.

We made some amazing apple butter out of the crab apples last year. We also made apple sauce. Colleen made a sort of quince spread, but we haven't eaten much of it.

The trees have needed a lot of pruning. They haven't been well cared for for the last couple of years. The previous owner was elderly and couldn't take care of the place any more.

The garden is starting to take shape. Our garlic is booming. I mulched it with straw from the chicken coop. It should give it a little boost of nitrogen. Hopefully it won't be too much nitrogen. I'm keeping a careful eye on it.

Fertilized some lettuce today. We've got 20-30 good sized heads of lettuce started, plus all the lettuce we direct seeded. Radishes look good. The beets are barely coming along, but I always worry about the beets every year. They are so slow to start.

This weekend we are going to spend time planting in the garden and also preparing the barn for the goats. The goats are supposed to be born on Tuesday. We will pick up the doe and one kid a week later. That gives us about ten days to get ready. Everything is full tilt.

I've still got a few weeks of teaching left, but Colleen is done Monday. She will be taking on the garden chores for a couple of weeks until I can commit full time.

We are so blessed. Lovin' life.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Been a while

It's been a while since I posted anything. Things have been so crazy busy. The teaching year is ending and the planting season is in full swing. I also finally finished the first phase of the barn restoration.

This picture is some of the ground we are tilling for our market garden. In the background you can see that the barn no longer has a gaping hole where the 2nd story hay door was.

This is one of our garlic beds. This is a variety called Killarney. The garlic that made it up despite the awful fall planting weather is growing great. We didn't have as much come up as we would have liked, so we planted a little more this spring. I've never planted garlic in the spring, so we'll see.

We have lots of radishes, lettuce, beets, and onions coming up too.

The farmers markets have opened, although we don't have any produce to make it worth setting up a table. At this time of year it is mostly crafts or maybe farmers from the valley who have a longer growing season. We've got 10 dozen eggs in the fridge we need to sell. I expect us to set up our first table in about three weeks.

This time of year is so glorious, but it is also a hard time of year for me personally. The rapid fluctuations in the weather in Northern Idaho make me really moody. We just had 5 days of snow and hail, and now it is sunny and seventy degrees. Just makes me wonky.

Anyway, plenty to do around here to keep busy. We are building the goat fence, putting finishing touches on the goat section of the barn, cultivating and tilling ground, planting seeds, and messing around with broken trucks and other machines. Phew! Hope you've been well.