|Red Dirt Ranch||
It's been a busy couple of months here on the farm. Planting and keeping the weeds down to a dull roar has kept us pretty much at full tilt! Our bees have swarmed two more times!!! Ugh!! At least we were able to catch one of the swarms. And we did harvest a little of the honey in the process. Totally worth it. It's been great to be back at the market. We really missed our friends last year. Thanks for filling up our Summer CSA so quickly!!! We are lucky to have such wonderful support. It's amazing how much the market is growing, we are very excited to be a part of it all.
Spring has sprung here.
We are swimming in a sea of green. Pastures are greening back up once again. Which means all the animals are super happy. Happy animals means sweet,sweet milk. Oh, how we've missed it. There is nothing like milking to make one feel like a true homesteader. Yes, it can be a challenge to get our first fresheners accustomed to the routine but, I love the rhythm it gives my days. You know what's expected of you and, what to expect in return.
I love the quality of time my daughter is experiencing in our days here on the farm. To me they are meaningful and priceless.
In the midst of raspberry planting I hear a long and forlorn maaaaa, then again maaaaa, and again....
It's Honeysuckle our youngest mama goat. I go to investigate and find she has lost or er misplaced her baby. How do you do that I ask her!! I mean come on, none of our other goats do that they are responsible goats. She hangs her head in shame like she knows better. She does however continue to maaaa very loudly and run here and there then look at me like I might know where her kid is. (I do well to keep up with my own.) After combing the pasture several times and walking our wooded pasture several times I happen to look down and see MORELS!!!! What a lucky find. But, alas not what I was looking for at the moment. I keep looking and doing my goaty oaty yodel. Finally for some reason I look behind a pile of old pallets and who do I see but, Rose the missing kid! Sleeping happily on a thick mat of poison ivy of course! She seems not at all concerned that we spent the better part of the morning looking for her. Well, mama Honeysuckle is happy and quiet now. Time for me to get back to those morels..... Everything does happen for a reason!!
Our bees have certainly been, well busy. We purchased this hive from a local fellow last spring who sells swarms. The bees seemed to flourish all summer and made it through the fall and winter. We did not take honey from them last fall.We wanted to make sure they had enough reserves to maintain. And maintain they have. Our hive has swarmed six times already this spring.Yes, you read that right six times. I am a novice bee keeper and know that I should have added a super sooner than I did. Luckily we were able to capture all but one swarm. We re-hived, combined and gave one away. The girls seem happy and I see no more swarm cells, so hopefully fingers crossed this will be all the swarms we have this spring. I told them I would like them to get busy making honey! It's pretty exciting around here these days you just never know what you are going to wake up and find yourself doing!
After much anticipation Dora is our first doe to kid. She gave birth Saturday afternoon to two healthy kids one boy(Kabob) and one girl (Flora). Birthing was quick and smooth.
We did experience a little trouble with one side of her udder(teat) being clogged.
Oh no! What to do???
We certainly didn't want her to get mastitis. So,after a little research and consultations with friends we decided to try a milk catheter. A milk catheter is simply a skinny sterile straw like tube that is inserted into the teat to allow the milk to flow through. We think she may have had a bit of dried colostrum blocking the milk passageway. Well the catheter worked like a charm. Mama and babies are much happier. So are we! It's amazing how much we end up worrying about the animals. They are such a huge part of our lives.
In this life there is much to learn for that I am thankful.
We are officially at that time of waiting.
Dora and I had a long talk this afternoon.
She thinks she's ready.
We think we are.
This week marks 150 ish days, since her visit with Elvis(yes he does have the forehead curl and the upturned lip!)
Dora if calculations are correct and planets are aligned will be our first goat to freshen.
We are eagerly anticipating the flurry of activity that new spring kids will bring.
finding a few of 2012's wheat berries in great shape inspired us to grind them into flour and hope for "local biscuits"
After about a half hour of grinding we had enough wheat ground for two batches of biscuits.
Again, what a real appreciation for the time and love that goes into what we eat.
I do think the little red hen would be very proud indeed!
Ah, the simple life. Someone somewhere is laughing.
As those of us trying to live the "simple life" will attest there are few things simple about it. Or maybe we are coming at it from the wrong angle. City girl turned country girl = not simple. I am learning now what I should have learned as a child. Take this morning for instance we recently installed a 1930's wood cook stove. It's a beautiful, functional stove.
I have no idea how to cook on it!!!!!
First, on the punch list this am is to split more "stove wood" then keep feeding the fire,fiddle with dampers more wood...
You can see how my day is shaping up.
What I can appreciate is the slowing down, cultivating a little more patience and appreciation for right now. If we are not here right now where are we?
this morning was beautiful. we need to finish up a new pasture for our goat ladies. so, i thought it would be fun to take them for a walk so to speak...i suppose you can walk a goat but herding works much better. good thing i had my a-1 goat shepherdess along with me. we saw things we hadn't seen in awhile. one of our pasture fences makes a nice photo but, it could use a little tlc...
there is always plenty to do so much, sometimes my head spins at the to do list. i always forget how much the goats do love to trim privet hedge which is a win- win situation in my book. it's terribly invasive the more you try to eradicate it(dig it up) the hardier it becomes so my heart is warmed to see them enjoying the berries so much. maybe that will at least slow it down some either way i guess that's the silver lining