Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Heading Out

This morning we are headed to the beach for a few days. Of course there is always one crisis. As I fed and milked this morning I found a young doe with massive diarrhea. Over indulging most likely the culprit. Back to the house for meds and probiotics. She was settled in the barn with fresh hay and water. I called my farm sitter to report. I can give medicine! GO! OK, ok I'm going...  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rain, Rain

It started raining last Wednesday and thus far we have received 5 inches. I am not complaining because we really need it but it sure makes for soggy outside chores. Each day has brought a few brief hours of sun that allow us to run around and get chores done. Today was no different and in the short window of no rain we rearranged animals and cleaned out muddy stall areas. We will be heading to the beach soon for the boys yearly fishing trip and things need to be in order for the farm sitter to come and stay. I want things to be as easy as possible for her to manage. The rams and horses went into a pasture that she can water from outside as not have to go in. The rest of the flock went to the large pasture that they can graze while we are gone and that one too can be watered from outside. The hay racks will be filled to capacity with more stacked close by in case they finish it before we get back. Collars were taken of all the goats except for the ones being milked. Last year I had a few convince her that they were being milked even though they weren't - they bolted the gate and hopped on the stand ;o))
Long list made, lots of phone numbers jotted down.....
Leaving is very stressful but a little less now that I leave it in her capable hands!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The First Day of Fall

The Autumnal Equinox- the first day of fall. My favorite time of year has arrived. I love the cooler days, the shorter days and the changing of the leaves. Here in NC, we are blessed to be able to enjoy all four seasons and this is my favorite. This time of year things start to slow a bit here on the homestead and we can begin to catch up on projects pushed aside due to summer gardening and animal chores. Of course the animals still need tending daily but the load is lightened a bit since the babies are almost grown and the milk flow is less. The garden has all but stopped producing for the next few weeks. Soon we will plow up the last of the summer crops and wait for the winter ones to grow. I will be able to spend more time at my desk planning breeding groups for the Icelandic sheep and the dairy goats for the 2012 season. Finishing all the registrations and paperwork on the animals will finally get accomplished as well. Firewood will be split and indoor chores caught up, preparing for the winter months. I look forward to spinning and knitting again..... Did I mention how much I love the Fall? ;o)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Busy Couple of Weeks

The last two weeks have been a flurry of activity. Labor day weekend brought huge harvests of peas which were frozen and put in the freezer to be enjoyed this winter. This past weekend another huge harvest that, though shelled, still awaits the freezer. The fall garden has finally been completed except for garlic, which has yet to be shipped. We planted lots of greens in hopes of supplementing a fall CSA.
Last week also brought a landmark birthday for my husband. He turned the big five-o. I asked him what he wanted to do for such a grand occasion. I suggested zip lining to which I got a "I am afraid of heights" response. How about rock climbing, I asked. "Heights!! Remember? " Oh well. I just thought he should do something outside of his box. He happens to share his birthday with my sister and her best friend as well, so he opted for a small gathering of family and friends. My son and I seized the opportunity to redo the front patio with fall plants, new benches and planters and sprucing up the beds for the get together. Three days later it was a truly lovely place to entertain. For the party we had an Italian feast. The menu was amazing!
For starters, I served a homemade sun dried tomato pesto over brie cheese, crusty bread, olive oil with herbs for dipping and roasted garlic. Next was a minestrone soup that I had simmered in the crock pot all day. A large salad was served along side of my great aunt's lasagna recipe and ravioli smothered in a basil cream sauce. For desert, a homemade tiramisu from farm fresh eggs and local cream. Good food, family and friends made for a special and memorable birthday.         

Sunday, September 4, 2011

And More Peas!

I finally finished the rest of the butter peas. A total of 30 pounds were picked with at least that many more with a bit of rain. Not too bad for one row. I remembered why I only plant butter peas every other year. They are sooo labor intensive to pick. Now I need to shell them...
We also planted the first of our fall crops, brocolli, brocolli raab and cabbage that my sister started from seed.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Peas, Peas

Today we picked peas. Crowder peas and butter peas. LOTS of peas. And I didn't get finished. The butter peas are very time consuming to pick and after half the row and a heaping half bushel I was done. I will finish the rest tomorrow. Doug picked the crowders and okra. Another half bushel of each. It was a hot day and we were soaked to the skin after working in the garden for 3 hours so we moved to cooler jobs, raking the barn and feeding hay while Luke and a friend split wood. So many projects, so little time, it seems!
 One of the Icelandic rams we sold, left this evening. He was probably one of the finest fleeced animals we have raised and I was thrilled to find out he was going to a spinner's flock in addition to being their flock sire.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Picking Up Hay

Still recovering, I was not allowed to pick up hay today. The boys did fine without me tho~ hmmm... that's food for thought! We had a lovely farm visitor and fellow homesteader and that kept me occupied while they worked. The count today was 299 bringing our year total to 1480. Not too bad.