Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Annual Beach Trip

The last few days were a whirlwind of activity. We were getting ready for our-or should I say-the boys annual fishing trip. This is a most stressful time for me. I have to make sure all the critters are in fairly good health, which has been a challenge this year with the parasite issues we have faced. A very long list was made for the farm sitter. Another wonderful friend had stepped up to the plate to stay here and tend the farm.  She was raised on a dairy farm but is out of practice. Milking is like riding a bicycle she has assured me!
I tried to condense pastures to make feeding easier. I gave each animal a hands on check to see how they were doing. Some were moved to a "medical pasture" so our sitter could keep a closer eye and offer a bit of extra care in the way of grain and hands on care. Phone numbers for emergency care were left and a number for someone who, heaven forbid a critter should die, would come and bury it. Groceries, linens and clothes packed, we pull out of the drive....
It was a lovely trip. The boys caught lots of fish and I took the grand dog for a 3 1/2 mile hike. We cooked awesome meals and ate local fresh fish every day.
Everyone survived our trip- including me!! It is good to be home. The sitter assured me she had a great time and has urged us to leave again. Silly girl.. The grass needs to be mowed and the garden weeded. I can't wait to get started!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Herb Bed Additions

A few herbs were added to the beds today. A nice lemony thyme that will be great with chicken and some cilantro to add a mexican flair to dishes.
And some lavender.. not an herb I have cooked with a lot, but plan to experiment with in teas and cookies!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Outsmarting The Sheep & Goats

After having  turned the turkeys out in the front pasture with the sheep and goats I ran into a problem with feeding them. Every time I fed the turkeys, the sheep and goats would magically appear, no matter how far I believed them to be, to eat their food. Turkey food is not good for the four leggeds and many times I would hose it down just to keep them from eating it. So today I sprinkled the food OUTSIDE the fence. The turkeys can reach through but the sheep and goats cannot!!
Okay, so I may not be smarter than a fifth grader.. but today I am smarter than a goat! Hmmm.. not sure how that makes me feel.

Monday, September 10, 2012

What's Black and White...

With purple polka dots?
A LGD with a hot spot!!
Poor Gip, he is so embarrassed! When I fed this afternoon I could see the beginning of what what soon be a huge hot spot on his side. The blue lotion has been my friend this year, clearing up the hot spot on one of the other dogs in record time. A couple of days and it has dried them up and they have healed nicely.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Headed To The Hills

Last year we had problems with people trespassing and hunting our farm in Virginia. An early morning decision was made to head up and post the fence lines. So after the morning milking and chores, we tossed a picnic of homemade bread and egg salad, pickles, cheese and apples in the truck and hit the road.
It was 10 degrees cooler there and the wind was blowing. A heavy shirt was needed most of the day! We posted for about 2 1/2 hours, getting the main line where people tend to cross done.
The apple trees are hanging full. Of course I had no ladder this trip so we picked what could be reached and hope to get back before they fall and the deer enjoy more than we do.
We enjoyed our picnic on the tailgate of the truck before heading back down the mountain. A lovely day!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Crowder Peas

A good chance of showers are called for this afternoon and sent me out to the garden early. Way behind on the okra picking, I had to toss half on the ground. There was still a huge amount though, plenty to share with family and then some.The great find of the day though was the first of the crowder peas were ready! A large basket was filled and menu plans changed. I will simmer the fresh peas in the beef stock from yesterday~ Yum! In addition to the okra and peas more basil was picked. That means more pesto needs to be made. I was afraid we would be buried in pesto but it seems to be the new favorite meal and we have been working on the winter reserves already.
The promised storms did arrive and give the garden a much needed drink of water. And afterwards the most beautiful rainbow...
That was only mid day, so it left plenty of time for evening chores to be finished and some weed pulling in the herb bed!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Let Us Pray

My sister went in for surgery today. She was very stressed and worried, understandably so. You know that I'm scared I won't wake up thing... Anyway, when the doctor came in he saw her tears, he grabbed her hand and said do you want to pray? HOW cool is that? Unfortunately, I missed it because he was the same doctor I had last year that was always at least an hour late for my appointments. He was 45 minutes early for hers! He is now back on my good list after today.
She did great and is home. After she was settled, I got all the girls milked and fed and hurried to the kitchen to make mega pans of lasagna for the family to munch on this weekend while she takes it easy. I also started a batch of beef broth in the crock pot. Once her goodies were tucked in her fridge, I finished barn chores and the new Friday mowing chores. It has been hot and dry this week so all of the new plantings had to be watered as well.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I See Green!

The kale is already peaking out of the ground! Yeah!
I am ready for all those healthy hardy greens and a long cold winter.
Most everything we have planted thus far with the exception of the carrots are up.
I checked over the sheep today and a few are still struggling. The worst were wormed. I filled mineral feeders and hay bins.They too, are looking forward to a long cold winter...
One of the guys that works for Doug spent the better part of the day plowing and disking the lower field. It looks really good and all that is left to do now is pick up rocks (and plant of course). There are LOTS of rocks. As soon as it is ready we plan to plant a forage rye for the critters to enjoy this winter.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fall Plantings

Today I planted broccoli, collards, brussels sprouts and cabbage starts. Several kinds of cabbage were planted, stonehead, purple and napa to name a  few. I have yet to raid the greenhouse for the plants my sis has started for us. I also sowed radishes, carrots and kohlrabi, both purple and white. Tomorrow I will head to the feed store to pick up the rest of our fall seeds. Doug attempted to plow the lower pasture to ready it for a winter rye crop. The ground was so hard we may need to bring in some bigger equipment to break the ground. Earlier in the week he was able to spread all the barn scrapings that had been composted over the summer in an effort to help enrich the soil. Hopefully we can get it ready to plant and have that as a winter forage for the goats and sheep.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Preparing The Fall Garden

Much work had to be done before the fall garden could go in. All of the tomato plants had to be pulled out and supports hauled to the shed. The hog weed in some places was head high and had to be cut out before tilling so as not to scatter any more of their seed. The pumpkin and winter squash plants weren't even visible and out of frustration I had Doug plow it all up. They only crops left are crowder peas, okra, basil and watermelons. I know, I know, whoever heard of watermelons in September? But melons we have and picked the first ripe one today!
Once that was done, Doug could finally begin tilling. I had hoped to plant today but decided to let the hot sun work on the grasses and roots for the day. So, once the garden was in some semblance of order, we moved on to the herb bed where we weeded and got them ready for the new herbs that I hope to get in next week.