Winter solstice

Winter solstice

Friday, February 24, 2012

Getting Ready

        Yesterday was a beautiful day, perfect for barn work. It's hard to clean stalls when you have 50 some hooves under your feet every time you take a step. But with the warm weather and the sun shining, the animals spent most of the day on the hill and that allowed me to clear out the winter build up. The hay was so high in some of the stalls, I could barely open the gates. Now all is clean, with new straw spread down and not even a thank you from one of them. We still have a couple of weeks yet before the does start to freshen but I am ready. I need to do some straightening in the milk room and get the baby pen clean but that won't take long. We have decided tio purchase some Kiko goats to add to the herd. We tried some Boer goats years ago and they have so many problems, we sold them all. The Kiko's seem to be much hardier and we really want some meat goats, so will give them a try. I'll keep you posted.
       I noticed yesterday when I walked past the koi ponds that a lot of them were up at the surface getting some sunshine. The pussy willows are out and the crocus are blooming. After chores last night, Tim and I put pelleted lime on the garden and while we were out there, I went over to the bee hives and lifted the lids. Both hives lived through the winter. It is a little early to start feeding them, but it won't be long. The horseradish is up in the garden too. The birds are singing and I saw a blue bird in one of the nesting boxes. The peppers seeds are all started too.  There are signs of spring all over the farm. We haven't had much of a winter but I am still ready for spring. Oh, I know winter hasn't had it's last say  and I'm sure we will still see some more snow but winter is losing it's grip, I can feel it.
       Along with the lambs we will be adding this spring, I think I will get some more chicks. I can't keep all my customers happy on fresh eggs, so I need a few more hens. I also miss having some banty chickens around, so I am going to get some of those too. A banty hen comes in handy when you want to set eggs. They stay broody so much longer. I'm still trying to talk Tim into a couple of geese too. He isn't real keen on the idea. He has had some bad experiences with geese. How bad can a goose pinch hurt, right? It can't be that bad....
       Anyway...we are getting ready for the rush of new baby goats and all that goes with it. I can hardly wait to start milking again. I hope you are enjoying your "almost spring" where ever you are.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

     Thanks to Michele at http://simplyscaife.blogspot.com/ She awarded me with the Versatile Blogger Award. It is truly an honor to have received this but even more of an honor to know that there are  fellow bloggers out there who are interested in reading my aimless ramblings of our farm life. There are rules with this award and they are as follows:

       1: Add the award to your blog
       2: Thank the blogger who gave it to you
       3: Mention seven random things about yourself (see below)
       4: List the rules
       5: Award to fifteen bloggers
       6: Inform those fifteen by leaving a comment on their blog
 
     Here are my seven random things about myself:

       1: I love to stay at home, it is my favorite place in the world.
       2: My animals are some of my best friends.
       3: I get some of my best praying done while I am milking.
       4: I love old farm kitchen items.
       5: I love a freshly mown hayfield, I think it is the sweetest smell on earth.
       6: I love to hold a brand new baby goat and feel it take it's first breath.
       7: I love my Lord and Savior more than all these things.

      Below are my blog nominations. I did not have fifteen but I gave you the ones I follow. I enjoy them all and have learned so much from them. I hope you will visit them. It is always nice to leave a comment too. We bloggers love that.

http://firecrackerfarm.com/
http://theblessedhearth.blogspot.com/
http://whitewolfsummitfarmgirl.blogspot.com/
http://missabigailshopechest.blogspot.com/
http://ajoyfulchaos.blogspot.com/
http://frugallysustainable.blogspot.com/
http://canninggranny.blogspot.com/
http://theredeemedgardener.blogspot.com/
http://wonderfullifefarm.blogspot.com/
http://sheepsandpeepsfarm.blogspot.com/
http://amazinggrazefarm.blogspot.com/
 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Where's winter?

          We have had such a mild winter this year. Last fall I thought I was being really smart by not putting the buck in with the does until late. I thought how I would beat all those 20 below zero nights and be snuggled in bed instead of in the barn delivering babies, Mother Nature has made a fool out of me. The coldest night I have seen so far this winter was 8 degrees and that's t-shirt weather. Here I could have had all the kidding done and be drinking fresh milk, but instead I have a bunch of very fat does and store bought milk in the fridge (which I refuse to drink). Oh well, next year will be different I am sure. We are still 4-5 weeks from the does freshening. Tulip, the oldest doe we have will be freshening this year. She hasn't caught for the last two years, so I thought maybe she was retired but she is wider than a house, so I know she is pregnant. She is still my best milker so far. No one can hold a candle to her. All the other animals are doing great. Egg production is down a little bit. I have been getting 15 or 16 a day, as opposed to the 22 or 23 I was getting. Still not too bad though.
          The pepper seeds have been ordered and should be here this week. We will start the peppers inside and then move them to the greenhouse in April. That's how we did it last year and the peppers did so much better. We have been eating our own hot sauce, that we canned, all winter. It is delicious!! I need to finish up the other seed orders and get them sent in. It won't be long and we will here our spring peepers singing. Even though we had a mild winter, I still can't wait for spring to get here.
          The spinning is going well. I continue to get better at it. I don't have any wool to spin, so I have had to teach myself to spin our mohair. It is slippery, compared to wool, so it is a little more challenging. I finished my first skein a couple days ago and I am knitting a hat with it. It is a wonderful feeling to be working with yarn that was raised here on our farm.  I love the fact that I was there when Tim sheared the goat, I gathered the dirty fleece from the barn floor, washed it, dried it, carded it and spun it into yarn. It is such an incredible feeling. I feel so blessed that the Lord has allowed us to do this. Now that I have been knitting with the natural fibers, I can hardly make myelf work with the man made yarn. It is hard to explain but I feel like it has no life in it. I guess that sounds crazy, but that is the best way I can put it into words.
          Well, better go. I have so much work to do today. I hope you are feeling blessed in your neck of the woods. Talk to you later...