Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Three Sopranos

Popping in to let you all know that the plastic garden (cross your fingers) is doing well. We really, really need rain and there are some clouds building and the perennial "chance" of thundershowers today. (Double cross your fingers.)

We have a new set of triplet goatlings (bucklings) born last week. Mother is very sick and can't stand up to nurse them, so I'm bottle feeding them three times a day. It doesn't leave much time to do everything else. I'm having to milk out the last of what the goats who kidded months ago have left and supplement with store-bought milk. I used up the last of my store of frozen colostrum the first day or so.

I may have to catch a cow -- many have recently freshened with calves -- and get a good supply of fresh milk for these hungry, hungry little guys. I'm calling them the three sopranos, as they greet me with much anxious high-pitched singing...

Mike, I replied to your comment in the "comments" section of the last post. I'm wondering where your farm is located.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lavender and Raspberries

Imagine my delight at finding that the red raspberries have begun to produce. I picked a quick pint and then checked to see if the black raspberries are ready. They need a couple of days, but, hey, we're in the berries! Asparagus are still producing. It's an odd year. We're about a month behind schedule.

Yesterday, I cut lavender and hung it in bunches to dry.

We baled some more hay in a couple of small fields.

Here's an update on the plastic garden. Forget about the Thursday pictures, I obviously can't keep to that kind of schedule. I'll post pictures when I can. Not too much difference in a long shot, but we're definitely making progress.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Old Dog Learns New Tricks

This year is different. The garden is starting late. Maybe it was me being too laid back. Maybe it was the weather -- it was an unusually cool Spring and we had two late freezes back to back.

Many (most) of the seeds I planted prior to the last frost didn't germinate. (Hey, maybe it was the seed company? Probably not.) I thought they were cozy and warm under the ground but it just wasn't so.

I was busy attending to baby goat births, baby chick hatchings, ducklings, goslings...

Anyway, things are finally starting to come up. I've got a bumper crop of black-seeded Simpson lettuce, for example. The peas were sporadic. The beets just didn't come up.

So, I'm trying something different this year. It looks like I've got a bumper crop of black plastic growing in my garden. Actually, we put down some heavy duty black plastic to keep the weeds at bay and I decided to just go ahead and plant vine crops, tomatoes, and peppers in the area. They will appreciate the heat and the fact that they won't need to compete with the prolific weed crop we always have. I can see some little green seedlings just starting to come up. So, for the amusement, and possibly the edification, of all -- I'm taking a "before" picture and hoping that the subsequent "after" pictures will show that it's working.

This is risky. What if nothing comes up? Oh, we'll all have a good laugh and I'll never do this again! Let's see what happens. It's an experiment. I'll try to take a picture each Thursday so we can see the progress, or non-progress of the plastic garden.

Oh, by the way, it did finally rain after I posted the last blog installment. Please disregard the weeds in the photo above. Thank you.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Last week, I learned to use the hay rake on the tractor and I raked the hay prior to baling. Driving the tractor is challenging enough, but I had to figure out which direction to go; drive and rake safely on rolling hills; push the right buttons and pull the right levers.

Wow! I thought: sixty and driving heavy machinery and still learning new things.

I must be losing my marbles.

Anyway, we got 47 big round bales and about 25 small square ones. They're under cover. Now, it would be okay if it would rain. Please?