Wednesday, October 31, 2007

End of October

As I lie awake in my bed, I'm making mental lists of everything that must be done today and some things that might get done. There is obviously much more to do than I can accomplish. My mind is Open for Business.

When I get up it is still dark. I make myself empty the diswasher before I heat up coffee. I have some deeply held belief that I can control my life by making sure the kitchen is orderly. Washington Journal drones in the background, and I catch a beautiful sunrise as I putter around before heading down to the barns.

Yesterday, I managed finally to go to the supermarket and get some supplies.

The rains came and it got cooler. My plan was to get the vegetable, herb, and flower gardens under control by weeding and planting. As it turned out, the goats had other plans for me.

Another kidding marathon started precisely on Saturday morning and it's been ongoing. The maternity barn wasn't even totally cleaned and ready, although luckily I'd started it during the hot weather.

It is so cold in the mornings (frost the last two days) that I want to get to the barn early to make sure the little strangers are warm and dry. First time mothers have a tendency to stand in shock and awe after kidding. Their offspring may stand, wet and bawling in the draftiest and dirtiest part of the barn while they just seem to have no idea what just happened.

One of the old-timers had the sense to kid in a cozy hay-lined back stall yesterday, but she is a dairy goat and I believe there is a difference in mothering styles between them and the meat goats.

We've been exploring the possiblity of setting up a rainwater collection system that feeds an above ground cistern. The drought has been long and affects gardens and livestock production. There are very large cisterns available and one local company specializes in installation.

I'd like redundant water systems on the farm and think it is something that area farmers should be considering. It doesn't look like I can get a USDA grant, as I've already fenced off all ponds, streams, and sinkholes to protect the watershed. This seems like the perfect opportunity to do a Pilot Project. What agency or organization might be interested??

Today, we'll concentrate on goats and catch up on shots, hoof trimming and barn cleaning.

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