Friday, November 16, 2007

November Gloom

The sky is grey and cloudy this morning. It rained a little yesterday and may rain again today. It got very cold yesterday and the leaves are oranges and reds in the landscape. The ground is covered with fallen leaves.

The maternity barn is populated. There are a dozen newborn goat kids with their mothers. They sleep in separate pens with their mothers overnight. They stay in the pens until the moms are fed some grain -- they rob one another if in the common area -- and then it is playtime! The pens are opened and the mother goats usually congregate at the hay while the babies run, jump, dance and generally have an energetic party between baby naps. I am glad to have a nice, draft free place for them during the cold weather. Late in the afternoon, grain is served again in the pens and all bed down for the night.

The Daily Mail had a little article this morning touting the "unusual" birth of a lamb, which is attributed to the weather. Although this is not a typical birthing time on our farm, I doubt that this is all that unusual. It's funny what passes as news and fact in the press. They state that sheep take "three or four months" to produce young. Actually, both goats and sheep have a 145 gestation period.

I spent the morning in the greenhouse yesterday. It was a cozy place to be. I made some progress in re-potting plants and will continue that process over the late Autumn and early Winter.

The cows are in the next pasture, where we've prepared the shed for them in case of really bad, cold precipitation in the coming month. They'll have a place to get out of the weather.

There is still some wine to bottle and a BUNCH of housework to tackle now that there is time.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Putting the Gardens to Bed

Inside, I have this glorious blooming Christmas Cactus which is too spectacular to leave in the greenhouse.
Outside, I'm pulling out the formerly spectacular squash and watermelon vines -- now brown and crispy. Fallen leaves are raked and put into empty feed bags and stored in the barn to be given out as snacks to goats on future snowy days.
Picking up the garden hoses, I went to the barn to get some used sisal baling twine to secure them into coils.
It made me wonder: what do other farmers use the ubiquitous baling twine for? Do you have some unique uses for reusing it?
I always pick it up and put it in one place so that it doesn't trip me and trap me when I'm working in the barn. You don't want to leave it in pastures, because it can get wrapped around cutter blades and other farm machinery and do a lot of damage.
I've thought of crocheting sun hats from it, but never had the time to try it. We sometimes use it to secure cattle panels to gates. Come on, what else is it good for?