Sunday, June 22, 2014

Springtime is just about over

A few days ago we were reminded what summer is like here in Virginia.  I heard the sound of the ac coming on for the first time this spring.  That night we did not close up the barn until 10:00 at night, the goats were loving all of the extra playtime.  Mr. Bootsie suggested leaving the barn open and I said no.  A few nights back he fixed a solar light to burn in the barn all night, when I went down to milk I had a barn full of goats who were wired just like a child on sugar.  Two nights in two weeks would have been to much excitement for me.  We closed the barn and after waiting for the temperature to cool down, everything went well.  When I opened up in the mornings the heat did come out of the door.  Another lesson learned.

Swiss chard and broccoli are on the stove,  chard will be used to make pizza topping and the broccoli will be used for soup.  We so enjoy all of the vegetables from the spring garden.  String beans aka snaps are about 4 inches long.  Garlic is turning yellow, time to gather.  I did gather some of the more advanced this week.  I finally planted black-eyed peas before the 4th of July.  Zucchini are coming in and of course, I made a pot of zucchini bisque.  Transplanted some of the climbing spinach, there were a number of baby plants this year, they came up under the arbor where the spinach was planted last year.

Trapping has been slow this last couple of weeks.  Maybe we will harvest some black berries this summer.  The only going on in the traps is a cute little cat that likes the bait.  We are letting it go and it will come back another day and there it is caught in the trap.

Lightening struck a tree, a really big one in the goat pasture.  We will have to take down the fence in order to drop this tree.  There was a group decision to wait until after all of the leaves are off of it.   The tree Mr. Bootsie felled a few weeks ago is becoming fire wood.  There is one rack filled with this wood. Most of the trunk of the tree has been cut and split into pieces we can now handle and load onto the splitter.  We should fill at least one more rack.

Everything is settled in the goat barn.  I have my two milk goats and one of the babies from this spring.  We are ready for the winter.  It was a hard decision but we are pleased with the results.  I remember the winter of 2013, and I just wanted to make things a little easier for me.  I will be using the once a day milking rather than twice.  When making cheese the other day I decided to try and  use the dehydrator to control the temperature and I am pleased to be able to say this procedure worked well, I am learning how to use as many things as I can for dual purposes.

We have both hatching of chickens growing.  The oldest little roos are now crowing, well almost sounding like Mr. Wonderful.  The first hatching was 10 and there are 6 little roos and 4 hens.  I want to keep the hens so it will time to make some changes in the coop.

The ducks are doing good, there are no drakes with us any longer.  We gave the drake to someone with a big pond.  I needed to do this because the drake was the brother of 2 of my girls and the other was his mother.  Momma duck is doing a little better with her egg.  I started feeding her meat bird grower, continued with the oyster shells and now I can see a little improvement.

All in all this has been a wonderful spring,  babies everywhere.  Things are starting to settle down as Summer arrived this week.  Plans are now being made for preserving the fruits of our farm.  There are a few jars in the pantry from last year so it is time to look back and see what was canned and how much. With each season on the farm it seems there is something to be done.  OH, I just enjoy the preserving of our garden.  I love walking into the pantry and seeing all of jars on the shelves filled with the wonderful tasting goodies we have canned or dried.

It is now time to say, "Good-bye Spring and Welcome Summer!!!"

Just a quick note, we are making kefir sour cream and using it in the zucchini bisque in place of the creamed cheese.  We are using the yellow zucchini for this and it is wonderful.  Follow the link to a few of the recipes we use during the summer.

Check out some of our recipes!!!