Thursday, August 4, 2016

July, Hot in the Garden, Kitchen and Cool in the Barns, Coops

Some mornings, working in the garden has been a challenge, I go out early before the sun comes up and work until around noon.  I water, weed, tie up tomatoes, pick beans or peas, plant seeds,  hunt squash bugs and beetles.  Return to the garden in the evening to cool off some of the plants, do some transplanting along with picking things I did not have time to pick in the morning.  Mr. Bootsie has been on bug and beetle control, weeding,  picking veggies and blackberries.

The garden is dumping out veggies, the goats are enjoying turnips, green beans, corn shucks, cucumbers and squash.  When it comes to cantaloupe, watermelon and lettuce goats, ducks and chickens are ready for treats.  For us, there has been many meals of corn on the cob, I had corn last year but this year it looks like corn on the cob, nice ears all filled, 9 to 10 inches long, I really feel like a farmer when I come in with a arm full of ears of corn.  Butter beans are just starting, last year I seemed to loose my whole crop to something that ate the blooms off as soon as they appeared. This year we are picking butter beans and I am hoping to be able to put some up for the winter.  I seemed to get things in order a little bit better as we are not throwing out any veggies, Mr. Bootsie's logic has always been if it goes in the compost pile it is okay, but my logic is I have a lot of time invested in the veggies and I really want to see someone or one of our animals enjoy them.

Blackberries mean I turn into the little ole wine maker and cordial infuser.  I did notice the shelf in the pantry is starting to fill up with bottles of blackberry brandy.  I have a couple of new recipes I would like to try this season to see if they should be added to our cabinet in the future.  I want to make several bottles of blackberry syrup and vinegar.

Belle decided to bring her little ones in the world all by herself.  Mr. Bootsie had checked on her, she showed no signs of labor, only her bag had dropped, he thought all was well and left her in with the other goats.  Only to find her a hour later with two little ones.  The first was completely cleaned and the second was quite clean.  She was quick to let us know there was no reason for us to try and help as she had this.  Every time I tried to take pictures she would come and try to get the camera, this thing was going to hurt one of her babies and she was not going to have it in the stall at all.  So no really good baby pictures.

All of the baby goats have been disbudded and they are eating hay, leaves and grain.  They are not babies for very long.  It is time for the decisions to be made who will stay and who will leave.  I am finding I really do not have the ability to milk as well as I did 2 summers ago,  my right hand will go into a cramp and that is all I can do.  I will be making a decision as to why I am milking and if I want to continue to milk.  I do want to have goats and I so enjoy them but milking may just be something that will not happen on our little farm.

The egg count is starting to drop off as the hot weather is having an effect on everything.  The garden has produced a number of cucumbers and I was able to make pickle and sweet relish.  I can see hot weather is going to begin working on the garden along with age of the plants.  I have begun seeding for the fall garden.  There were some record breaking days with the temperature and the heat index, some days we were over 107 degrees so for 2 older folks we paced ourselves very carefully.  We are concerned for the animals having water, there are several trips made to the barn and coop to check on water and all of our babies.

I am hoping there will be a few tomatoes to can and dehydrate, the temperatures have been so high no blooms have set in about 2 weeks, maybe the temperature will go down and blooms will set and I will have a late harvest.  There is plenty of food in the garden for us to harvest and have fresh veggies for quite a while.

I think I need a little loving, so I am going to visit the little goats, we have 3 little boys, 2 little girls and of course, our 3 momma goats.  I know the little ones will be all ready to play when I arrive at the barn.  So I am off to enjoy the babies while I can.

Lacie serving lunch to her twins