Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall Harvest

I wonder sometimes why I make so many preparations for winter's eventual arrival. I think it is just in me to do, and the reasoning of it is as illusive as the last warm rays of sun.
I keep finding more food to put up, it seems such a waste to lose it that I spend day after day making applesauce, fruit preserves, roasting chilies, preparing cooking sauces, stuffing the freezers full. We have three freezers which are all FULL right now, with beef, lamb, chicken, pork, vegetables, fruit and natural dyestuffs, all of which was home grown. It seems so natural to me, until I visit another "normal" kitchen
filled with commercially prepared foods. I milk goats and we enjoy milk, cream, yogurt, kefir, (thanks to Lisa O'Leary) and a variety of cheeses. And we have a flock of layer hens giving us eggs every day, so grocery shopping will be limited to fresh greens, sweet treats, and bread.
I am grateful for the luxury of time and ability to grow and prepare our own food. We buy hay locally to feed the critters and buy firewood from neighbors, but we are globally connected through the satellite modem. Modern Pioneer or Regressive Farmer reinventing the wheel???

Friday, October 10, 2008


Fall is a time of abundant garden harvest, food preserving, firewood gathering and hay hauling for the two legged ones on the farm. For the sheep and goats it is breeding season, and things get frisky as the air cools and the hormones rise. I have four different groups of sheep that are separated, according to the ram they go with. Every mid September is a time of original frenzy getting the sheep separated, replacement lambs and goat kids away from the rams and bucks, hay and mineral feeders secured, shearing the rams and trimming their feet, then moving the selected groups to their respective pastures or pens. Then we all settle into a quiet routine for six weeks of daily feeding and frolic. At the end of the six week breeding season, the rams and bucks are removed , and put into a pasture I call the Testosterone Team. After spending a few days in a small pen, the rams become reacquainted without much room to back up and butt each other. Winter is spent in relative peace and hay munching.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

missing in action

June Bug seems to be asking me to follow him by whinnying, trotting to the plum thicket and back while looking directly at me. I don't see his horse buddy, Kai any where. So I follow him. I am looking and listening for Kai when I hear a huff coming from deep in the plum thicket. I call to him and he anxiously answers me. He is stuck! He has pushed his way into the thicket after plums and a branch closes behind him so he can't back up or go forward. Goofy greedy eater. I run to get the pruning tools, cut a couple of branches and help Kai back out.
Kai must have spent a few hours here, he nibbled the bark off a couple of prune trunks and trampled the ground. Poor guy. As soon as Kai was free, he and June Bug trotted off to the hay feeder, disregarding me completely.
I walk out of the plum thicket, toting my tools, and they come up to me as if to say What's Up?
I love these guys.