07 April, 2012

More of Spring

This video was the very first day of spring & it just keeps getting busier out here. Happily, God has providentially granted us rain almost every other day so we don't have to spend too much time watering the gardens. Victor has a little "guerrila garden" up the hill w/ his special low-acid Mr. Stripey tomatoes & cukes he wants for pickles. It's up on the mountain somewhere secret. I found some potatoes sprouting up from last year & he asked for one. I handed it over & he tucked it in his black Tonka truck w/ shovel & disappeared.

Mike& I are having a "potato-off". I'm trying them in a tire tower & he's built a potato tower out of old shipping crates. We've used these crates for everything.

Who will grow the most? I found spouts coming up in the garden that I missed last harvest & he bought some from Lowes. Stay tuned...

We have at least one rat in the hayloft. I've actually seen it while up there & occasionally we find dead babies in the goat run that V & C like to feed to the chickens. Sometimes it feels like Lord of the Flies around here. In preparation for the goatlings birth Mike gave the goat shed a thorough mucking & found it! He blocked it in w/ cinderblocks & shot I won't say how many times. His trophy that the chickens wouldn't touch:

There's another one at least, I can hear it squeaking in the mornings when I'm doing chicken chores. Mike was getting water & saw a tail disappear over the roof. I saw a ratty whiskery pink nose peeking from the side of the slab in the chicken shed. These rats put me in mind of Garth Williams drawings of Templeton after he'd gorged himself. Salt & Pepper mindlessly leads her 10 babies (1 died) in there & I just know 1 will get taken out by the rat.

Here is Annie, still not having babies. I've just about decided she isn't pregnant. But wait!

Victor & Charlotte have taken them!

No, I found them this morning. Annie looked gaunt & there was a big spread of birth slime on the floor which I tossed w/ the rake & strawed over. It was quiet though so just thought she had lost a freaky mucous plug but there were the 2 little bucklings, one stuck under a pallet. They were shivering & it was fairly cool & overcast so I brought them in for an hour or so until the sun came out. Annie was starving so I took her to the front & fed her a goodly chunk of grain, alfalfa & a box of raisens. Unhappily through my negligence the white goat got a bath.

I had been running back & forth all morning misplacing things trying to figure out how to promote bonding while not dying of chill & running off of 2 cups of coffee w/out breakfast. Mike was at school. Victor was so good about holding the brown goat until his legs & the goat fell asleep so I said he might lay him on the towel in the tub & leave him. I was finishing up clothes & Miranda came out & proudly announced that she had "I shompoo baby doat!" Mike (who was back from school & making us breakfast) exchanged a look & went to see little white goat was covered w/ pink conditioner. I gave it a very warm rinse off in the laundry sink which as a detachable nozzle w/ shower option. He seemed to like it. But whatever special bonding smell that was on him got washed off. Annie shows fairly strong signs of rejecting him. She milks great & I'm getting enough to put in a bottle to feed him so we'll see if he makes it or not. We think it's funny how they're ears are half Nubian half La Mancha.

Well, it's a long day & I'm beat. It looks like we've got unexpected midnight feedings to do. We're thankful for all of the new life, & wisdom we've been given in the first short weeks of the season. Oh yeah, I also made my first batch of saurkraut. I followed Joannes directions implicitly so go check out her blog & pictures on how to make it if you'd like to. I used the rubber handle of a hammer to pound w/.

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