Wednesday, September 23, 2009

the race is on!

OK so 61 essays were submitted to the essay contest to win a starter herd of angora goats. They have all been posted to see my essay . So votes are how you get into the final round. So if you like my essay...well, Vote for me! but I have to tell you there are a lot of other great essays too so do read! But what a great opportunity! seriously. I have no idea where this little surprise path will take me but obviously on an adventure, want to come?

On the home front... I moved the bucks to there new home a couple of days ago and already the does are showing interest! Too soon! Time to get the calender out and start making notes. I cant believe its almost time to breed. It was just last week when I sold the last of the bucklings, of course that is my own fault, got too attached. Yikes. I love this!

The garden is finally coming together. Fencing should be completed after the weekend and next week will be all about planting and praying for just a few weeks of warm evenings (60's) and sunshine filled days.

The first Farm table dinner at the new place is this weekend. So excited! two sold out nights. I picked up my hog from Pork and Greens at 4 states processing today and have a whole hog in my fridge ready to bless and nourish us all.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The contest

I actaully entered a contest. Through several friends I was introduced to this really cool business called fiber farm. From this web site I started to keep up with their blog. Through the blog I was made aware of an extremely unique give-a-way, not just the normal yarn and such but an actual starter herd of angora goats.

A few months back I posted about my interest in fiber sheep. I've been pretty set on that and now have a place where I can have a good sized flock. Never did I think about fiber goats! They are soooo cute. I know its not about cute, well it is sort of! Plus I do have a special relationship with goats.

So I entered an essay to tell them how much I want/need a herd of fiber goats, and now I wait.
It was the hardest essay I have ever written simply because of the fact that it will be judged. And..... if, if I do win I will have just entered into the world I have only been peeking in the window of. I'll be walking through the door of destiny. How dramatic!
So If I do win (crossing my fingers) I'll get to trek to the east coast (I think Martha's vineyard) and pick them up myself! Does that sound like a blogger's dream or what!

Of course I'll be searching for sponsors... I know don't jump the gun.
But what if.......????

Friday, September 11, 2009

This moment

The Llama leads the sheep in from the pasture for the night. I am taking clothes off of the line. They’re not completely dry but 60% chance of rain in the forecast for tomorrow and no doubt a heavy dew tonight anyway, so I squeeze the wooden clothes pins and make a neat pile in the basket leaving plenty of air between the fabric. I won’t be putting them away tonight. I knew this as I turned the washer on this morning.

Sadie spies a Deer on the far end of the pond. The dear spies her , then us and makes a run for it. Sadie barks wildly hopping and jumping in place but Ginger and Cosmo just watch in silence. Its dusk and I can hardly make out the long elegant legs. Just a fast tan tall graceful blur and then gone, leaving behind the normal back drop of leaves, grass, trees, and the now dark sultry shimmer of the pond.

I listen to the goats chew their cud and settle down for the night, each finding the best place on the hay pile to bed down. The air is silent. I can’t hear any crickets or frogs or even the persistent shrill of the ancient mysterious cicada. The only sound I hear is the low and high hums of “historic” as I now always refer to it out of an adopted sense of pride ”route 66”.

The Deer has come back. I see it. I look over at the dogs. The Pyrenees watch it but say nothing and then Sadie alerts me, them, us. We all just look at her. She looks at me with pleading eyes that say, “Madam, perhaps the Deer is a threat to us, perhaps it will come up here and harm us in a most terrifying way, are you sure you don’t want to take heed of my warnings?” She gets her answer and bring her ball close for me to kick. Were all quiet now, just watching. Soon light creeps away leaving us only to see shadows and blackness in the trees.

I’m on my own for dinner tonight so I’ll pull out the beef liver I save for such occasions. (no one else here appreciates liver ) I’ve a craving for pasta so I’ll boil up some penne and sauté chunks of liver lightly dredged in seasoned flour, with caramelized onions, garlic and I’ll deglaze the pan with Balsamic(I do not have sweet Marsala which would be better but I’ll make due) and a touch of pasta water, throw a good pinch of rosemary and goat milk cream and then toss it with the penne and some parm and butter. I like it.

Tomorrow is market but I’ve got to go to the live stock sale to try to sell five sweet buckling that I’ve become way too attached to. I’ll be alone which is good because we all have come to love these little boys but…… hell, we don’t need them and ……they are a pain in the ass! OK but…. They are really sweet. Ya can’t keep em’ all, some ol’ wise person once said, and we kept these longer than we should have in the first place. But I will miss them. Wait. I will miss some things about them. There!

The crickets are singing now, and the sound of the road is fading. Time to go in. 4 am will be here sooner than ya know it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Two weeks and zero hours since my hoofed friends and I stepped out of the trailers and trucks to embarked on our new land. They seem to be taking to it quite well and we have our milking routine down pretty good. I on the other hand seem to be adjusting slower. I’m having a hard time keeping the goats where I want them. They could care less of course and go where they feel moved to which has been out on the road (we are on a private dead end with no traffic) or in the front yard. Yesterday early evening I was inside playing guitar and looked next to me at the open window and there was Dotty just gently pushing her nose into the screen.
“hi Dotty” I say after finishing a tune.
A long sweet “Maaahhhh!” is her only response, and off she goes to feast on a nearby bunch of tall grass.

I’ve quit fighting it, at least today I have. I am grateful, at least they’re safe, they can’t really get into too much trouble, they have already eaten my potted flowers and plants and the tomatoes I hadn’t sold at the farmers market, which sat on the tail gate of the truck waiting to be put up for processing later. The sheep and Pascal are doing just fine in their fenced 85 acres with no desire what so ever to be in the house with us. The sheep have been getting closer to the cows and grazing nearby them. It’s a beautiful sight to see them all out in the distance with the sun behind them. In the evenings just as the sun goes down I lead them back to the night yard for their evening hay.

There is a beautiful 10 acre plot behind the house that has perfect goat pasture written all over it but I can’t get them to go back there by themselves. They’ll follow me but the second I turn to go back hoping they will stay, they are on my like glue. I suppose they’re just unsure. Can’t blame them there are plenty of coyote and other predators in these parts but the dogs are always nearby, and they can’t graze the dirt road and the front yard forever.

This morning Linda and I took a walk across the 10 acres. All of the goats followed of course. We stopped and grazed investigated and took stock of fence conditions. We were trying to find out how the cows keep getting into an area we thought we had blocked off. It didn’t take us long to find the cow trail and open gait, an easy remedy but along the way we enjoyed watching the goats have a time, they loved it back there. I think they just want to be where we are right now. It’s were they feel safest. They like being able to keep us in site.

I wonder if we walk them back through the beautiful lush pasture everyday if they will eventually start feeling more comfortable and start going back there by themselves without us. For all I know about goats this far, that seems logical. So now it’s about me being consistent and creating our routine. The walk does me a world of good anyway.

It’s been a good day.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It stormed last night and I listened to the hard rain and what sounded like hail hitting the tin roofed barn outside. The two great Pyrenees guarded well, barking at everything they could; deer, coyote, possum, skunk, thin air. Even rain drops may have appeared to have some potential threat. I listened to them most of the night with a tiredness and dread of the alarm clock which I knew would be ringing way too soon.

I’m not as sore as I thought I would be this morning from unloading a trailer full of hay last night into the barn. My body feels like it always does. I start out a little stiff and by time milking and chores are done I’m loose and feeling good enough to go at the day again.

I’m enjoying a strong cup of coffee and looking out the window that the kitchen table sits next to. I get to look out onto a large field of tall prairie grass. In the wind it just sways and sounds so remarkable. I want to run through it at full speed. Eat it up. Have this tall waist high grass take me in. But I won’t because I already have more chigger bites than a person should and as inviting as that beautiful field is, it will remain untouched by me, for now.

We’ll plow up the north field today. This will be the new winter garden. Its mowed low and looks like a golf course soon it will look like a field of greens you can eat!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I’m starting to feel slightly settled in here at the new farm. The goats and sheep love their new pasture and the chickens are frolicking in their new sweet pen. I’ve gotten the milking parlor worked out so milking has been going very smoothly. Pascal has finally settled down and is exploring and leading the sheep along the borders of the field. The Dogs are hard at work keeping predators away at night and the cool days make working outside such a complete pleasure. However, the Dogs who have no prior experience with cows are barking at them and it seems my “NO!!” only encourages them further. Need to fix this problem pronto. Making things a little frustrating!

It will take some days of un- packing boxes and re-arranging but all in all it does feel like home. I have however been feeling very overwhelmed by time. Last night while catching up on one of my favorite blogs ( I read the date of her last post, it read, September 1st. I was utterly shocked. I missed 9/1. I’m still in 8/31. What the how did this happen????. How did September 1st sneak up on me? What day is it?

Last Sunday morning while milking I listened to a pod cast from Radio Lab on time. After, I decided part of my problem and why I seemed to be so overwhelmed was because I was not in sync with time. In my mind I was like a humming bird and everything seemed to be moving so slow outside of my world. I decided to look at time in a totally different way. Actually, not look at time. More directly not look at a clock. Just go with what was priority and base my day on the light. Even my traditional “list” was out. Sunday was the first day. You can’t believe what a difference it made. Without having time behind me egging me on, judging me, pushing me, chastising me every chance it got, I was free! It was blissful and you just can’t believe how much I got done (but it’s not about that!)

The second day, Monday I did the same thing. No clock. No list. Just sun and sweat and instinct of what task took precedence at that moment. Same with Tuesday, no clock, no lists. Well, let me just say that I didn’t even realized it was Tuesday until it was almost over. I feel like I accomplished as much as the day allowed. I ate, I worked, and I took a long walk in the forest inside a dry creek bed. I worked some more. I ate, I played with goats and then wrote. OK I think I might be on to something. This thing I’ve been doing, either chasing time or being chased by it just isn’t working for me anymore. Right now it’s about the journey. To where? I don’t know. To a working viable farm? Yes. To a life of calm peace? Yes that too. But I’ve given up on chasing my tail.

Kasey and I have started to get the ground ready for our fall/winter beds, the green house is ready to come over and our broccoli and cauliflower will be ready to put in the ground in a couple of weeks. Very exciting! Right now I’m Just trying to find my calm in the storm and reach some kind of harmony in all this chaos. Hopefully soon.