Thursday, September 30, 2010

The 30 day challenge

Let me explain the “eat less meat” part of this.
First off realize this is a depression era poster however………. Relevant still, just in a different way. I think it’s up for interpretation without losing the overall message. Now remember it doesn’t say eat none just less and that I take as talking about our gratuitous consumption of these items as an overall nation, but I would definitely add corn to this list as well.

So here is my long winded roll on this: Right now groceries stores, fast food establishments and restaurants are jam packed with meat from CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), CAFO’s have allowed the American population to eat as much “inexpensive” meat as we wish. Every meal if we like. However this comes at a price to our environment, animal welfare and our health as an overall population. Not to mention the subject of corn production that is needed to feed these animals and the Pandora’s Box that opens up to, as well as pushing small local producer literally out of business (this is especially true with the family dairy). Meat is part of our culture as Americans but the way our culture raises meat for the masses is relatively new.

If you imagine yourself in a sustainable life you don’t support industrialize meat production, therefore if you eat meat you buy it from a local source that you believe fits with your values. But, all of the local sources put together could never equate to the mass meat production and cost /price of a CAFO. Naturally we would all eat less meat, we would also naturally pay a higher price but CAFOs would be obsolete. Imagine that!

It’s a well accepted fact that the health of Americans changed dramatically following industrialized food practices. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, all rose dramatically following the 1950, Of course what makes it worse is our life style has changed too. Now most of have to work really hard and go to extreme measures to stay fit.
So go back to before industry and scientists began raising your food and imagine what things would look like. How much more value would that steak or roast have if you raised it yourself or a friend or a local farmer? Would any of it at anytime get thrown in the garbage, or wasted? What would a fast food meal look like? What would we look like? What if we ate according to our energy demands/needs? I’ll tell ya what, I’m a little thing but I easily put away 4500 calories or more in a day, A high percentage of that is protein, eggs mostly, milk, cheese and meat, the rest vegetables, then rice, grains, beans and bread. Each person has different energy requirements. I’m not qualified to pass any judgment or make any suggestions regarding that subject but it just makes sense to me.

Right now I’m talking about meat; however this could be applied to nearly everything on our grocery store shelves. I’m talking about eating more mindfully, going back to a community of food production. A farmers market, garden, co-op, not a manufacturing plant.
This challenge is just that it’s a challenge and for some it’s going to be stepping out of their comfort zone, but it will be up to each individual’s judgment and personal journey. It’s not my intention to be preachy or judgmental. I am not and don’t ever plan on being perfect. But I believe there is a misconception that eating this way is impossible, and me staying in business for the long haul depends on busting this misconception.
So here are some suggestions that might help you get started.
1) plan a weekly menu for all of your meals based on things you know you have or can get locally, even plan your snacks. It’s a hassle to begin with but soon will become a no brainer. (I do this on Thursdays, and have a list at the farmer market)
2) Make a shopping list, farmers market, co-op order, csa pick up etc, grocery store etc. Buy nothing outside of your list. Nothing. If you can’t cook every night, make extra and eat the left-overs, but at least cook 5 nights a week. Share meals with friends whenever possible.
3) Share sources with like minded people. You’ll need the support and the laughs.
4) make this challenge fun, don't take yourself too seriously.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

30 day challenge!

This was sent to me via a friend on face book. Notice the very small writing at the bottom, here let me help: U.S. FOOD ADMINISTRATION. The exact date is unknown to me but it's really timeless. My challenge to myself and to all of you readers is to follow these 6 simple steps for one month; 30 days. Use your food as if it had great value to you and your country and more importantly Oklahoma!. I know it seems like it's the end of the season and farmers markets are winding down, but you would be surprised how much local food will still be out there.
If you're interested in taking this challenge, here's what to do: comment, let me know you're in by Oct 1st 9am. The person who makes it through the month of October with the most creative solutions wins a farm table dinner for four here at the farm for our ' Like Water for Chocolate Dinner' (a 7 course meal inspired from the book) for Valentines- Saturday Feb 12. (this is a $200 dollar value) would make a great Christmas gift!
I'll be randomly sending out tips via facebook page.
So spread the word !
Here's what you do:
1) Leave a comment on this blog-if you can't comment here, leave a comment on our facebook page letting me know you're in from now until 9am Oct 1st
2) Make a plan
3) October 1st start a loose journal
4) Share your journey via our Living Kitchen facebook page
5) October 31st send me a 500 word or less essay of your experience, successes and failures via my e-mail be sure to include your contact info.
6) The winner will be notified November 7th
Your essay wont be judged on quality of writing spelling, or being perfect okay, the journey!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

gitty up!

I've never been that cute little girl who loved horses, and had all the horse books and magazines and little figurines of horses on display in her pink color themed bed room. No not me. I did have a pink shag rug and white walls that were left empty. I decorated my room as a child with dirty laundry, shoes, books, art in progress on the easel waiting for finishing touches and albums, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Heart, Foreigner, Head East, and BOC, all of this of course scattered about. I was a mess.

My parents had a sort of time share thing east of the mountains as we say in Seattle, in a small town called Cle Elem. The time share thing was called "Sky Meadows" and folks would buy an acre, build if they want and come and enjoy the country for a spell. There we had one acre of land that my parents thought they would build a cabin on someday. Sky Meadows had some small stables and that's where Peanuts lived, a Shetland Pony I learned to ride when I was eight. I of course grew out of peanuts, whom, I, because of a little lisp would often refer to as penis, much to my parents amusement and at times I'm sure embarrassment. But me and ol'penis parted ways when I was 12. So did the family and Sky Meadows, back to a full time City life.

I've ridden a few time since but nothing really worth mentioning. However in spite of not being that little "in love with horses" girl, I've always been drawn to them. I have raging envy every time I see people riding happily down the street. I've always wanted a horse but really could never justify one and it really just never seemed practical. Until now....

This past few years I have been thinking about having a horse quite seriously, I've just kept it at bay cause I've never had the space or time to really make that kind of commitment, but the want has just kept getting louder so to quell my mind I decided the least I could do and the most responsible means to do it would be to take horseback riding lessons.

Meet buddy and Lindsey!

I did it! I took my first horse back riding lesson!

Lindsey started me off on Buddy, an 18 year old paint who is very gentle and used to being rode by kids. Which is good cause I totally feel like a kid. My first lesson went well and I cant wait to do it again! I don't know where this will go but it feels really good to learn something new and actually do something that is just for myself. I do see this eventually leading to horse ownership but that will be a while, I love horses enough not to have one right now, but I'm pretty sure there is a horse for me when the time is right.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Its Fair time!

Since I can remember I've always been fascinated by the State Fair and the annual rodeos. Many of the events were based on real life tasks required on the ranch. Rodeos have changed as well as state fairs with more entertainment for folks not involved in farm or ranch life. And seeing that the number of folks involved in farm and ranch life has dwindled in the last 40 years it makes sense that gut churning rides on machines would take the place of a sort and branding team.

In Seattle as you can imagine the State fair is made up of 20% animals and the likes and the rest to vendors of the latest gadgets, tons of rides, and food, the worst stuff you could think to put into your precious body, and big name concerts. So the original Ag. stuff has just slowly evolved out.

Last Sunday Linda and I went to the Oklahoma City state fair. We were hoping to see some different breeds of sheep, but not much was there probably because it was a Sunday, but we did get to see a really great competition of field sorting. This was done in teams of two. This is where the team on horse back sort the calves. The calves are in one corral and the object is to get them all in the second corral in numerical order before the bell goes off. Okay, this was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. The horses were amazing and the handling was so incredible to watch. The great thing was the diversity of sex and age. Young, old, male, female. Amazing! I watched this young kid of maybe 12 work with a dude about 70 and they got eight out of 10 calves in!

I want to do this!

One thing this has inspired me to do is take horse back riding lessons. I really want a horse one day. When I was young I rode a little but cant remember anything important so I've decided to do something good for myself that will take me off of the farm and take some lessons, at least then, if and when I do get a horse I'll know what to do with em. Like sorting and roping and cool stuff like that! Yea right!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Prairie winter

I think the thing I like best about making my way in farming is all the very interesting things I get to witness on a regular basis regarding "nature", seems kind of cliche, but things I would never have noticed in a million years I now have a front seat to. Also this is the beauty of being an organic farm. I don't really have a too much of a hand in how things work out there cause I'm not killing everything or trying to manipulate things too much, I just get to observe. Its frustrating sometimes, like when blister beetles ate my chard overnight. but there was a lesson in there too. They ate the chard but left everything else alone. So I planted more chard, as a trap plant, then gathered em up and well, I killed em! Organically, with my foot, and some neem oil. The horses in the neighborhood have all sent thank you letters.

The chard is gone and so are the beetles. Today I feel like I can plant chard. Or find more blister beetles. Who knows!

One really amazing thing that I have been noticing is how many grass hoppers are out there. They are really quite beautiful and have amazing intricate markings. Their flight is music and when they are still they are still. I had been noticing little holes in the soil, some times these small little holes are caused by birds plucking out grubs but the grasshoppers are making these holes I've watched them. What were they doing? I asked google of course! This is from a web site called Prairie Winter.

Grasshopper (family Tettigoniidae {long-horned})
In the fall the female grasshopper drills deep holes in the prairie soil by pushing the tip of her abdomen into the ground and squeezing out twenty to a hundred eggs. She swallows air to blow up her abdomen so it can push deeper into the soil. She covers the eggs with a white froth which soon forms a hard case to protect the eggs. She dies, but the eggs last through the winter and then
hatch into tiny grasshoppers.

It seems a little hot still to be laying yur eggs but who am I to question. So I'll be curious to know if it doesn't start tuning cooler here real soon.

One thing I've really come to understand is how alive winter is below the soil. On top everything looks dead and dormant but underneath it's a party that I was not invited too, at least yet! All those eggs and micro organisms at work. I'm having a farmy nerd fest here!

And the lady bugs........I've seen quite a few.

Ladybird Beetles "Ladybugs" (family Coccinellidae)
In the fall these beetles gather in groups making it easy for farmers to collect and transport them to the farms for pest control. However, the ladybugs' reason for gathering is to prepare for winter by piling one on top of the other in tree stumps or under rocks and leaves to protect themselves from the winter cold.

So I guess I appreciate the opportunity to pay attention. To watch my farm mates get ready for winter and for me to do the same. Its serious business for them, nothing to take lightly. They don't have flannel, or quaint little wood burning stoves, warm goat milk with honey, apple butter on homemade bread like the frogs and toads do.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

three days

Why cant life just leave me alone once and a while! Why, when I'm trying really hard to focus all of my energy on one very important task, do things keep coming up that cause me distraction. If I ignore everything else just for three days will the world fall apart? three days that's all I'm asking! and really now only two more. This is what I need to finish up planting for fall and winter. Nothing else needs to exist right now but that. AT&T notified me of EXTREME data use. Ok have no idea what that means of how little ol' me could have anything extreme from data. The deposits are adding up, the bills feel like they are piling up too and the e-mails, oy the e-mails. I only need three days, no wonder I cant take a dang vacation!

I'm ranting, I know. I hear myself loud and clear and again I do realize I'm catastrophizing! Thursday I'll sort it all out, Thursday. But today and tomorrow I plant, nothing else exists in my world except that! I will not be derailed.

I felt like this yesterday morning too, so I took a walk out to the pasture and opened a big gate to another pasture that I have been letting the sheep and goats into. It's lush and full of excellent stuff. The only problem is, there is the boundary fence of barbed wire but other than that its a little oasis surrounded by trees and creeks within 300 acres, so knowing the goats I wondered where they would end up. But I haven't gotten any calls from concerned neighbors yet so I let em' go for it. I walked back to the field and began my work, a few hours later I saw them all in a single file line headed back to the barn for their afternoon nap. They do this everyday with out fail and today thankfully was no exception. What a beautiful sight. That's enough to untwist my panties or take the pee out of my Cheerios! Seeing these beautiful animals come back home gave me an ahhhhh feeling. The day went off with out a hitch.

Monday, September 20, 2010

last little bit on cold frames

So you've built your cold frame, now what?

Line the bottom with paper feed bags or landscaping fabric (this is to suffocate the grass and weeds underneath. Add the soil. I use mushroom compost which I buy from Kevin Davis in Tulsa (918)280-0717 they will put as many front end scoops as you can carry for a really great price. They also have a garden mix which is mushroom compost and sand. One load of garden mix mixed with 1/2 bag of peat moss and your ready to roll. Now if you cant get to Tulsa and don't have a pick-up, instead buy about 5 bags of some kind of nice compost. Mix it with one bag of sand and 1/2 bag of peat moss. If you can find mushroom compost or cotton burr, that works really well. Just don't use miracle grow only because seedlings have a bad habit of dying off just all of a sudden like. I think too much nitrogen.

The seeds I like to use for a baby lettuce mix is black seeded Simpson (its a green leaf) red oak leaf, arugula, spinach and bulls blood beet (just for the nice red greens). Plant in rows that are 2" apart and just kind of sprinkle the seeds into a little trench (1/4" deep) that you make with a pitch fork or something. cover with soil and water. Keep the soil moist until seeds germinate. Right now you can leave the lid off at night unless you need to keep your cats out, just don't forget to take it off in the morning. If you plant now your seeds should germinate in a few days (3-5). The cooler it gets the longer the seeds take to germinate.
Good luck, contact me if you have any questions.

Calling a place home

A year has passed since I moved here to the farm. In my journals from last year not knowing this place, I just referred to it as Rancho Grande; I mean going from 7 acres to 400 was quite a thing to wrap my head around. It takes a while to get used to a place, to get to know its personality and traits. Going into my second fall here I have an idea what’s ahead. Which has given me more of the feeling that this is home.

This last year has held some challenges for us, a colder than usual fall and a very early winter with a blizzard on Christmas Eve (I was in Seattle and Linda here by herself) taught lessons in preparedness. It’s hard and painful to think back to those times especially the blizzard which took our two very sweet bucks we had bottle raised. So to say I’m a little nervous is a slight understatement but terrified might be over the top so, I’ll say I’m right there in the middle, which is plain discomfort.

The beauty of farming and I suppose life itself, is each year you can start over. You can change it up as you see fit. You can, as a sticker I have in my office reads “Begin Anew”. I suppose that statement can be applied in any way as long as you have the mind to do it but with farming it’s the re-set button at the end of every season.

So what’s different? Last year I had no larder, nothing in the freezer and nothing canned in the pantry. Today the larder is ¾ full and the freezers awaiting a ½ pig, and the end of the season’s veggies. I know the tilt of the land now, so in the barn area I now know where to winterize before the storm. I know I need better tires on the truck if I’m gonna get through another winter (I got stuck in the mud a bunch of times, once with a trailer load of alfalfa right at the barn door and had to unsuccessfully chase off the very happy cows who found me, that was a sight!). And I know I need to have a wood burning stove in soon and plenty of wood lined up (we lost power a bunch of times). So if we need to we can cook and heat and not be completely at the mercy of our propane, electricity etc.

So I guess it’s about being more self sufficient, which when you live out in the sticks every little bit helps. So here is my list of needs: if anyone out there has any recommendations please send em my way.

1) A Good small efficient (used) wood burning stove (our house is little, 1000sq ft)
2) A larger chainsaw and someone to help me take down a dead tree or two in exchange for wood. I’ll rent a splitter.
3) A generator I can run at least two freezers and a refer on, what size should I get? I’ve never used one before.

Being prepared will ensure the mildest of winters; however a repeat of last year is not an option. I want to go into this ready for almost anything. Do I sound a tad apocalyptic? But just planning like this, knowing what I need is a comfort in itself. I feel this place is home now.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

keep on truckin'

Fall may be on its way and this by all accounts is a really good thing. What a summer! But for me its not time to slow down quite yet, right now I'm racing against daylight to get my fall/winter plantings in. With the help Michael a young man interested in farming who is helping me a few days a week we've managed to plant two beds of greens and build four cold frames. The cold frames will be planted on Friday and then its time to get to work on the hoop house.

Last year about this time I was unpacking boxes and trying to make this place a home. Planting didn't start till mid October and then it turned cold fast, so I feel miles ahead from last year! but regardless, the pressure is on and there are still three weeks of market left. I am definitely a woman who spends all her minutes in the day. Last week, on Thursday, I hit the proverbial wall and decided not to sell at the farmers market but to rest, catch up on some things and get ready for the farm table dinner Saturday night. Saturday's when we have a dinner scheduled they start at 3:30 am and go until midnight. Rarely does it happen when I just have to stop, but when it does I obey, I've learned to listen to myself rather than to suffer the consequences of an inevitable cold other illnesses.

This week is especially busy, Today I'm in Stillwater, Wednesday I'm teaching a cold frame workshop at OSU's Seretean Wellness center, then after, I get to go hear a talk from one of my hero's Temple Grandin and then straight to a Global garden board meeting. Thursday planting and harvesting from dawn to sundown, then Friday I give a talk at the annual ADA conference that I'm calling "The Sustainable Kitchen" This is where I get on my soap box and rant about industrial farming whilst this sweet little conference is sponsored by the industrial food system. That should go over really well. Pray I walk out out of there with out hand cuffs on. Really I wont be exactly ranting, but that would be funny wouldn't it. I have to laugh a little.

And .... Saturday farmers market and our CSA pot luck! this I am really looking forward too!
Sunday another dawn til dusk planting marathon.
Never a dull moment. Never

I did make time for a nice long walk yesterday evening and it was so beautiful. I've got to be careful not to miss the changing world around me. Linda and I followed a cow trail through the property. Theses trails are great cause you never know where you will end up. Life is just one beautiful cow trail ain't it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More on cold frames

Okay, Sorry for not posting pics like I promised. I had taken some great ones and then misplaced my camera in my harvest bag. Thank goodness its still operational, Unlike the time I had an egg and my camera in the same pocket and the egg broke. Camera still not working.
Cold frames are great if you are interested in growing your own lettuce, arugula, radishes, spinach, kale, mustard greens, chard, beets carrots etc! The deal is, the crops you do plant must be established before the hours day light go below 10 hrs. So now until the end of sept is the very best time to plant. Plan on growing baby greens mostly. Lettuce will never head up. So when choosing seed choose seed that is good for baby lettuce like red oak, black seeded Simpson, Don't choose butter head. Trust me on this. Arugula and spinach are fine. You'll palnt now and harvest through winter.

Here is the material list again:
2- 2x12x8 one of these is your back and one will be your sides, cut in half and then cut into an angle to line up with you front the 2x8x8
1- 1x8x8 this is the front
3 2x2x8- this will get nailed to the bottom of the frame and removed as needed, This protects your cold frame from rotting and is very easy to replace.

4 more 2x2x8 this will be for the lid that will sit on top of the frame.
I use untreated wood because I am certified organic but even if I wasn't I would still use untreated wood anyway. It will last at least 4 seasons with only the bottom 2x2 needing to be replaced.
Now that you have all your materials, cut one of the 2x12 in half make two 2x12x4 Now mark each of these pieces so it angles down to 8" the top will be 12" and the bottom.

Here its ready to be screwed together. I use long strong screws so the wood wont pull apart when it encounters moisture etc, then I nail the 2x2 on the bottom. Nailing the 2x2 makes it easier to remove.

I also put a 2x2 or whatever extra wood you might have laying around as a brace in the middle this will help to prevent the wood from bowing in or out.

This is the lid that will be wrapped in plastic, there will be a 2" air gap in the middle which will make for great insulation during very cold winter nights.
No that your cold frame is done, place it where you would like it to live for the winter. Be sure the angle is facing south so you can take advantage of all the possible sun light. If you can, place it as close to your kitchen as you can so it wont be such a hassle to go out into the cold to harvest.
My next post on this will be on what kind of soil to put in it and the seeds and varieties I use, and I'll also talk about the do's and dont's of cold frames. So get this built within the next few days, it should only take you about two hours total. Also when I get to the plastic and the lid part if you live in Tulsa or close by I might have extra plastic I can sell you that would be just the right size for your lid so you don't have to buy a whole roll. One cold frame should cost around $40 at the most. not including the soil and seeds. and should last four or more seasons.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cold frames

I'm going to start building cold frames today for plot 1, this is my fall winter garden. The rows are all nicely covered in very short grass and such but shouldn't take much to clean up. The high tunnel just needs some love and as the days cool off that will be ready to plant too. This is kind of the highlight of the year for me. I love to grow in the fall and winter. Fer-ikin' love it!

Here is what I found out. In theory you can cover your beds with a fabric cover supported by thick wire hoops, this works okay in very mild conditions but the cold Oklahoma wind makes it challenging to get in and out of to harvest and if it snows or god forbid we get ice, well its history, the hoops cant really handle the weight and the veggies inside can become easily damaged and again its really hard to get in and out of. So none of that this winter. The time to use fabric covers is in feb covering early planted beets and turnips and such just for frost and some bug protection or over wintering carrots. This is what I have come up with after 5 years of trail and error.

This year I am making it easy on myself. 4 cold frames 4X8 and 2 high tunnels 14X8.5X60. I cant wait! last year was such a pain and we lost so much produce. It was heart breaking but a very valuable lesson.

Each cold frame should run about $40 I use Elliot Coleman's design, except for the lid. Glass doesn't give the veggies enough protection from the cold at night and heats up to fast and strong during the day, so I've come up with using instead, a frame made from 2x2s that is literally wrapped in green house plastic so there is a two inch gap between the layers of plastic, this has proven to work extremely well. Its also very light and survives all sorts of weather including large hale and is very easy to replace. The only thing is the lids must be anchored down (i use bricks on each corner) or they will blow off even in light wind.

Here is my material list for 1 cold frame- I use untreated wood but put some cheep scrap wood on the bottom that I can take off and replace every year as it rots and this saves my good lumber for some years. The untreated wood should last 4-5 seasons or longer, you can always oil it.

2- 2x4x12 (for the high end and sides)
1-2x4x8 (for the front) the cold frame slopes
3 2x2x8 (for the lid)
plastic (I'll talk more about that later)

I'll post pictures as we build them today.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Haemonchus Contortus

This from the ATTRA web site.

“Barber pole worm - the parasitic nematode responsible for anemia, bottle jaw, and death of
infected sheep and goats mainly during summer months in warm, humid climates.
Recommendations are based on current research findings and are subject to revision as
we learn more about the biology of the parasite and host and alternative products that
may act as anthelmintics.”
We’ve saved some lambs but we’ve lost two lambs so far and two more are in the process of dying as I write this post, this will be four lambs in the last 40 days. This has been by far the most devastating parasite we have come across besides cocidia, which we are now able to manage with great success. The problem with the Barber pole worm is how fast it hits. Once you realize a lamb is away from the herd with its head hanging down its probably too late even if said lamb is chewing cud, eating and running from you as you try to check out what might be going on with him or her.

We, like many farms use the FAMACHA method of determining whether we treat for parasites. This is where you check the inner eyelid for signs of anemia, before you actually treat; this is so the worms don’t become resistant to wormers due to over use and exposure. See these pesky little devils have a way of becoming completely resistant to anthilmetics. The wormer (CYDECTIN) we have been using is now on the list of the anthilmitics that the barber pole worm is now known to show resistance to. This is really bad news to us and the two lambs in sick bay fighting for their lives. But again, by time you realize this is the problem it’s already too late. We had one of our kid bucks show signs of bottle jaw (caused by the barber pole worm) we treated him with the wormer and it worked however he was so anemic we took him and his mom to our vet and did a full blood transfusion. He was in the hospital for three days! He’s alive and doing great, but if we weren’t grooming him for breeding, we could not have justified the cost, and surly he would have died. The vet bill was equivalent to a catered company Christmas party for the vet staff and family. Thank god I have that up my sleeve.

So what are we going to do? I have friends all over the state that are taking huge losses. Not because they are bad managers, these folks take such good care of their animals and spend all of their spare time desperately trying to figure this thing out. But it’s really hurting us bad. This year in particular, the heat and humid weather is exactly what this parasite loves, so it’s thriving faster that we can shake a stick at. So we'll move the sheep more frequently, we’ll keep trying to find ways to fight it, we’ll try not to take it personal and blame ourselves. That is the biggest thing to struggle against is the blame. Questioning our skills, our management, everything. We feel so responsible for these animals and we do everything in our power to give them the highest best possible lives and to have something that is currently out of our control is very heart breaking and shameful.
We’ll keep scouring over web sites and keep trying different methods of management and we’ll keep talking to other farmers to keep this quest alive. But, it’s hard to talk about because of the shame and fear of being seen as a bad manager. We are all effected by this, body mind and soul.
Here is one thing I have found. However, it hasn’t worked on these last two. Several friends and a vet have recommended cydectin (pour on) by mouth (drench) 1cc per 10 pounds. I have found doubling it works for some. If they are really bad I back it up with a Penicillin injection three to four days. I have had success before but as I’ve said, these last two looked like they were going to make it but have taken a serious turn for the worst just overnight. The anemia is just too severe. When we found them they were not down, but their gums and eyelids were very pale. We totally thought we had gotten them in time. It was a surprise when we went out this morning and got very little response from them. Very sad.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

All in a days work

Sometimes I look around and I think to myself, how am I ever going to get all the things done I want to? How am I going to clean and organize the work barn and the harvest shed, move sheep, weed the green house, brush hog the field, clean up the wood pile, burn the burn pile, spray off all the darn chicken poop on the porch and patio from the rouge hens who, in spite of having their wings trimmed, continue to scale the 5 foot fence so they can hang out with the dogs on the front porch! How? How am I going to turn the compost pile, muck out the barn, milk the goats, wash the eggs, clean the milk parlor, clean house, do laundry, make cheese, harvest, plant, teach a cooking class in Stillwater, prep for a farm table dinner, return e-mails/phone calls, write, eat, read and sleep? How? How will I do all this?

I might be what Linda calls catastrophizing the situation. I might be making a mountain out of a mole hill. I might be blowing this thing way out of proportion; I might be making something out of nuthin’. I might, I just might be. And this seems to happen more when I’m tired. When I feel like I’m in a dream trying to run for my life and my legs just won’t move. I’m grabbing and scratching my way along trying to go just a little faster only just to inch along.

This is how I feel. At least right now. But then I’ll go out and feed the chickens and gather eggs. I’ll milk the goats and I’ll come in make dinner and have a nice relaxing evening because mid way through milking when the goats have calmed me down with their witty humor, I’ll realize I’ve really done as much as I can do in one day. I’ve worked a good honest day and now it’s over. Tomorrow will be here and I’ll be rested and fresh and ready to start on the list.
Right now it’s time to mix a gin martini w/2 olives and go milk some goats. I feel better already. Life is gooooood! Keep this image of me always in your heart.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010