The Waiting is Over

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Cayenne decided to surprise me and have her kid a couple days early.  He was born yesterday afternoon without any trouble, a single buckling.

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She’s a first freshener and is a good mama.

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Within about 30 minutes or less he was on his feet and looking for food.  Today he’s jumping around and playing a little.

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He’s a handsome fella.

Farm Photo Friday

I finally got the snow I’ve been waiting all winter for…

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…five inches of it!  It was beautiful while it lasted.  Most of it melted into a muddy mess later in the day.

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The horses loved it and the boys came out to play, but the girls–no way.  They stayed in the barn and were content to lay in a sunny spot and watch the snow fall off the trees.

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I’ll be keeping a close eye on Cayenne this weekend, she’s due on Sunday.  I’ll start milking her two weeks after she kids; I’m beyond ready for some fresh goat milk!

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We have a kidding stall set up in a corner of the barn all ready to go with a deep layer of fresh straw.  Milo the cat has given it his stamp of approval.  Thank goodness it’s supposed to warm up over the weekend and I shouldn’t need a heat lamp to warm the kids.

Have a great weekend!

Nature’s Indicators

“Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men.” (Chinese proverb).

20120305-IMG_3958 copyOver the years I’ve become interested in phenological signs as an indicator of when to plant things in my garden.  Phenology is the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life.  Historically, this is how farmer’s determined when to plant, by observing changes in plant and animal life coinciding with the changing seasons. I find this fascinating and have begun to employ some of these signs when planting my garden, with good results.  Soil temperature and weather conditions are your most accurate indicators of when to plant, not just a date range alone, and Mother Nature is pretty good at letting us know when these conditions are right.  Phenology isn’t infallible, but it is very interesting and I enjoy trying out some of the theories.  Here are some of the signs that I’m looking for this spring:

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Plant peppers and eggplant outside when bearded iris is in full bloom.

When daffodils begin to bloom, time to plant peas.

Plant corn when oak leaves are the size of a squirrel’s ear (or when the apple blossoms begin to fall).

When the lilac has leafed out plant lettuce, peas and other cool weather crops, when it’s in full bloom plant beans, when it’s blooms have faded plant cucumbers and squash.

When dandelions are blooming plant potatoes, beets, lettuce, spinach and carrots.

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Give some of these a try this year and see how they work for you.

 

 

Looking Forward

2012 02 02_0038 copyToday, after more darkness and dreariness, and with yet another chance for freezing rain and icing overnight, I am looking forward…

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…to this year’s babies soon to be born…

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…enjoying the start of the garden’s bounty…

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… getting back on a regular riding schedule…

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… and the first flowers of spring.

Spring is most certainly coming, though, and I must be patient.

Farm Photo Friday

Ice, ice, and now more ice.  Earlier in the week we had an ice storm, and now we’re under another ice storm warning until tomorrow morning, followed by heavy rain and thunderstorms over the weekend.  What a wild weather week.

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The crocuses are trying their best to make it seem like spring.

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Elliot braved the cold and ice to come outside and take advantage of the lowered tree branches, heavy with ice.

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But the girls said no way to all that ice and cold and preferred to enjoy the view from their nice cozy barn.

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The cardinals were everywhere on my walk.  I wish I had a longer lens to photograph them.

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Food photography is hard when you have a dark kitchen and it’s night time so you can’t take it to a window for natural light, but this is what I put together for Valentine’s Day.  Bucheron (one of my favorite goat cheeses), The Drunken Goat (wine soaked cheese, how can you go wrong with that??), and a sheep’s milk Roquefort, along with homemade baguettes, chutney and dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt.

Have a great weekend!

 

Ice

The aftermath of yesterday’s ice storm…

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Everything is encrusted in ice, and while it’s beautiful and I want to capture that with my camera, I have to do it in small doses because my fingers just can’t take the cold anymore.  We didn’t lose power but we do have a few broken limbs, particularly from the pine trees.

Farm Photo Friday

Seems like this week was all about spending time in the kitchen (which I do enjoy)…

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I made one of my favorite cheeses, Camembert, with my cow milk share this week.  It needs about 6 weeks to age and develop a white surface mold before it’s ready to eat.  I make this with goat milk when my girls are in milk and it’s just as delicious.

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Love, love, LOVE sourdough bread.  My starter is fed and very active and tomorrow I’ll be making bread.  I keep it in the frig and feed it once a week, then get it out a couple days before I want to make bread to let it get really active.

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Maybe this is what we’ll see on Monday, we’re supposed to get SNOW!

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Not much going on with the goats, still just waiting….

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… for babies to arrive!!!

Have a great weekend!