It has been another whirlwind week/weekend here on the Acre. I like to tease my husband that the week never really “ends” here…though he doesn’t think it’s funny. We were able to do our last concrete pour for the barn posts/greenhouse stemwalls, we received a shipment of 25 baby turkeys (only 21 made it), and we are having a friend bring out the three little piggies we purchased from a local ranch last week. My husband also has a few camp friends in town that are due to visit, and we are meeting with a local friends of ours who are increasingly interested in raising some of their own food here on the Acre with us. I have also been researching sprouting fodder (mainly barley) for our animals. We have been looking into it for over 6 months now, and we were set to buy a commercial system over the winter but it didn’t pan out. I plan on doing an entire post on this soon, once I have developed my own system and can report some awesomely, great news. Anyhoo, this week I finally started trials with sprouting here at the house and right now we’re just playing the waiting game to see how our first run goes.
Everything here seems to be in a bit of ‘limbo’ for the moment. I have finished cleaning the house and the kids are doing their ‘quiet time’ for the afternoon while we wait for a phone call to say that either the piggies, my husband’s friends, or our local friends are on their way out through the old railroad tunnels to see us. The air is very chilly and the sun is spotty, so I will wait a few days before I start to harden off seedlings. The turkeys are in the brooder box eating and playing and finally starting to grow into their gigantic heads….sort of. Our layer hens are about ready to go outside full-time, but at this point, it makes more sense to hold out until the barn is finished so we don’t have to build them a temporary coop and risk losing them to predators. Goldie the cow is getting BIG. Her hips have sunken in a bit and I noticed last week that her teats were a bit plumper than usual, though her bag isn’t filling yet. It may be a bit early (3-4 weeks) but I am checking on her daily to see if I can notice any small changes that might signal impending labor. This is especially keeping me on my toes because Goldie is my first cow and, therefore, a learning experience – one that I don’t want to earn at the cost of her or her calf’s well-being. The goat still has a way to go before kidding since we bred her later than usual this year, though she is getting awfully bossy at feeding time.
It’s funny to me that this weeks post is so different from last week’s. Maybe it’s because we were so behind schedule last week and managed to catch up to where we were supposed to be this week…. Either way, it never fails to amaze me how much variability there is to life on a farm. Sometimes it seems like the ‘same-old, same-old,’ other times it’s like the difference between night and day. One thing is for sure; even during the slow times, it’s never boring, never mundane. And even through this humdrum afternoon, we look forward to a lot of excitement in our near future: new friends, old friends, new animals, and new life. All very exciting….unlike this pile of laundry sitting in front of me….or, wait, is that a car pulling up in our drive?