I love it when things start coming together. For me, the best catalyst for this type of action is when you have someone coming to visit the farm….especially someone new.
The Hugelkultur beds are almost ready for the topsoil. I took on the hard part of spreading the manure and getting the top even for the final touch. I will let the interns handle the rest.
We are getting closer and closer to Eeeeeep!-Sheeeeep!-Day. That day is this coming Sunday, when our friend Jamie from Grassfood will bring us our first ever sheep, as well as a new Nubian doe with two kids. We ❤ Jamie.
But I haven’t yet figured out how to tell Dude that the Hugelkultur beds are for veggies, not dogs! He loves to chew his bones there, probably because it is warm and soft….and smells like poo. Most of his favorite bones are from my sweetest Deluxe. Now I am able to joke and tell people that he misses Deluxe so much that he carries a little piece of her with him….everywhere he goes…. Mostly her spinal cord, and sometimes her forelegs.
I also got the saddles hung in the barn…all except for one. I don’t like leaving my saddles out during the winter, especially in this dry climate. I haven’t seen any cracks in the leather yet, but I would like to avoid that since these saddles are very special to me. But we are approaching riding season for this area and I am more than ready to get out on the boys.
We have also been getting the greenhouse ready for milking season. No, we will not have any calves this season, nor any cow milk. But we will have a goat in milk in less than a week, as well as more this coming fall. The cows we will bring here to calve in the very early spring, next year. I will milk them here for 4-6 weeks before turning them and the calves out to pasture on our rented property and milking them there for the remainder of the season. Raw milk procured from my own farm is one of the things that makes me feel enormously rich and secure in my health (and my family’s health). Mmmmmm, raw milk.
Of course the greenhouse isn’t all about milking in a warm, beautiful environment. We also have space to start seedlings and store medical supplies for the barn crew. I love this warm, inviting space. I plan to conduct a few homeschool lessons here in the coming summer/fall months.
We are also using up some old metal we have had in stock. After filling out most of the greenhouse walls, we are down to our last sheet of old, salvaged metal. Not to worry, we have more to go pick up this spring. All of it free. All of it beautiful. And useful…my favorite part.
So, very soon we will have new sheep and goats. Alongside our horses and laying hens, piglets and breeding pigs. We also have a new batch of layers started in the brooder, and new turkeys, silkies, and Muscovy ducks on the way. The cows are mostly out transitioning to summer pasture, though we are still haying them while the grass gets on its way. The goats are being bred and so are the sows. Life is carrying on. Soon my husband will be dispatched to a wildland fire somewhere in the western US or sent to spend his days fighting fires within the county. And the kids and I will carry on here; welcoming new life, mourning old, maintaining the day-to-day. I still really miss her. Earlier today I thought, but didn’t cry, about how she had been the only cow to be milked in our stanchion. We moved it and I saw where she would stand, how I would warm my hands in her skin folds, where she would demand more dried molasses. Life goes on and we move on, yet I too carry a piece of her with me everywhere I go…a joke I am not able, yet, to make.