Archives for category: In General

The animals are more quiet than usual today. The weather is perfect, not to hot but not at all cool and a thin, thin layer of clouds that lay more like a thin blanket in the sky than the cottonball formations, cumulus clouds, whatever you call them and now this is a terribly structured sentence.

Anyhow, it is peaceful, quiet and laid back here today. If I didn’t have to work I’d be laying in the sun on my zero-gravity chair, dozing in and out of the early stages of sleep. But I have to work.

It is so quiet today, in fact, that not even George, the donkey, has made a sound. He is not a fan of the heat or the bugs that bug him as long as the sun is out. Every hour or so I see him saunter out of his lean-to and walk his patrol – he really takes his job, as guardian, very seriously.

Louise and her kid bucks shift between fierce dining sessions and equally fierce naps. I envy them. Louise is eating her cud during her slumber (I am grateful I do not eat and cannot eat in my sleep). As ruminants, goats have four stomachs and it is best for them to lay and rechew their food for about four hours a day. I think she hit four hours of said activity by noon today!

Anyhow, this is what it’s all about. Embracing days like this, when I can say, write, feel and enjoy a peaceful day on the farm.

This is just nuts. The heat, the lack of rain, the humidity, the inability to do much – of anything. There is a deeper sadness, a fear, that comes with going weeks without rain, especially in the Midwest. Everybody is thinking about crops, the cost of corn, ethanol, the supply of sweet corn – not just for now but for years to come. One bad year equals a decade of unforeseen expenses. F’in drought is depressing.

I’ve never regretted waking up to sunshine before. I am actually aware that regret is not the correct word, but I’m too drained to go back and change it. Make due. You know what I mean. Deep in my bones I am craving a storm. I’m sick of the heat, the burnt grass, the short stalks of corn, and carrying twice as much water out to the animals every day. I’m sick of the dust and the boredom in my animals eyes. It’s too hot for them to even play, if only a little bit.

Mother Nature is f’in pissed and she is paying us dearly for it.

Urbal Girl

If you didn’t know, strip grazing is a technique used by organic and Amish farmers to reduce and eliminate parasites in livestock. By moving animals in a certain order, cows, then chickens and ducks, then sheep, etc., the parasitic cycle cannot thrive and oftentimes cannot survive at all.

My goats and their donkey have been in parallel strips of pasture for a week or so now. The grass is eaten down and it is time to move them. Parasites live nearer to the roots of the grass, thus moving the livestock before the grass is to short is critical.

It is not as easy as it sounds when one has to consider shelter for the animals and access for the farmer to get in and out of the field for any of many reasons.

For me it is a staring down process. I go out to the pasture, stare at…

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So this morning I went to the barn, milked Angel. Went to the pasture, watered, tightened the fence line, said my hellos to the goats and their new miniature donkey, George. Came back to the house, drank coffee, filtered milk, packed my lunch, jumped in the shower.

As I got out of the shower I heard some noise outside. Opened the blind. There they all were. My goats, my donkey. Looking at me through the window. The goats had their hooves on the house, peering into the window.

It was cold, mind you. Cold. I dressed. Barely. Didn’t grab my glasses. Just walked out of the house. Right past them toward their field. The goats followed. George, the donkey, well he quite liked the dirt border around the porch and decided to roll in it. I kept walking. He had the nerve to get up, rotate, and roll on his other side.

He then got up and ran to join the group. All but my naughty goat Peanut followed me into their fence line. I wrangled her soon after, closed up the fence only to find the ground wire wasnt connected to the energizer (it electrifies the fence).

I guess they wanted to find me, their mom. And they did. How did they know I was in the shower?

I got up this morning very much feeling the Monday Blues. To have to let the goats outside and leave them all day is hard – I worry about them all day. Between coyotes and the electric fence they are on my mind all day.

But today, Monday, I went to work and couldn’t log in to my laptop. I get to go work from home, the farm, and keep an eye on them. Exhale!

My visitors the other night (who helped me load up my goat) were Jim and Beth Rude. They are a creative, entrepreneurial, interesting, funny, and inquisitive couple. Beth is a master gardener and Jim is a food stylist. Together they created P. Dickey’s, a gourmet mushroom seasoning company based in our hometown, Janesville, WI. They brought me a farm warming gift, their Wild Shroom Seasoning. It’s made up of morel, porcini, and shiitake mushrooms, garlic, salt, spices, and more.

Which prompts me add why it is so great to be able to work from home now and again – I am able to make my lunch and eat it at pretty much the same time.

Anyhow, I cooked organic young chicken breast in a blend of oils with P. Dickey’s Wild Shroom Seasoning and some chicken broth yesterday. Having let it chill overnight, I cut it up and added some diced onions and baking raisins, never-too-much mayo, two tablespoons or raw, organic goat milk (fresh this morning), and warmed a piece or sprouted grains bread.

I ate it immediately. All of it. With a baby dill pickle. Delish.

Make that two baby dills.

My visitors the other night (who helped me load up my goat) were Jim and Beth Rude. They are a creative, entrepreneurial, interesting, funny, and inquisitive couple. Beth is a master gardener and Jim is a food stylist. Together they created P. Dickey’s, a gourmet mushroom seasoning company based in our hometown, Janesville, WI. They brought me a farm warming gift, their Wild Shroom Seasoning. It’s made up of morel, porcini, and shiitake mushrooms, garlic, salt, spices, and more.

Which prompts me add why it is so great to be able to work from home now and again – I am able to make my lunch and eat it at pretty much the same time.

Anyhow, I cooked organic young chicken breast in a blend of oils with P. Dickey’s Wild Shroom Seasoning and some chicken broth yesterday. Having let it chill overnight, I cut it up and added some diced onions and baking raisins, never-too-much mayo, two tablespoons or raw, organic goat milk (fresh this morning), and warmed a piece or sprouted grains bread.

I ate it immediately. All of it. With a baby dill pickle. Delish.

Make that two baby dills.

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