Happy Halloween

What the heck is this?  It’s Jenna’s collar.  A nice lady named Beth made Jenna two Halloween charms; a glow in the dark dog bone and a green zombie heart.  What dog doesn’t need a scary necklace today?   Happy Halloween!

Our Last Tomatoes

It’s going to freeze tonight, so any tomatoes we have planted in the ground are going to be done.  These are some of the wonderful yellow pears we grow every year.  It’s been a long season.  We started seeds in our dining room the second week of January.  We transplanted into pots and moved them into the greenhouse in March, then into the ground in May.   We were the first to the farmer’s market with heirloom tomatoes this year by about a month.  We’ve just picked all of our green ones and brought them inside to ripen.  Hard to believe that in just about 2 months it’s time to start all over again!

Getting Water to the Herd

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  Ever seen one of these lovely red and yellow plastic thingys sitting out in a pasture?  It’s called a Ritchie, and it’s how farmers get water to their animals.  I can tell you they are both incredibly handy and incredibly expensive.  They are plumbed underground directly from a water source which, in our case, is our well.  They need to be installed on a concrete pad.  We keep concrete blocks next to it so our wee ones can reach the water.   The Ritchie has a white plastic float that the sheep and goats push down with their noses to reach the water.  The dogs don’t quite get the hang of it so we keep a tub of water for them.  In the winter, the dogs’ water freezes but the Ritchie never does.

How You Doin?

Our handsome visitor is the most affectionate ram I’ve ever seen.  He must have been bottle fed as a lamb.  It’s a little disconserting when he runs over to say ‘hey, scratch my head’ because he’s huge.   He’s visiting us for 2 months, so he’ll go back to his own farm early December.  The gestation period for a ewe is around 5 months.  We expect to have lambs starting next March.

Good Boy!

I’ve been working on teaching Milos to sit.  FiFi figured it out in like a day.  She’s on the right.  Milos, not so much, however, he’s had a breakthrough.  I think he’s finally figured out that he misses out on treats when he’s non-compliant.  That’s his ‘enough already’ face.

All Set for Winter

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  When the grass is growing, it’s what our aniamls eat.  When it stops growing, we feed them hay.  We just picked up our third and last load of hay for this winter.  The goats saw it and came running.  There’s no use shooing them away, they don’t listen!   We got half stacked in the big barn’s multipurpose room and the other half at the rear of our tractor bay.  We used to park the trailer in the pasture by the barn but the goats chewed up the tail light wiring.  Actually, it could have been the sheep or dogs who did it but the goats are mischevious so we blame them.

Resilient

We harvested all of our potatoes a few weeks back and spent the afternoon plowing our potato patch to ready it for next year.  Our potato patch is only about 10 by 25 feet.  We bought a used tractor earlier this year and it’s huge.  As we were running our cultivator back over and over our tiny potato patch, I told my husband that the ‘real’ farmers who live all around us would laugh themselves silly at us with our giant tractor working the tiny plot of land.  Despite all of our effort, we evidently left a potato or two in the ground as there are a few plants coming up.  We’ll just leave them to see what happens over the winter, or maybe dig them up and replant them inside the greenhouse as an experiment.  We’ve got a new raised bed in there.  It’s empty right now, begging for some dirt and some seeds and plants for overwintered vegetables.  Gotta add that to the list…

I Once Raised Hairless Cats

The breed is called sphynx and they are fantastic cuddlers because they’re always chilly.  I bred and showed them but eventually gave it up.  The cat show circuit isn’t as fun as you would think and we didn’t enjoy having an intact male in the house.   His official name was Scaredycats Sphynx Turquoise Blue, but we called him Turd Ferguson because he left ‘presents’ everywhere.  We kept one cat, Gypsy, who eventually succumbed to a heart condition.  So… we’re left with lots of cat gear and no cats.  I read somewhere that enclosed litter pans are good nesting boxes for chickens.  A little bleach and elbow grease later and we’ve repurposed them.  Our chickens have the privacy they insist on for laying, and we didn’t have to build nesting boxes for the ladies.  A good outcome, I must say.

The Most Beautiful Goat in the World

We got our first purebred nubian dairy goats from a local producer and friend.  She let me come out a few months before the goatlings were ready to go from their mothers to pick them out.  I fancied right off a lovely brown one and reserved her for later pick up.   When the time came to get her, my friend who shows her goats expressed regret about agreeing to let this brown one go because she ended up being exceptional quality for show.  I offered to pick another one but she insisted we take her but you could tell she was sorry she’d let her go.  I asked my daughter on the way home what should we call the most beautiful goat in the world, because that’s who I felt we were taking from our friend.  She responded Helen, as in Helen of Troy.  I told her to keep thinking, that’s a terrible name for a goat!  We got her home and took some photos of her.  I shared one of the photos with a friend from GA the next morning.  She said “wow, she looks so regal in that photo, you should name her Helen after Helen Mirren in that movie The Queen.”  So… the universe named her, and she’s Helen.

Red Light Green Light

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  Jenna spent the day with us yesterday down by the little barn while we were processing the chickens.  She took it upon herself to keep an eye on them.  Every time we turned around, she had inched a little closer until she got too close for comfort and we called her off.  This went on all day and gave us much amusement.  It’s weird.  She totally ignores our goats and we can’t get her to chase deer off our property but she gave herself the job of chicken watcher.  Maybe it’s because they’re the same color as the sheep!

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