Thursday, August 28, 2008

Girlfriends!

Last week wasn't all woes. The beginning was great, thanks to the arrival of Arlene and her Posse! What fun I had with four gals, Arlene, Betsy, Sharon, & Margaret all from the Coast!
We brought Cocktail Hour to the River

Arlene walked out into the River and found a perfect rock for doing back stretches,
she also took these photos from there.
.
The dogs deserted us and headed to the yurt,
the Coast Girls were much more fun than us old Farmers!

Betsy doing Yoga intrigued the Pups; Bandida tried to follow Betsy's lead but....

she became frustrated and decided to take her head off!

I gave a Farm Fashion Show.

It was a good time; they made Dinner for Keith & I, Bill showed up just in time to join us for the delightful affair... Outdoors under the grape canopy outside the Yurt door with Candle light and Stars - It was Beautiful and Delicious!

You Gals can come any Ol' Time!


Monday, August 25, 2008

A week of Woes

Last week was filled with learning lessons and hard work.
The following two posts describes in detail last week.


This week is starting off to a good start though - we got significant rain last night and we may have more today! Enough rain that Farmer Keith gets a break from moving water lines!

Oh Deer!

The deer are descending on the Vineyard.
They think it's a salad bar and nibbling away on the new leaves!




"Time to put up the Deer Fence" Farmer Keith declared.
He rushed to Big R and bought the supplies.
In two days he had the fence up!

It's Solar Powered!
He read on the Internet that you should bait the fence, to draw the deer to it,
so they know exactly what it is!
Keith used metal ladles, peanut butter and apples
(the apple is gone from this trap - unfortunately not eaten by the deer, but dumped out
by Farmer Keith to set again)

The fence is going to have one more line along the top, we just ran out of wire. Hopefully this will work!

Next are trellises and figureing out what type of cover crop for between the rows and the rest of the hill side.
But next on the list is the new Goat fence as you will see when you read further.

Valentino coming into his Oats



The Kidds are going up.
Still, they haven't stopped nursing, which means I still have to seperate them from Mom
twice a day. I usually forget one of the timepoints so end up milking just once a day.
Because of the small amount of milk, we are not drinking the goats milk,
instead I am using all of it to attempt to make cheese, yogurt, and buttermilk.
The best so far has been the yogurt.
The cheese is edible, if not by us by the chickens!


The goat that is really going thru the change is Valentino.
He wants Porkchop and wont leave her alone!
The solution is fixing the male goats stall and fenced yard, but that won't happen
for at least another week or so.
In the meantime I put Valentino & Sparky together in the nursery all day...
that didn't work,
they did what bucks do and bucked eachother.

Valentino looks like he got the worse of it....mainly because of his white hide,

poor fella,


you can barely see Sparky's bloody head.

So the latest solution - Valentino stay's in the nursery by himself all day, and I put the other kidds in there when I need to seperate them from Porkchop for milking purposes.

The Bucks don't seem to fight when the girls are in there with them. A lot of the times I can't get Sparky to go in, which seems to be OK, because he doesn't nurse Porkchop when he is the only Kidd with her....at least she still has milk for me if he is the only one with her.

That worked for a couple of days, last night I went to milk and everyone was out of the Nursery except for Fletchers! Seems like he must have busted them all Out!
Of course I didn't have any milk...sigh.

Here is a video of what Valentino sounds like when he trying to impress Porkchop (surprisingly he doesn't do this to Girly-girl, Tuffy or the other girls) It isn't the bestvideo...but see if you can see this thing he does with his tongue and he has a different sound.

video

Porkchop likes it and hardly leaves the gate seperating the two.

It's OK if they breed - they aren't related, but it isn't the right time of year for that - the babies would be born in Winter if it happened now. So they both will have to wait till November. Also to add to the delight, Valentino is beginning to Smell!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sitting on the Couch

Sitting on our couch can be a bit of a challenge - for our human friends!



Here is Bill and Friends




"I'm outa here!" says Mr. Bill
"No don't leave Bill, aren't you going to stay for the Main Event?"

Doggie-Wrestlemania Smack Down



"And now wrestling fans for tonite's main event. In this corner (left) is that outrageous Ausie "Deuce the Destroyer" and in the other corner is the Canine carnivore "Cinder-Relly."


The Ref speaks to the contestants
"I want a clean fight, ya hear?
If I see any monkey business I'll personally tear you apart".


The bell rings and we're underway wrestling fans...


Cinder-Relly is down,

One...Two..
Cinder pulls out of Deuce's Death Hold

It looks really vicious folks!
Let's keep it clean pups!

Nothing below the belt, Deuce!

Cinder claws at Deuce...

Both grapplers are looking rather tired and it's only the first round...

Cinder cries "No mas!"
The Ref yells "Fights over, no decision!"


After the fight, two remain friends and head to the finest trough in town.
Some nites it's a real food fight! This looks to be no exception.
"Waiter, my water is a bit warm!"

"What are you looking at? You want some of this?

If you don't fix it your gonna be in serious trouble!"


FIN

Best of Friends

Another new dog in the neighborhood is Deuce.
Deuce is Bill's new pal. He is a Australian Shepherd.
Both him and Becka are Pound Puppies.
Don & Peggy, Bill & Us all lost our old dogs - Chuck, Buster & Murphy - around the same time.
Now we all have puppies close to the same age and breed.
Don & Peggy have Becka who is part Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog) and German Shepard.
Bill has Deuce and we have Cinder-rella who is part Heeler & German short hair.
Isn't that amazing?


"Deuce, come on, I want to show you my secret mud hole."
We haven't yet gotten all three together at the same time, but soon perhaps.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Rainbow Connection

We had a little more rain yesterday.
Not enough that Keith will have a day off from watering,
but enough for a rainbow!

Harvest Time

It's the peak of Harvest Time in the garden.
Green beans are on the tale end, and the tomatoes are in the beginning stages.
The work in the garden changes now, I don't concentrate on weeding because the plants are now stronger than the weeds, at least that's my theory. All the work is in harvesting and putting food up for Winter. Mornings after Milking and Feeding I spend gathering the vegetables,


Cucumbers,
tomatoes, mostly from the green house, except for the cherry tomatoes, they are ready in the garden. In the green house we get beautiful full size yellow, pink and red tomatoes, and black plum tomatoes, but also the Horny Tomato Worm!
I can't bear to touch them so Keith does that for me. He gets about 10 each morning.
I find them repulsive.
Here's a little video of these Munchers.
video
Once I've gather the produce I have to figure out what I am going to do with it.
So far I've made roasted tomato sauce, dried tomatoes, and pizza sauce, but that is all.
I hope to pickle the cucumbers & green beans, but it hasn't happened yet and must likely won't.
Luckily we have neighbors and guests who take the extra produce off our hands!
.
The peaches are almost ready to pick!
Unfortunately while I was under this branch to take a photo of it's fullness,
the branch cracked and came down upon my head!
This is a lesson for us about thinning.
We didn't thin well enough, but it is so tempting to leave the little peaches on
because it seems like you are taking off so many when you thin.
I need to remember that for the health of the tree I must be aggressive with the thinning

I went ahead and picked the fruit off the branch and put them in
brown bags to ripen.
Hopefully.

But the rest of the crop is on the cusp of ripeness!
These pumpkins came out of the green house.
I baked them,
and made pie (the rest of the filling I froze for another time)

This is for Kevin.
My first time to eat trout and it was Delicious!
Thank Kevin.