Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Feeding Our Food

The morning went something like this:

Step 1. Make bottles.

Step 2. Distribute bottles.

Step 3. Give grain to goat.

Step 4. Lock goat in.

Step 5. Pick up bottles.

Step 6. Get hay.

Step 7. Pick up bottles.

Step 8. Deliver hay; lock goat back up.

Step 9. Pick up bottles.

Step 10. Hold bottles.

Step 11. Collect bottles; unlock goat.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

So You Want to Be a Farmer

What does it take to be a “real” farmer? To have a “real” farm?

A huge garden? Check.

Chickens? Check.

Bees? Check.

Goats? Check.

Sheep? Check.*

An orchard? Check.

And cows.

According to one daughter, who is away serving an 18 month mission for our church, we waited to get the “cool animals” until after she left. We bought two calves.

Cows, are dumb.

Case in point.

We've named them T-bone and Stew, but I still refer to them as Thing 1, and Thing 2 because we got them on different days and that's just how I keep track. Anyway, this morning, I went to give them their bottles, and Thing 2 is the only one around. The goat, who is sharing his enclosure with them for now, is blissfully ignorant of my comings and goings, and Thing 2 promptly latches on to his bottle and ignores me as well. Thing 1 is still missing.

Their enclosure isn't that big, where can he be? I find him up in the top corner, under some brambles, patiently trying to find the exit; he's looking at me expectantly, like I know where it is. I duck under the blackberry brambles, thinking it will be easy to bring him to the wide opening that he obviously went in through.

Not so much. Like I said, cows are dumb.

I find a piece of wood that I saw in another area; I might be able to beat the brambles back with, but it’s useless; so, I go get a rake and our long handled pruning shears—this is supposed to be a farm, we have random tools.

By this time, Thing 2 is finished with his bottle, and since I am the bearer of his food, he thinks if he sticks close to me, very close to me, he might get to have more. The goat who was blissfully browsing, has decided there is something exciting going on, and he wants in on it too; he is also sticking very close to me. So, here I am, cutting brambles and pulling them away one at a time; then, I start to beat them with the end of the shears, because I have a goat and a calf helping me and I just need to get this over with.

Success! Out comes Thing 1 and high tails it to his bottle. All is well.

Thing 2, spies Thing 1 and, seeing nothing better, mistakes his boy parts for something that might just give him that extra little nip of milk that he’s been bugging me for; and Thing 1, lets him because he’s in blissful milkdom of his own.

Like I said, cows are dumb.

*Late edit; I forgot the sheep.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Back in the Saddle Again

Well, figuratively speaking that is.

I've been away. Life has thrown me a few challenges; however, thanks to my Father in Heaven I have come out stronger, with my faith burning brighter than I ever thought possible.

Our little farm, despite the lack of written documentation, has puttered along, and we've had big changes. We bought milk goats; due to arrive in a couple of weeks, they'll be our primary source of dairy. We bought two bottle calves, both of whom will be lovingly referred to as “food storage on the hoof” until such a time as they are no longer hoofing about.

We’re making a journey into “real food” vs. processed, and I’m itching to learn to make cheese and grind my own wheat. Eating fermented foods is on the goal sheet as well; eating being the key word. I think I can ferment them easily enough; gaining the taste for them will be another thing entirely.

We have high hopes for the near and faintly distant future; I hope I can make the ‘Chronicles’ worth your time.