A Month Gone By

Sweetie is not my milking goat, but I just couldn't resist sharing this picture

Sweetie is not my milking goat, but I just couldn’t resist sharing this picture

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I’ve updated you all on farm living. Some new developments have us excited.

  • Our newest increase is that we will be getting a female Great Pyrenees today and hope that she and our male will do well to guard our growing goat herd. We also hope to offer livestock guardian puppies in the future. We’ll let you know if Furry and Juniper (Juni) get along well together.
  • Another cause for elation is that we have chicks hatching today. Yesterday, Moe and Fiesty were born. Last month, we had seven born in our incubator. This has been such a fun process for us and we hope to get some good laying hens for future egg production for our own use. Last months chicks; Hawk, Big Goldie, Little Pepper, Cookie, Little Goldie and Speckled Head, are doing well and love following me around the yard.
  • I have also taken up the challenge of milking our Alpine goat, Ivy. She has been providing us with over a quart of nutritious raw goat milk each day. In early June, we will likely start milking twice a day (a whole new challenge). This weekend, we may even make goat milk ice cream. We have enjoyed the flavor and our many guests have enjoyed a little taste too.
  • Mat’s new chicken tractor design is complete. As a result, moving our pastured chickens twice a day is now enjoyable. A smaller number of chickens has resulted in cleaner, healthier birds so far. If a chicken can be beautiful, I have to say that these are. I have actually said it to them more than once as I’ve seen them this year. Maybe I’ve been on the farm too long.
  • Our pigs are growing strong enough and big enough for our youngest boys to ride them. These two boys have become more daring with age.
  • I don’t think we’ve mentioned that we have three bull calves born last month. They were a surprise since we were told our Scottish Highland cows were bred to give birth in June. We are happy with our healthy and fluffy and soon to be steers. They are growing fast.
  • Mat split one healthy bee hive yesterday and has another out there. Hopefully, this will be the year to brag about when we actually get honey to market.
  • Lastly, our maple syrup season went well. We weren’t so sure at first and it was hard work. At $.25 an hour, Mat doesn’t get paid much for his time with this product, but we enjoy the stuff so much that it’s worth it.

That’s it for now I suppose. Hope you enjoyed hearing about our busy lives. Sorry for the lack of pictures. I guess you’ll just have to visit and pick up some fresh food from the farm if you want to see this stuff for yourselves.

The bees are coming

To tell you the truth, it doesn’t seem real that we have bees coming this Saturday. We just got done with maple syrup season. The chickens are happy in their respective pastures and so fun to watch as they waddle run toward us. Now for the bees. It feels like another new adventure. Silas has been helping paint the homemade hive today. Mathew is a hero for making it himself. Over the winter we had a lot of help from some great friends cutting boards and such. Mat will be collecting the creatures and some equipment in Hackensack. Then he and his dad will place them in their new home. Mat set up the site pne evening by leveling off some ground, clearing extra debris, and setting up a solar powered electric fence. Even though the sting sends us running, the bears are a bit more determined to get their paws on the contents of the hive. We have the pollen patties made and ready. The flowers on the maples just blossomed and more buds pop every day. It seems a weighty thing to take on this new challenge, but Mat has been given such talent in learning, problem solving, initiating working ideas, etc, that I am not anxious. He recently told me how to get the queen out of it’s carrying case. I had never even thought of that. It is a whole new world of information. Here we go on another adventure.
Enjoy some pictures of the hive in process…