Hello my dear friends!
It’s been a looooong time since we’ve last talked. I guess it’s just that time of year when EVERYTHING seems to run together, like, garden clean-up, spring planting, kidding, shearing, lambing, milking, bottle feeding, end-of-school-year activities, graduation (YEAH Matt!), re-opening the shop and mowing – or baling – the grass, etc. Of course, that ‘to-do’ list fails to mention all the unforeseen bumps in the road along the way. I’m sure you can relate, but it’s what keeps us going especially through these difficult economic times.
The goat kids are doing well. In another week (when the kids are eight weeks old) I’ll begin to wean them from mom’s milk. That’s when the fun begins because I’ll be back in the kitchen experimenting with goat’s milk cheesemaking! YUM! I’ll be sharing some simple cheesemaking tips and recipes in my blog. Yesterday, Katie and I spent the day with our goat kids and my goat EXPERT girlfriend, tattooing the kids with required ID for registration purposes. We also castrated the two buckie boys, since I have no real desire to maintain a buck on the farm for breeding. It’s enough juggling Tess (my ram) around between pastures! Katie will use her Alpine wether (that’s what we call a castrated buck goat) as a companion for her horse and in 4-H goat pack & agility projects. BTW, I’ve been pasturing my yearling ram with Katie’s horse, ACOOLCAT, for a couple of months now. A bit scary at first as they RACED around together bucking and kicking. Tess learned quickly how to stay out of harms way! They seem to be getting along famously now.
A little background info about tattooing. As a goat breeder, to register a dairy goat with the ADGA, you’re required to obtain a membership, apply for a herd tatoo ID and herd name. They’re used as a means of identifying and tracking our goats in future sales and shows. Of course, not all goats are required to be registered, especially if they’re to be used as backyard pets and you have no interest in moving them off the property.
We purchased a tattoo kit which comes with everything you need. A kind of like ‘gun’ fitted with your herd ID letters/numbers, inked with a permanent dye and placed in the ear or tail (for some breeds), similar to getting your ear pierced. Katie successfully tattooed all her kids while I held them, with the exception of one kid, which she insisted I do. I managed to do quite well while she held onto Clove. Oh, I forgot to mention, we named the goat kids: Sweet Annie, Slader, Clove and Corriander. I’m think’n about “Indigo” for my Shetland lamb, but I have not settled on a name for her yet. Hmmm…
I’ve been spending time educating myself on sheep showmanship, wool fiber judging, etc, since my friend would like for me to enter my wooly sheep into our local fair. Lots of work! I enjoy my sheep and their beautiful fiber, never really pursued the showring path!? I’m very much a home body, living a simple quiet life on the farm.
The gardens are planted with the exception of tomato and green pepper plants and green beans. Memorial weekend is usually safe to plant without threat of frost. But, we had a hard frost here just last week! I’m still surveying lavender damage from this past winter and don’t think I’ll be re-planting lavender. I may be putting in a dye garden instead. I’ve also been busy fiber’n for a local show to be held at The Lamb’s Tail located here in Armada next Saturday, May 30. Please come and enjoy the show and visit with all the folks. It’s held outdoors and in a historic barn at a private residence. There’s a lot of talented artists supporting the shop & show: primitives, garden decor, antiques, re-used/re-invented treasures and creative one-of-a-kind art! I’ll be providing the rosemary lemonade for guests!
Have a great week! Also, please remember our brave countrymen who served in the armed forces to protect our very freedom! HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!