Sunday, April 20, 2008

Beautiful Farm Weekend

Yesterday was brilliant!!! we almost hit 80 degrees F. The sky was clear and bright, the grass was growing so fast you could almost hear it, and we got a lot done. First, we rearranged everyone on pasture. All the critters are happy and fat. We are a few weeks away from our next baby goat, so everything can calm down for a while. Next, we transplanted last years strawberries into the end of the bed of new strawberries (this is not a recommended commercial practice. it is easy to transfer disease and poor genetics this way, but...). We received a flat of berries from a grower in Michigan last year, and planted them in a bed we had available. Turned out to be a terrible place for them, as a result they were abandon, walked on, mowed, and generally abused. This spring they came back with a vengeance. I figured if they were that tough they deserved a place in the strawberry patch.

The berry beds

After planting, cleaning up, and loads of other morning chores, we needed some fun. So, we went to see Nim's Island in the theater. The kids loved it, and the adults enjoyed it too.

Sunday dawned, after a 4 hour blackout from the local utility co. (need to get off the grid, but that is another project for another time.), to find a total of nine chicks peeping in the kitchen. We started with 14 eggs, sacrificed one to the study of embryology, and finally hatched all but four. We will give the remainder until Monday morning, and then declare them duds. All the chicks, including the one I had to help because the membrane adhered to it's feathers, seem to be doing well. They have moved to a brooder box in the greenhouse. It is nice to have them out of the kitchen. We had a gentle rain most of the day, which settled the strawberries in nicely. Spring cleaning and cooking took over in the house. The hit of the day was the fudge which was, depending on who you asked, variously "good", "WOW", or "to die for". The last was from my wife (who has been somewhat skeptical of goat milk products) which gives me a glimmer of hope...

We tried our feta. It needed a good rinse after the brine, but it was quite good. There is hope on the cheese making front. However, the goat milk fudge seems to be a universal hit, so we may go to market with that first.

Here is a parting shot of our tomatoes from the greenhouse for all you anxious gardeners.

Tomatoes in bloom
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