Friday, January 23, 2015

Farm Friday

This has been one of those weeks. To date, we have 15 new kids running about the farm. Unfortunately, we lost another one of our good goats. Sadie, whose face graced a news article about our farm a couple of years back, had complications with kidding. On Monday, she delivered a stillborn but the next day still wasn't behaving right. On Wednesday, Bill realized there was a serious problem and asked me to confirm his suspicions. One look and I could tell she was suffering from the same issue as Bonnie. I felt "better" in that now I knew I wasn't responsible for Bonnie's death as we had not intervened at all in Sadie's kidding yet met the same fate. However, it's hard to lose yet another girl. Nellie, our matriarch and one of our best mothers, had two kids that seemed perfectly healthy and followed her around the pasture. One of the kids died and we have no idea why. Sometimes it's that way with goats.

I've tried to take photos of the bottle babies but they're just too fast for me and the camera on my phone. The photos always come out blurry and/or grainy. It would be nice to have a better camera to take decent photos but I suppose I'll make do for now. I'll keep working at it and maybe get good photos of Neo and Pearl to share.

On to other news on the farm:

Although a small fire, it was heading towards the trees and outbuildings where  it could have become dangerous

Bill manning a hose before the fire department arrives (our neighbor who discovered the fire is handling another hose)
Fire department arrives

Fire is out

Our farmhouse was not affected
Early Wednesday evening we had a fire! Earlier in the day, Bill had tried to burn the dead fronds in the asparagus patch. It was too wet to catch (or so it appeared), so he took the hose and doused the area really well and thought that was the end of it. However, our neighbor who actually owns the horse on our property happened to stop by around 5 to give him a treat. She saw a large area that had burned and was still burning on the edges so caught Bill at the barn and asked him if the fire was deliberate. Long story short, the fire was put out without serious damage. We won't know until spring if the fire damaged the grape vines and fruit trees that were in the burned area. Lesson to all - closely monitor all fires or attempted fires. Even a fire that seems to be out can smolder and return to life. Of course, it also created some entertainment for the community and far more people showed up than necessary to put out the fire. In fact, most of it had been extinguished before the fire department showed up - with two trucks and several private vehicles. However, a great shout out to volunteer firefighters around the country for all their hard work. 

I've started things in motion for us to offer our farmhouse as a farm stay! A number of things need to occur before I can offer it for weekend (or even mid-week stays) but that is at the top of my projects list for the year. I've wanted to do this for a couple of years now and this year it will happen. I'm excited that people who have never experienced life on a farm will be able to see what it's all about. Not only to see the gardens and animals, but to see how beautiful and star-filled the night sky is away from light pollution. We're also spared the noise pollution of cities as the farmhouse is on a very quiet road and that should be a treat to any city dweller. Any suggestions for making guests feel comfortable are welcome!
Photo of my girl Ginny just before our Mutual Admiration Society club meeting
Today I took the first yoga class in ages and it felt good. It was at the Y's new facilities that are right on the Dan River. The property is beautiful and I hope it leads to bigger and better things in the community. I love to see more interest in fitness and healthy living in this area as it is one of the worst places in the country for poor health. 

Winter seems to be really upon us as, when I left the yoga class, I noticed that the raindrops were "bouncing" off my fleece jacket. Not rain - sleet! Although we often think of December as the beginning of bad weather, it really isn't until late January - and sometimes as late as March - when the really nasty weather greets us.

Since all summer we talked of how we were looking forward to winter so we could "catch up" on things, that's what we've been doing. I've been puttering around, organizing things in the house and in our work area, working on projects that have been neglected or postponed, and considering ways to simplify and streamline our life for when things get busy again. 

Have a great week!

1 comment:

David said...

Cherie, has a busy day yesterday and today will be not quite as busy but close. Health issues with friends and neighbors have kept me busy shuttling to and from doctor's visits and help with daily routines during recovery times. As a result my winter projects have been severely neglected. I'm hoping to spend a little more time on them this next week but that what I thought this last week.

Fires are a scary thing. I'm glad that yours didn't do any building damage and will be praying that it didn't do any damage to your grape vines and fruit trees. It is some what embarrassing when things like that happen. I'm just glad that the neighbor caught it before it really got out of control.

I wouldn't worry too much about making guests comfortable for your farm stay endeavor. If you just integrate them into the daily routine, it will be the best experience ever. Since the stars are brighter away from the city lights, some kind of outside event that in involves conversation would be great. One night around a firepit fire is always a great attraction for me. There's something about a dancing fire to watch. And if you could get the local coyotes to give a couple howls, it would really set the tone of the evening. Maybe entice a deer or two to walk by. Of course, I'm just kidding with the last two things. In general, I don't think you have to entertain them much other than exposure to the workings of a homestead. They will generate enough questions to keep things rolling.

Have a great winter project day.