Things are in full swing here and I wake up every day thinking of all the things that need doing and the lack of time to get it all done.
Two of the three pregnancy goats have delivered. Both at 1:30 am 24 hours apart. Nancy, Lisa, and I slept on the hard barn floor during the most tremendous thunderstorm while we anxiously awaited Honeysuckle's first kids. Of course, since we were exhuasted, we all fell asleep. We woke up to the sound of Honey pushing and found two little hooves hanging out. Some stressful moments while we sorted all that out and Honey gave birth to the most gorgeous 9# buckling. We wished for a girl but were so happy for this healthy little guy. Nancy named him Wrong Way Willie and we love him already. My jaded goat friends tell me "he will be spoiled" and I say every little creature deserves a little spoiling — even a big buckling.
Olive delivered a big boy first — this must be why it took an eternity for her to push out that first kid. Number three was the spitting image of Buttercup...a little clone of his auntie goat. Number two was a wee girl who struggled from the beginning with her wobbly legs and shivering and general lethargy. After doing everything we could for little girl (named Sweet Pea) we slept for an hour and then came back to find her even worse off — limp and not wanting to nurse. I left for work heavy hearted, knowing she would be gone by the end of the day. BUT...soon arrived Nancy and her daughter Megan. They spent all day with Sweet Pea. Megan held her, cooed to her, helped her nurse, taught her how to walk and climb. I arrived home to find Megan still in the semi-dark kidding stall with Sweet Pea in her lap looking vibrant and very much alive...and that is how it goes. Sweet Pea was willed to live... too much dying lately. And little girl gets bigger and stronger every day. We supplement her with a bottle every three hours — so we are just a bit tired here — but it is SO worth it! I know Nancy and Megan saved this little goat and I am eternally grateful for this tremendous gift. We will keep Sweet Pea...she will become one of the girls and we can celebrate her for the rest of her goat life.
Today Miracle is in early labor. The rain has gone and the barn is cool and full of the sounds of mother goats cooing to their babies. Soon Miracle's kids will join us and we will have a full house. [Miracle had two beautiful girls and two beautiful boys, also in the middle of the night, on 6/6.] We are milking Honeysuckle and will begin to milk the other girls in two weeks then goat cheese making begins in earnest.
Speaking of cheese making. The Summer/Fall Cheese and Dairy CSA begins in a couple of weeks. There are 40 member families this year and we are all excited to begin. Lisa and I have just purchased a cheese batch pasteurizer/cheese vat that can make cheese with up to 30 gallons of milk at a time. It is a lovely piece of stainless steel beauty. We are turning the basement into the cheese room because of the limitations of heating, water, and washing out equipment in the barn kitchen. It is a work in progress and there is a huge learning curve...thank you to all those who buy cheese and are in the CSA that have helped to make this purchase possible.
The garden is planted, weeded, and did not wash away in all the recent rains we have had. So, the 2012 garden journey begins . . .
Those of you who have not been here in awhile will be surprised to see the pine trees gone in front and raised beds full (and I mean FULL!) of annuals for cut flowers. I cannot wait to see the rows of sunflowers in bloom. Thanks to Lisa for making this dream of mine a reality.
So, babies are being born, bees are buzzing and the two new hives are thriving, the garden grows like a wild weed, twice weekly I make cheese for the CSA. When I have a moment I will make some more soap and pick berries for the first summer jam . . .
Lisa and Ron's canoe is ALMOST ready for water...
I began my new job...
and we are tremendously grateful for all the help of friends who make this all possible. Truly grateful!