Shady Apple Goats Newsletter

Early Summer 2014

Early Summer 2014

Summer babies at Shady Apple Goats

It is June already. It was 90 degrees today and I canned the first jam of the season. Crushing the warm sweet strawberries into a delicious jam that will be gone before the Fall comes to an end. The last of the garden has been planted tilled into careful rows. The flower beds are seeded with cosmos, cut and come again zinnias, dahlias, mammoth yellow sunflowers, cleomes, lavender, red and white rockets snapdragons, and clusters of nasturtiums. The bees fly out looking for pollen or food or love. The fruit trees flower and then put out the first small fruits on their thin new branches. Doug’s tree is loaded down with small white donut peaches. I go methodically branch by branch and space out the fruit. Hoping for a bountiful harvest. Doug’s ashes were placed in the cemetery along with a headstone marking his life. I have a fruit tree and a small urn on the keyboard of the piano that waits for hands to play it. Two years gone. Yesterday. Dear Doug.

Jade delivered her three sweet babies into the loving and capable hands of Lisa and Nancy three weeks ago. Bean, Mocha, and Chai. The Starbuck's babies. All legs. Trying to nurse arms, hands, necks. Nibbling on beards. Winning hearts. Growing big and strong and brave.

Miracle, Buttercup, and Olive slow down now especially on the hot days. Their bellies grow bigger. They spend lazy afternoons in the shade looking down from the tree house high up in the old apple tree. One month left . . .

The barn kitchen fills with smells of warm goat milk and lemongrass and lavender. Light purple lavender soaps with crushed lavender buds. Rich brown cocoa butter soaps infused with the seeds of vanilla beans. Essential oil of citronella and meyer lemon and eucalyptus and crushed verbena. Soap to heal what ails us.

No CSA this year. A big disappointment but since Honeysuckle did not freshen I don’t have enough milk to meet the milk needs of the CSA. You don’t plan for these things. Animals are not machines. They are unpredictable. They get sick. They don’t freshen. They kick the milk bucket over. They break out of the (unlatched!) gate and eat the just planted fruit tree saplings. Sometimes you just do not have enough milk. So . . . when you get lemons . . .

I am going to have fun. Make all sorts of cheeses and yogurts. Make more aged cheeses. Open the barn kitchen up to everyone twice monthly and hope people come hungry for cheese. I am going to tend to the garden. Cut huge flower bouquets. Spin my pile of fiber into gorgeous yarn to knit up into chunky warm scarves this Winter. I am going to walk in the woods. Enjoy the smell of baby mouths warm with milk. I am going to paint the piggy house a bright yellow with a splash of orange doors and happy green trim. And welcome our Daisy who comes to us in July and fulfills my unexplainable life-long dream of being a pig’s mother.

I am going to slow down this year. Count my blessings. Know that I have been blessed by this life. This love. This land. Truly blessed.