FRESH FROM THE FARM WITH LOVE
The Circle of Farm Life: July 2020 Farm Updates
One of the best parts of having a farmstead is the annual ritual of new life. And one of the hardest is the loss of life. We’ve had the joy and sorrow of both in what turned into a busy month.
In fact, it was so busy I had to keep coming back to edit this post as I remembered more things we did!
We planned our kidding season later than usual this year since we welcomed a baby of our own in May. A couple weeks after our fourth son was born, the baby goats came!
The first to kid was Lady, who was paired up with Jose. She delivered one doe and one buck. We will keep the doeling to become part of our herd.
Magnolia was next with her first kid, also sired by Jose. She delivered us a beautiful doe and has been a tremendous milker for a first freshener.
Lavender was third with a buck and a doe from Jose.
Last, our herd queen, Rosemary, gave us triplets once again. These kids were sired by Moe, his only offspring this year. All three of Rosemary’s kids were doelings.
All of the kids were born without our knowledge, most while we weren’t even home! This seems to always be the case.
Our freezer is filling up with milk now. We will continue milking into the fall, giving us a large store for making soap and lotion through the winter until next spring.
In all, we had eight little goats, six does and two bucks. We are also hoping for fall babies from Willow, a doeling from last year. Fingers crossed!
Unfortunately, in the midst of the renewal of life on our farmstead, our Kunekune boar, Chubb, died while on pasture. We suspect that the heat was the cause.
We’ve brought all our Kunekune back to the house for the meantime. Once we improve the land more with running water and electricity, we should be able to get our grazing pigs grazing again.
Thankfully, in their time together, it looks like Ginny, our sow, got pregnant. We should have piglets again in September.
Other Farmstead News
In other news, we’ve been working hard to keep up with watering the trees we planted in the Spring. As fortune would have it, our first year on the Farmstead is a dry one. We luckily got a couple thunderstorms in June that helped keep conditions from getting too desperately dry, but surrounding areas have been less fortunate.
Our weather pattern frequently swaps between too little, and too much rain. We are in better shape than we were in 2016, one of our worst droughts in several decades.
One of our new apple trees has a few apples coming along. Our transplant raspberries mostly did not take, but a few are still surviving and we may get a handful of berries. Pumpkins finally got in the ground at the end of June.
Watering would be easier if we had our well hooked up, but we don’t yet. We have been exploring several options for pumps, tanks, and electrical hookups. Some of those options involve putting up a building, so it hasn’t been a simple process. We may not get everything set for a couple months yet, so some substantial rain would be nice!
Early in the month, Maria’s parents and two of her sisters came for a three-day visit. It was great to see them, show them the land and our animals, and relax. We also put up a metal shed kit for some extra storage.
Last, we spent much of June researching and deciding to homeschool our two older boys for the upcoming school year. We will talk about this decision another time. However, it is very important to point out that our decision is not an indictment on our school district, administrators, or teachers. We were very pleased with and blessed to have them educating our children the last couple years.
Drew may be a bit more of a reluctant farmer, but he loves being an entrepreneur! Building the website, enhancing customer experiences, and adding the small touches that make Ye Olde Goat Cart something special are among his favorite aspects of being in business. Drew also is a meteorologist and runs his own weather forecasting business, Finger Lakes Weather. His favorite soap is Orange Clove...or maybe Rosemary Peppermint. Oh, or Billy Goat Gruff! Or Winter Woodland!