the life i should be leading
Outside the meat bird youngin's are nearly 4 weeks old and holding their own. They now scamper all over the farm from the pasture to the well. While milking Bonita tonight a little herd of meat birds came and started bothering us so I turned the teat into a squirt gun and shot a meat bird right in the feet. He squawked and ran off, and then ran right back to drink the milk puddle in the dry dirt. Lord, do we need rain around here. Ground is hard tack with little stubble of grass.
With all the 3-month old Freedom rangers in freezer camp, the farm sure is less frantic. 27 9-pound birds running around sure did make a scene when cars rolled by. I've been enjoying them with friends, giving them as gifts and eating them here at the farm. Over at Patty's we had one for Easter Dinner and it was perfect.
The sheep are in their main paddock and I hope a few will lamb soon. It is almost that time and every day I come home from the office or an errand I listen for those mama sheep chortle throat sounds and baby bleats. Jasper in is the pasture next to them and is loving this mild weather and open spaces. right now nights are no colder than the mid thirties. He runs around the fields, eats his hay, drinks his water down and is working off that pent up stall feeling. I can't wait till he and Merlin are in their new paddock together, something I hope to have ready by my Birthday weekend in mid July.
I ordered goat cheese rennet and supplies to make some soft cheeses from Bonita's gallon and a half of milk she is giving a day. I experimented with mozzarella tonight but it was a disaster. Too much heat, too little goat milk, and too much rennet made a suitable alternative for Styrofoam. But hey, fail again better next time! And next time we'll go for a proper chèvre.
Shearing is Saturday, and you're invited. Looks like three gals from the SCA will be coming and a few readers from the blog. Should be quite the day! If you are coming bring something to eat and share and some clean clothes and shoes to change into! Tim said if the Battenkill Race (huge bike race this weekend in Cambridge. HUGE) winds up and his photo work leaves him time he'll try to make it over to get some shearing photos.
I'd call that a day, friends. I am about to tune up my fiddle and enjoy a nice Guinness as a nightcap. It feels deserved tonight, as there's a properly running farm out there producing eggs, meat, wool, milk and the starts of green vegetables. Lately I feel like I am ever more comfortable with this land and work. I am handling the challenges they offer. It's part of the journey of learning a whole new lifestyle. It excites the hell out of me. I'm growing as a farmer, and growing into it. It feels like the life I should be leading.
Not much else to crow about around here...
P.S. My arms and hands are sore!.