Goats: My plan is to just keep the two does, Ida and Bonita. Bonita is at a regular milking schedule now, and producing less milk than in previous years but it might rev up in the next few days. Ida still has not kidded, and doesn't even look that round in the belly but she has a huge bag that loaded up and I don't think it's a sympathetic lactation. Hoping she has a nice little doe, but honestly I'll take anything if it means moving past the baby stages and getting into regular milking schedules with both goats. I just made my first chèvre of the year and it was the creamiest, most mildly-tart, most perfect cheese I ever made! I'm kinda looking forward to selling Jack soon so I can have all that milk to myself for soap and cheese!
Sheep: The flock is doing well! All seven adults and seven lambs are enjoying the now greener world around them. There are four ewe lambs and three ram lambs, all the ram lambs are sold to folks who want them for the freezer. The ewes will stay here to add some younger blood to the flock. Monday is going to need to be swapped out for a new ram in the fall, so that is going to either be a trade with Common Sense Farm or he'll be sold or traded to another Blackface farm. If interested, let me know. He's a goodie! Every ewe this year had twins or triplets!
Pigs: Just two pigs here about to be butchered soon for shareholders, the last two of the six wintered over here. Then I'll head south to Joshua Rockwood's farm to get some piglets in trade for fiddle lessons for his wife! A great barter and a way to meet some fellow farm folks in the area. Gotta say I miss seeing piglets scurrying around!
Chickens: I didn't buy any laying chicks in this year, but two out of a huge nest of eggs in the barn just hatched under a black, rumpless, jungle fowl hen! I am hoping the flock here does what it does last year and raises up new stock on their own. I am good in eggs, for sure. Getting around five a day (that I can find, new laying spots are found every so often like treasure chests). I do have a HUNDRED meat birds coming in soon from Freedom Ranger Hatchery next week or around then! Right now the only chicks in the brooder are ten American Bresse I got from Common Sense Farm. Hoping to keep them around for a breeding group, or maybe just for the table. They are rumored to be the best tasting poultry on earth. Looking forward to doing the research!
Horse: Just Merlin here. No other pony but I wish he did have a companion and I had another to ride. It isn't in the budget right now while I try to catch up on the mortgage. (I am considering rough boarding someone else's horse so he can have a friend who pays rent, though!) I rode him Sunday and I'll admit I was nervous about it. IT was my first time since that bad fall in April. But solid groundwork and paced work got us just fine. Oh, and plenty of bug spray and a properly fitting girth - so I am back in the saddle!
Dogs: Gibson is perfect, as always. Friday is healing up well, but still wears her punk rock bandage to keep it clean. We rode around in the truck today as a trio and it was delightful. Friday sits right next to me, sitting straight and looking out the windshield at the world. Gibson stands to the passenger side and makes sure the glass has plenty of smudges from his nose. They are the happiest beasts on the farm, hands down.
Cats: Still assholes. Bo and Bree are fine, good friends.
Geese: Saro, Cyrus, and Ryan are guarding a nest right by the woodpile outside the kitchen. No goslings yet but they seem really into it.
Bees: I pick up a nuc on Saturday morning! New hive will be set out by the kailyard. Excited to start with these guys, and excited to see those bees around the kailyard and veggie patches (coming soon, not planted yet).
Rabbits: I have four rabbits now, one Giant Chin buck and three does. I bought the 2 new does at the Poultry swap and they are both Flemish Giant crosses. Both does are spotted and one came bred to a Flemish Giant. The bred one, she already started a fur nest and there should be bunnies soon. The other one was bred to my buck as well. If this buck doesn't produce it's time to get some new blood in here.
Turkeys: Bryan and Lucas are doing well. I wish I had some hens for them, but they seem good enough being bachelors. They have DESTROYED the side porch outside the living room though. It has way too much turkey poop and Operation Move Drumsticks is in the works to clean, re-carpet, and set up a fence so they no longer can use my porch as their little poop pagoda.
Gardens: Kailyard is stocked with kale, lettuce varieties, spinach, and other cold-weather crops. All of them greens I eat a lot of. The kitchen garden outside the kitchen will be planted with potatoes, tomatoes, basil, onions, squash, and more. I focus less on growing a grocery store like the old days and more on growing the 10 things I eat all the time. It saves money, and it actually gets eaten and stored (potatoes in bins and baskets, pesto in freezer, sauce in cans, etc).
I think that covers it? There will be a new hawk trapped and trained in September. I have been very active with my archery practice with my 50lb recurve. I hope to return to TKD classes soon as finances and time allow. I'm a black belt in my school and should be helping teach and work with newer students as a thank you for all the advanced students who got me to black. Besides all that - my life is this farm, these words, daily yoga, a lot of distance running, and my usual obsessions with pop culture and music. Radiohead's new album is out, so get into that. And what else is there to share with you guys?
Remember to look up. You never look up.