Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Goat Days of Summer

It's almost September and the farm is getting ready for fall. It's a mixed bag for me, since I adore this season above all else but don't feel prepared. So much to do before the real cold sets in. I need to get cords of firewood purchased and stacked. I need to get my truck back from the mechanic, (who is repairing it from last Thursday when it wouldn't start in the hardware store parking lot.) And it means getting in hay, the chimneys swept, appointments with the Butchering Crew, and a couple dozen other things that weave into the work of preparing a multi-species homestead for cold months. So while I am just as excited as the next gal for cooler nights, pumpkins, scary stories and cider pressing - there is the balance of preparation, expenses, plans, and phone calls to make. One day at a time.

As for today, part of fall prep means drying off the goats, which I only milk seasonally. I know some people milk their dairy animals for years, but I don't want to do that to me or the goats. I like that kids come in the late spring when the grass is up and green and the lambing is behind me. I like that there is a summer of soapmaking, cheese, fresh milk, and daily milking. But I also like that there is an end to that and the girls go from twice daily milking to once daily, to every other day, to every few days. This eases them off of lactating and by true Fall they will no longer be producing. They will be thinking about breeding with a buck and come the -13 degree mornings in February - I won't be heading out to milk in a snowstorm. Dairy farmers are tough folk, no doubt about that. But I am a dairy tourist. A snowbird. I'm okay with that.


Blogger Elizabeth said...

Hey Jenna~ is there a way you could fell some of the trees on your property (or maybe "pay" some one in pork to do it for you) for next year's wood supply? One of our neighbors hays our pastures for the price of a % of that good hay. It's a win-win. We get some of the hay for our fat Jersey cow and he gets the rest, the hay doesn't go to waste AND we don't have the fire hazard of long grass drying around our homestead.

August 31, 2016 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger holmgrrl said...

The wet season starts here in two months, and we're spending our weekends digging french drains and installing sump pumps, completing paths and border fences, and building structures to attract helpful wildlife to our yards. We aren't in a rural area, but to turn our 100 year-old place into a nano-homestead has definitely become a race against the weather. Good luck!

August 31, 2016 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Here in western Oregon we still have many dry days before the fall rains start. I love how your farm is green and pretty at this time of the year. Here, we are still worried about forest fires, the pastures are completely dry and barren, and canning season is in full swing. However, we too know that firewood and hay are just around the corner. I enjoy the Indian Summers very much, as long as there is no wildfire smoke clogging the air.

August 31, 2016 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Thanks Jenna. Was just wondering. I tried to go to once a day with my does last week. Did it for 2 days, but they were both way too full by next morning. So back to twice a day for a while.

September 1, 2016 at 11:40 AM  

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