Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Goose Bite

So I couldn't wait to set up the Kailyard. Yesterday I stopped at Stannard Farms and bought three dozen kale starts (you can get 8 six-packs of veggies there for $18 bucks) and two packs of Broccoli. I set up some quick fencing with rabbit guard bottoms and got out my hoe. By the end of the day I had what felt like a real crop of kale and was already planning my next rental of a tiller. I got it bad, guys.

It took less than an hour to turn up the soft earth behind the barn and now I just want to do it again. I have plans to expand the little Kailyard to two more sections. This is extremely exciting because for the first time ever I'll be ordering seeds in "bulk". I used quotations there because by bulk I mean not-in-a-single-packet-you-coul-use-as-a-bookmark". I'll probably just order a few pounds of kale, taters, onions and fall garlic. And while this is a small step towards more intense backyard production it still feels wonderful. It feels the way ordering those first chicks in the mail did, or baking that first loaf of bread. This little backyard in the mountains is a place you can get things to eat. That makes me mighty happy.

I'm writing you with a black and blue mark on my right thigh the size of an angry strawberry. It's from a goose bite, I kid you not. I got too close to the nesting gals and my gander, Cyrus, got me right under the kilt. In five years of goose ownership this has never happened in such a way and I'm hoping it's because there are goslings on the way soon.

The pigs (who are far less confrontational) are doing well and I am on a hunt for a third if I can get it. Pigs are hard to come by this year due to some issues producers are having with a disease wiping out farrows. It's not a good story, but once the pigs get to shoat size they are free and clear. I am not aware of any local cases, and that is a relief for sure. Have any of you guys had a problem finding feeder hogs?

I need to admit that the smell of the first farm-harvested bird of the year is filling the house with the best smell I know ovens can create. I'm following the method of Hugh's River Cottage Meat Book (the best book anyone eating farm-raised meat could buy) and it is making me so happy that I skipped meals earlier today. Hunger is the best sauce, as Juniper Mackenzie would say.

On that note this short check in will wrap up, but I wanted to add that there are two spots now open for Goats & Soap workshop and two more left for Beekeeping with Zan Asha in two weeks! Also plenty of room at the horse workshop, so join the crew to learn about that dream pony. I'd love to meet you fine people!


Blogger Unknown said...

I've had a terrible time finding feeder pigs here in NC. However I was able to finally find a couple for a relatively decent price from a small homesteader. the price didn't matter so much because they were the only pigs I could find anywhere.

Thankfully I've had a litter of piglets as well this spring so we have enough pigs for this year. Next year, I don't know.

May 21, 2014 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Susan Mrenna said...


The film is free to watch at the bottom
You can have a lot more garden with less work after the initial set up. I am slowly moving that direction myself.

May 21, 2014 at 6:52 PM  
Blogger Robin Follette said...

I'm hoping my third try at finding piglets works out. The first two fell through. The only other piglets I could find are being trucked in from several states away and that made me nervous.

Ouch I bet that bite hurt!

May 21, 2014 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

thanks for the link!

May 21, 2014 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Wow, interesting to hear about all the piglet shortages.... glad I have my own bacon bank.

May 21, 2014 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Kira said...

I just love, love, love Hugh and River Cottage! He's wonderful!

May 21, 2014 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

By the way, I'll raise you your goose bite with a pig bite.

May 21, 2014 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Excited for your kailyard this year! Bulk seed is the best. Planting weekend here in Northern Minnesota after an extreme winter. The birch are looking lovely lime green as they bud out, life is good, and spring is certain.

May 21, 2014 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Dan! Yikes!

but nice battle scar :)

May 22, 2014 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger Ohiofarmgirl said...

i still have a scar on my arm from when my mean gander, OD, bit me. no foolin' he's a demon!

May 22, 2014 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Wandering Moose Farms said...

Hidden Nest Farm is right around the corner from you and sells Gloucester Old Spots. She has had been super careful about keeping the farm free from PEDS and my boar is doing great!

May 22, 2014 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hey Jenna, How far away are you from Walter Jeffries at Sugar Mountain Farm in Vermont? He has a good sized pig farm and I think he sells youngins.

Here's his farm link....

Google says he is about 135 miles from you. That's a long way, I know, but...just a thougt.

(No need to publish this...just talking to you)

May 22, 2014 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger renee said...

My mother was an evacuee during the war and brought up on a farm in the countryside. When I was a toddler we went visiting and the gander attacked me. Horrified at the consequecies, my mother rushed at him, grapped him by the neck and swung him round her head before letting go. Of course I am not suggesting this method but the gander lived to a ripe old age and NEVER came near my mother or I again

May 23, 2014 at 12:27 AM  

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