One of these days, I’m going to remember to stick my camera in my pocket when I go outside to take care of the animals.  I miss wonderful shots.  For example, this morning I positioned Gel at the opening of the gate to the poultry pasture to keep the goat kids and calf from coming out while I let the chickens and ducks out.  Kishi came and lied down right next to him.  It was a beautiful picture.  The puppies’ interactions with Rose and the cats are wonderful as well.

It isn’t going to be too much longer before we are going to have to restrain the puppies when we are not right there to keep an eye on them.  The chickens and ducks are becoming quite the draw.  On the shopping list for this weekend are collars for the puppies and I’ll start to teach them to tie out.  All in all, they are very nice puppies.  Wally and I keep going back and forth as to which puppy to keep.  One day it’s Mica, the next it’s Kishi.

I won’t be riding today.  It’s too freaking hot.  After I got through with milking, I brought all of the goats and Spot down into the back pasture.  The horses are in their paddock, with access to the adjoining field if they feel the need to go out and graze.  They’ll pretty much stay up all day until it cools off.  After I had some breakfast, I went out and worked on cleaning out the kid pen.  I filled the wagon, which is now attached to the ATV, but I haven’t emptied it yet.  I’ll go back out in a bit and do that.  We are going to have some kick-ass compost next year.

That’s the beauty of having a somewhat-sustainable small farm.  Sure, I have to buy hay and grain for the critters, but they are providing well for us.  Milk and egg sales (lots of people like to feed raw milk to their dogs and cats) pretty much pay for their grain and hay.  We transported in composted manure this year, but if all goes well, next year we’ll be able to use what we have here.  The chickens turn the compost pile, especially when I put kitchen scraps in it.

I wish we could produce all that we eat and drink, but that is not feasible.  We are doing more than most people.  There is a great deal of satisfaction in that.

For the past couple of weeks, when I had enough milk to make it, my cheese wasn’t coming out.  I thought it was bacteria, but that wasn’t the case; it was the buttermilk.  I had read that you could freeze buttermilk in ice cube trays and use it that way, but it seems that is not the case.  I used store-bought buttermilk in my last batch and it came out fine.  I have a quarter of buttermilk setting now and I guess that’s what I’ll need to continue to do.  Not that I throw the milk away if the cheese doesn’t come out (the dogs and chickens eat it); but if I go through the effort of making cheese, I’d like it to come out, at least most of the time.

Until later …