Diggin’ in the dirt

Yesterday evening, I harvested a bucketful of greens which I sold this morning for $6.  Given how excited the woman was to receive them, the bucket might have contained caviar.  I cleared about a quarter of one bed and I plan to seed it with carrots.  It felt good to be digging in the dirt.  The soil is this bed is absolutely beautiful!!!

I have a large list of seeds to get in the ground around the 1st of February so we need to get going and finish digging beds.  I arranged for us to go and get a load of rabbit manure this weekend.  I might have already mentioned this, but did you know that if chickens eat rabbit manure, it increases their egg production?  I wish we could see clear to add some rabbits to the farm, but we really have too much going on now.  If we had a barn, I’d get them for sure, but without adequate shelter, it just isn’t viable.

On the high priority list this weekend is getting the kid shelter constructed.  I am going to have to go out and milk Heavenly today.  The kids are only nursing on one side, which is normal.  She produces enough milk to feed four kids; her doe kid is definitely a keeper.  Interestingly, Beetaloo is mothering Heavenly’s kids, even letting them nurse on her.  That is very odd; usually does can be outright aggressive towards kids belonging to other does.  Both Beetaloo and April, the second Oberhasli are due any day now.  It would be nice if they had them today while it’s warm.  Temperatures are going to drop after today, not terribly low, but definitely colder than it has been.

I went out to milk Gwen this morning and discovered Auggie was out.  I put him up in the poultry pasture, milked Gwen and then put her down in the back pasture with the other two calves.  She seemed very happy with that arrangement.  Tonight, Wally will be going to the livestock auction that he usually goes to every Thursday.  He hasn’t gone in a few weeks due to holidays and inclement weather.  While he’s there, he’s going to put the word out to see if anyone has a breeding age Jersey bull we could use.

In addition to working on the kid shelter, I am going to put together the materials and ingredients that I need to make soap.  I may not get to make it this weekend, but once I have what I need, I’ll be able to get it done in relatively short order.  I don’t think it’s going to take too awfully long to make; it will take several weeks to cure.  I can’t tell you how happy we are with the homemade laundry detergent.  I know it works better than the store-bought detergent.

Tomorrow I am going to go and pick up some more lard to render.  The soap recipe that I am going to use calls for 12 cups of lard so I need to make plenty of it.

Yesterday afternoon, I had to drive to Statesville to get barley.  None of the local mills has it in stock.  This morning, I portioned out the last of the commercial goat grain and once that is gone, all of the goats will be eating an oat/barley mixture, no soy or corn.

Off to milk Heavenly.

Until later …