Seeds in the ground!

I got pea and beet seeds in the ground yesterday.  I took my time preparing the beds and putting the seeds in.  Hopefully they’ll germinate and grow better than they have in the past.  Today, I’ll put in rutabaga and carrots.  Then the beds will get covered with row cover to protect them from heavy rain, wind, etc.  It’s a good time to get seeds in because it’s supposed to rain Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  The row cover will prevent the rain from moving the seeds around and it will help keep the moisture in.

This weather is crazy.  Everyone is talking about it.  Sure, it’s nice to be out in the garden in short sleeves the beginning of February, but guarantied we are going to pay for it over the next months.  I hope, hope, hope the summer is not brutally hot or dry.

Today I have a lot to get done in the AM and then I’m heading out to Rock House Farm to spend some time with the Farm Manager to work on future newsletter issues.  I’ve done two so far.  I am going out this afternoon so I can coordinate picking up the coolers of meat at the same time.

Some of the goats are still being difficult.  I wish they’d get back into their routine and stop giving me such a hard time.  I’m going to try a different tactic this morning: I’m going to run them all up into the back of the shelter and then take out the does one by one.  When they are out, I’ll use Gel to bring them into the poultry shelter and then pull them in from that angle.  My left hand and wrist are really bothering me and having to wrestle goats is not helping it.  I need Gel to do the moving and with the babies in the mix, it’s too much of a rodeo.  Starting Saturday night, we’ll be putting the babies up so I can milk everyone in the AM.  That will make things a lot easier.  I don’t want to do it tonight because I won’t have time to milk 11 goats, but we’ll do it Saturday night and get them into the routine.

We kept one doe that we probably shouldn’t have.  I don’t know why we kept her, likely because she was a doe and I’m trying to get into my own breeding as soon as possible.  This doe’s mother doesn’t have all that great an udder and so far, the young doe doesn’t have that great of an udder.  It may improve as her production increases, but I don’t think so.  I have a number of does I’ll be culling this year and she may be one of them.  The older doe that didn’t come into milk still really hasn’t come in.  She’s going in the freezer at the end of the summer.  The only way I’m going to get to where I want to be with my dairy goats is to aggressively cull those that don’t live up to my standards.

Gwen is doing well.  It seems bringing the calf in has made the difference.  Her production isn’t what it was on corn and soy, but it was bound to drop when I took that out of her diet.  This morning, while the million and one thoughts were running through my head, I realized that we were paying $13 for a 50 pound bag of the corn and soy-laden food I was feeding her.  I pay $15 for a 50 pound bag of organic alfalfa pellets.  Granted, the food mixture has vitamins and minerals in it and I have to feed minerals and kelp to make up for the difference, but all in all, it seems much better to feed a whole grain diet and allow Gwen and the goats to get the minerals as they need them, not as some scientist has decided they need.

The oldest Creme litter is growing off well.  Two of them are really big.  In the next week or so, I may take them out and put them in a separate cage to give the others more access to food.  I’m not really good at sexing rabbits, but it looks like the two largest Cremes are does.  I believe the surviving Chin is a buck, which is good because I need a second Chin buck.  We have four more fryers to process this weekend.  Sunday would be a good day to cook a rabbit for dinner.

Tomorrow morning is going to be difficult.  I need to get a lot done before going to the farmers market.  Wally will help. The rain isn’t going to make it that much more difficult.  Oh well.

I’m dragging my butt and really need to get out there and get it done.  I’ve been tired lately.  I haven’t been drinking enough milk lately.  That’s pretty stupid, isn’t it?

Until later …