A successful inspection.

It went well, it really did and I enjoyed it.  I love showing off the farm to someone who appreciates what we’ve done to get it to where it is.  Unless the inspector was telling me a fib, we will be able to get approved for the chickens (meat and laying) and the goats.  The rabbits, no go.  That’s okay, I didn’t think it would happen.  Even if I had all of the rabbits in tractors, our tractors are too small for AWA standards.  I think they need to re-think their standards because as they stand, it’s going to be hard for anyone to get approved.  I will continue to grow out my rabbits in tractors as they enjoy it and it’s easier to care for them there.

I love meeting nice farmers.  I had been harvesting some red clover in a field off a side road.  Late last week I went out there to get some more and saw a farmer cutting the field.  Bummer, there goes my red clover supply.  I stopped and talked to him and he’s really, really nice.  I asked if when he baled the field if I could buy a few bales off him.  He told me to just come and take what I wanted.  WOW!  He also owned the field where there was some very mature collards and told me to take all I wanted of that so I have been.

Yesterday after the inspection I went and cut a tub of grass for the rabbits, then loaded up Gel and another tub and headed over to the collard patch.  The man told me that he’d be baling the red clover on Monday or Tuesday at the latest and since it’s supposed to rain today, I figured they would be baling it.  Sure enough they were.  I got my two free bales and picked up a tub of loose hay then went across the street and cut down some collards to feed to the goats.  I overheard the man baling the hay say that the hay was $2.50 out of the field so I went home and got Wally (who just got home from work) and $25 and we went back and bought 25 bales of hay.  It’s really pretty hay and for $2.50 a bale, you can’t beat that.

I may go over today and pick up a few more bales, but our ShelterLogic hay house is getting full *and* we never did get around to moving it.  We can’t move it now.

Back to the inspection: we talked quite a bit about the Cornish X chickens and how the public doesn’t know how to cook or eat anything other than that type of bird.  I hope I can make a little bit of difference in offering an alternative bird for sale.  I just to figure out which alternate bird it’s going to be.  I’d love to do Delawares, but I can’t find local stock that I can afford.  I could order them from a hatchery, but from what I’ve been told, the quality of the Delawares from the hatcheries is not good.  Last year, I bought some White Orphington hens from a local lady and they came from McMurray.  They are nice birds.  I may buy them and start there and keep watching for Delawares, or maybe buy half and half and see how that goes.  I was going to order birds from Sandhills Preservation, but the inspector told me that they were not a reliable source.

It will be nice today to not have to think about the inspection and take it easy.  I need to finish the newsletter for my employer and I DESPERATELY need to get my paperwork, expenses, etc. in order.  I renewed my membership for the American Dairy Goat Association and once that goes through, I need to get my registrations completed.  I’ve been lax about doing so.  I’m going to get bit in the butt soon when it comes to taxes.

I cooked a fantastic meal last night.  My employer has sausage in stock from two processors: May’s Meats and Well’s Meats.  We’ve eaten the sausage from May’s quite a bit and it’s good.  I’ve avoided the Well’s sausage because, well, it doesn’t look as good.  But I can’t sell it if I don’t know what it tastes like so I decided to cook up a batch of it last night.  First I baked some thin-sliced red skinned potatoes in lard in my cast iron pan at 400 degrees.  Then I added the sausage patties to the pan along with some home-canned tomatoes and topped it with goat cheese.  I baked it another 30 minutes.  The smell coming from the oven was about making us drool in anticipation.  The cats started to come to the screen door asking to come in.  The dish did not disappoint.  It was fabulous!  The May’s sausage has a lot of different spices, this sausage was less seasoned, a little spicier though, but it allowed the flavor of the pork to come through.  It was so good, I’m going to cook another batch tonight, but this time I’m going to use sweet potatoes and black beans as well as the goat cheese.

Tonight it’s supposed to rain and tomorrow too.  I hope we get a good deal of rain because we need it, bad!  I have some tomato, green pepper and eggplant seedlings to put in the garden, but I may hold off a little bit longer just to make sure it isn’t going to get cold again.  There’s a good chance I found that greenhouse.  I’m waiting on photos to come via e-mail and if it’s a good one, I’ll go and get it today.  If I am able to get this greenhouse, I’ll set it up in the poultry pasture and that will be a perfect place to raise another batch of chicks.

Until later …