As I write this, for the first time in a long, long time, I’m not wearing a sleeveless shirt or sweating.  There’s coffee brewing.  I poured a glass of iced tea, but ended up throwing it out and starting coffee.  It’s too cool for iced tea.  Of course, I’ll be drinking cold drinks later in the day, but for now, a hot cup of coffee will be welcome.

Saturday’s Farmer’s Market in Charlotte was successful.  I’m pleasantly surprised with how well we’ve been doing.  It isn’t so much the money, of course that’s a good thing, but it’s the reception we’ve been getting.  It’s the appreciation for what we do.  Some people understand how difficult it is to raise animals correctly and they appreciate it!

Of course, there’s those that stop by and sneer and even some who make snide comments, but that’s okay, they can shop elsewhere.  Yes, our eggs are special and we are asking $____ for them.  If you don’t want to pay $_____ go elsewhere; our rabbit is $____/pound and that’s a lot of money, but you know what, we put a tremendous amount of effort in raising these rabbits.  You can go and buy one from a confinement system and pay less for it, but I’ll be willing to bet, it won’t taste as good.

In celebration of the cooler weather, I have a pastured chicken defrosted in the refrigerator and it’s going in the crock pot with some potatoes, onions, carrots, garlic, etc.  I have cut back on how much meat Wally and I have been eating and have several bags of organic, dried beans on the counter top that I plan to start cooking to add to our meals.  Like so many Americans, we’ve been taking advantage of the abundance of cheap meat and eating too much of it.  No, we haven’t been buying meat in the grocery store, we’ve been eating what we raise or barter with other farmers so it’s been relatively cheap (not Wal-Mart prices, but less than some of the prices at the Farmer’s Market), but we can cut back to some extent.

This coming week is going to be a whirlwind week.  On Monday I’m bringing more goats to the processor.  We made the difficult decision to cull one of our older goats who has had a lot of lameness issues.  That’s going to be a hard thing on Monday.  Then, I’ve got a boatload of crap to get done in anticipation of an inspection on Wednesday.  I can’t reveal what the inspection is about … yet, but fingers and toes crossed, it’s very, very exciting and I should have some great news by the end of the week.

The Know Your Farms Tour is this coming Sunday.  Wally and I talked about what we wanted to get done before the tour and we decided that we were not going to kill ourselves with getting things done to beautify the farm.  We’ll do what we can, but whomever comes on the tour will have to take us as we are and if they don’t like it, then they can leave.  We are not a Proffitt Family Farm or a Grateful Growers, we are small and the farm is in its infancy.  One day, it may be different, but for now, it is what it is. The farm, as it is, has a tremendous amount of charm so people may not notice our tarp-covered shelters, etc.

On Friday, we are getting a young dog from a breeder in Georgia.  We are quite excited about getting this little dog.  Her mother is from a very good breeder in California and her father is from some of the oldies but goodies in the North and South Carolina area.  She goes back to some of the great Kuykendall lines.  She’ll be a year old in December so she’s ready to start now.  I’m excited about having a new dog to work with.  I don’t know if we’ll be getting Gel’s grandson or not.  That may have fallen through.  We’ll see.

The calf that got hung in the fence still hasn’t gotten up.  While we both feel he may not ever get up, he is not suffering so we are giving him a little more time before making the decision to euthanize him.  Gwen’s udder has improved tremendously.  I used a product called Udder Care and it seems to have done it’s job.  She’s in the back pasture with her calf and the rest of the Jersey herd.  Tanner, the two month old bull calf is also nursing on her so she’s raising two calves.  That will be Gwen’s job for the foreseeable future.  She can no longer stand in the milking stall.  Her lame rear leg gives her too much trouble standing still long enough to milk her out.

The starved Jersey cow that I bought from the local woman is still out in the pasture across the street with the Angus herd.  She’s picked up a little weight, but it’s going to take time for her to recover.  It took her four to five months to get to where she is now, it will take that long or longer for her to put the weight back on.  She’s in the best possible place to do that.

I’ll be going to a Jersey dairy sometime the beginning of the week to look at a third Jersey milk cow.  It’s the same dairy where the starved Jersey and Guernsey calf came from.  They felt so bad that this happened to us that they are going to work with us on a payment plan to get a cow in milk. Like the lame goat, I don’t know how many more years of pain-free life Gwen may have left.  This past pregnancy was hard on her.

The goats are still milking reasonably well.  This has been a hard year on them and everyone else.  I’m thrilled that the heat and humidity has finally broke.

Until later …