Thoughts on eating local …

Wally and I have been eating predominantly locally-raised meals lately.  It’s very satisfying and expands my creativity as a cook.  Recently I purchased a pasta machine, a hand-crank model made in Italy.  Originally, I was going to buy one that attached to my KitchenAid, but after doing research, discovered the hand-crank models produce a much nicer pasta.

The KitchenAid: I use the crap out of that!  On Monday, I used it to make a triple batch of banana bread, then to make a batch of focaccia then to mix the cheese for lasagna.  It was a busy little big machine.  I use it all the time to make sourdough bread.  It was a great investment.  For the most part, I use all of the kitchen tools that I purchase on a regular basis.

Yesterday, I picked out a livestock guardian puppy.  I found out about this litter through a friend.  Both parents are from multiple generations of working guard dogs and are really nice dogs.  They do their jobs, but they are people friendly which is important.  The puppy is three-quarters Anatolian Shepherd, one-quarter Pyrenees and he favors the Anatolian which is good because he’ll be short-haired.  Poor guy is having a tough adjustment, but he’ll be fine in a few days.

We’ll be getting a Border Collie puppy around Christmas.  It’s a puppy sired by Gel.  That’s exciting.  If Shine doesn’t shape up soon, she’ll be finding another home.  She about drives me mad.  Talk about a crazy dog!  She reminds me way too much of Split which is not a good thing.  I need to make time to work her more regularly as that does help.  The weather has been crappy the past few days.  I hate the wind and it’s been high and cold.  Yesterday was particularly bad.  No where near as bad as the folks in the Northeast are suffering.  Today I have to get the garden beds covered!  It is supposed to go below freezing tonight.  I have an appointment with a medical assistance agency today at 11:15.  Not looking forward to that, but I’m bringing the RAFI grant proposal to review and finalize so I’ll have something to do while I wait because I am sure, wait I will.

Faith, the Jersey cow that we were mislead about is being problematic and she may find another home.  She was in the pasture with the two bottle calves (a Jersey and the Simmental) both of which immediately grafted themselves on her, even though she’s dry.  She happily adopted them.  Doing anything in the pasture that involved a dog turned her into a Tyrannosaurus Rex.  No kidding, her bellowing sounds like it’s coming from a dinosaur!  She outright scary.  Unlike Gwen and Penny, she’s not lame and can run and charge.  I don’t think she’d harm me, but it’s still scary and I don’t want her hurting Gel.  We took the calves out of the pasture and put them up with the goats, but she’s still carrying on.  Jerseys are over achievers in the mothering department.

I’m afraid we will not be able to re-breed Gwen.  She simply isn’t going to be able to handle another pregnancy.  Her structure is degrading and there is going to come a time, probably relatively soon, that I’ll need to make the decision to have her put down.  That will be a very sad day.  I hope that Faith settles down because we really need her as a milk cow.  Penny is doing okay, but she’s just giving a gallon a milking now and who knows how long she’ll be around given her lameness.  We are due another milk cow from the local dairy, but I’m taking my time waiting for one that will last a little longer.  We’ve had Gwen two years this past May and she’s been a fantastic cow.  I don’t want her to suffer.  Penny motors around pretty well and I don’t think her injury is as bad as Gwen’s was, but we’ll see.

As soon as I get the stunner from Animal Welfare Approved again, there will be some aggressive rabbit culling going on.  All but one of the New Zealand/Californian Cross does are going to be culled as well as at least one American Chinchilla. They are not breeding well; except for one of them, they’ve never bred well or raised good litters.  No sense in feeding them through the winter.  They’ll make good stew rabbits.

These super storms are getting really scary.  So far, we’ve been lucky and I hope it continues that way. I looked across Google for images of stores with the shelves stripped bare and found lots of them.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to remain prepared for disaster?  I guess most people think WalMarts will always be open, gas will always be available, etc.  Probably not the case …

Last night, I dreamed I looked out the window and saw a crowd of people surrounding our sheep beating them to death.  Weird.

Until later …

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