Sunday, September 15, 2013

On the farm


Although we obviously don't qualify as a real farm, it sure is starting to feel like one around here!  Especially since we've gone from having no animals to now having one dog, one pig and two goats, all in the space of about 6 weeks :) 


We were able to pick up our two new goats and the pig at the same time last week.  They were from different farms, but they were close enough that we did it all in one trip.  The goats are both Nigerian Dwarf.  We chose them because their milk is the closest thing to cow's milk, and they're small enough that they're easier to care for and transport when we need to breed them.  Here's the oldest of the two (she's 3 mos old)....her name is Gertie...


The younger one is named Mable, and she is just 3 weeks old!  That, of course, means we get to bottle feed her ;)


We decided to get goats so that we can have our own supply of milk, but we also decided we weren't quite ready to deal with milking just yet, and that it might be nice to get to know the goats from the beginning before we start breeding and milking them!  We are planning to breed them next spring.


Here's Mable :)


And here's Mable getting her bottle.  It was a challenge at first to get her to take her bottle, but she's eating like a champ now and is even starting to nibble on hay and grains.


I'm just amazed at how sweet and friendly the goats are!  They not only follow us everywhere we go once we enter the pasture, but they sit and cry at the gate when we leave ;)



I'm not really sure how we ended up with a pig, but here she is.....


Her name is Penelope, and we are really enjoying her too! I guess you can't have a farm without a pig ;)


The day that we picked her up, the previous owner dropped a bombshell on us by telling us, literally at the last minute as we were about to drive away, that Penelope is likely pregnant!  Pigs are pregnant for just over 3 mos, so if she is in fact pregnant, we should see some little piggies in the next few weeks!

So, before we even started turning our yard into a farm, we headed out to Tractor Supply (my new favorite store) and got muck boots for the whole gang.....me included!


The rule is, you're not allowed in the pasture without your boots on ;)

Now that we have the animals, it's time to get started on the garden!  We're hoping to get enough beds ready that we can plant a fall crop so that we have things like carrots and cabbage all winter long.  Here's Zack putting up the garden fence this weekend.....


The kids have been doing an incredible amount of work to prepare the land and barn for the animals!  Here's Sophie putting shingles on the lean-to that she and Zack built onto the barn last weekend....


Penelope sleeps in a dog house under the lean-to.  Emily has spent the last couple of weeks fixing up the inside of the barn to begin to get ready for the chickens we hope to have soon.  She built the chicken coop and the nesting boxes, and she even built the jugs for the goats to use during kidding seasons.


Here's a shot of the pasture looking back up toward the garage and house....


The girls painted the barn, and I love the way it looks!


Another shot of the pasture, complete with Gertie running up the hill :)


Thought I'd get a better shot of my weathervane against a bright blue sky....


Emily has learned what it means to clean out the barn ;)


We ordered our heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Seed Company this past week, and we rented a sod cutter so we could get the garden started.  While the garden is going to be really big, it's also completely on a hill, so preparing the land isn't going to be easy.


Isn't this guy just so cute??


It's looking a little like fall around here!


Talking to the goats :)


So, after Zack cut the sod, the kids spent the entire day today picking up dirt rolls.....hard work!


But at least taking the trash down to the end of the driveway is fun!  We like to use the 4-wheeler for that job :)


Penelope (who is a mini potbelly) was rather fearful of us the first couple of days, but she has really warmed up to the kids now that we've got her secured and are able to let her roam in the pasture.  She's so cute when she comes over to us, wagging her tail and snorting!  I never thought I would love having a pig, but she's a keeper :)  


And she's getting along great with Gertie and Mable too!


Sophie was dirtier today than I've ever seen her after picking up all that sod!


She's a hard worker ;)


And that's life on the farm for now!

1 comment:

a portland granny said...

Oh Wow!! Things are really coming together!! Lots of hard work and willing kids--great combination!!

Your baby boy is so cute keeping up with the big kids. I often think of the poem by John Greenleaf Whittier

"Blessings on thee, little man.....P
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174752

Its very long but paints such a sweet picture of a boy's childhood!

You are so blessed with these wonderful children of yours and they are blessed with parents who are surrounding them with a childhood rich in meaningful experiences and memories.

Have fun with all you are doing. I suspect the little piggy will remain off the table and just be a fun pet!

Enjoy this wonderful time in your life with all of the new things coming--gardening, goat's milk etc!!

May you all enjoy each new day in Him, Who is the author and finisher of our faith.

Blessings

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