Sunday, April 27, 2014

Signs of spring

It's 33 degrees, wet, rainy, windy, and altogether disagreeable outside this morning.  Not a lot of farm activity going on around here this weekend.  The fellows are off to a Scout event, and for me a good portion of yesterday was spent in the delightful company of my Nix relations to celebrate Uncle Cy's 86th birthday. 

This morning, after chores and a hot breakfast, I went back out to make sure the fire is going well in the stove, and to look for spring.  Here is what I found:
Cute little goats in the barn... This is Sunflower climbing on her sister Ivy

And Chikorita


Rhubarb... yum, can't wait for that to get a little bigger!
And in the greenhouse, lettuce is growing despite the cool temps

And the tomato seedings are coming along.  Those tiny plants in the forground are vinca seedlings.

So, that is about it for this weekend.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter from Ole Lake!

We could not ask for a more beautiful day!  A little later the four of us will be heading down to the North House for a great meal with Ardis and Rollie.  My uncle and aunt, Cyril and Nora, will be joining us and it should be a very nice time. 

I am just putting a few pictures here from yesterday for your viewing pleasure.  Kevin has been working on the goat pasture, shoring up the fence which took a beating from deer and falling branches over the winter.  He has cut down some trees and the goats enjoy nibbling on the tasty tips of the branches.  The little doelings especially enjoying being outside and playing on the chunks of wood and spool-tops that we put there for that purpose.

Enjoying the brush


The lasses always make us smile

Playing tag!

The spool-tops are tipsy, adding a fun-house element!

And here is Roye, one of the best pictures I've gotten of her; she's allways been difficult to photograph.

Be well everybody.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Well, it kind of looked like cheese...

So, not sure what went wrong with the mozzarella last Sunday...
After it cooled... hard and plastic-y
Shredded, with difficulty
 It sort of tasted like... nothing.

On my personal pizza, on the left...
And here is the carnivore pizza, storebought mozz...

And now, just some interesting things (interesting to me anyway) I'd like to share with you about Ole Lake eggs, which some of you  enjoy as much as we do.  The USDA has size standards for egg.  Jumbos are 2.4 to 2.5 oz each.  XLs are 2.17-2.25 oz, L are 1.92-2 oz, M are 1.67-1.75 oz, S are 1.42-1.5 oz.  They even have a PeeWee classification of 1.25 oz and less.  So, here are what our eggs are like:  
These are tiny in my book, I get 1 or 2 of them a day

Most of my hens lay 2.2-2.4 oz eggs
Then, 2 of these almost every day...

Is there a goose out there?

In other news of the week, we had some nasty cold temps, and some snow, which is now mostly gone but made for some interesting driving.  The greenhouse does not retain heat well, so even with the heater going I had to move the flats of seedlings back into the house.  Here is the evidence:
Tuesday morning, 12 degrees outside

And in the greenhouse about 28 or so

The lettuce survived.  It's pretty tough stuff.  Lost a few of the outside leaves, but that was all.

So, that's all the blog for now.  "What!  No cute animal pictures?"  Well, not right now, but I will get back to this later or tomorrow.  Be well everybody!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Unpleasant events, but life goes on...

If she was a horse instead of horsepower, we’d put her down.

Massey really is the workhorse of Ole Lake Farm and a broken axle is well… bad.  Not much to do but heave a sigh and get to work.

Then, on Wednesday, I experienced my very first flat tire while on the road.  Kurt came to attempt a rescue, but after much consternation and grubbing around on the side of the road, and just possibly a few bad words, it became apparent that the spare was not coming off without professional intervention.

So, to any of you who drive a Chevy truck like mine, with the spare tire stowed underneath for 10 years or so…. You might want to have your mechanic check the Secondary Spare Tire Latch.  It is likely rusted solid. 

So what are the farmers to do to put a smile back on our faces?   Visit the doelings… it never fails to lift the spirit.  You know, I think everyone should have baby goats just for the mental health benefits!!!

"Come on out kids!"     And doesn't Vinca have a great udder?  Ok, trust me, she does!

                                                                                                                                                                   In other news, the weather was warm this week, so the garden looks more like a garden and less like a cold white place.  And, I got the lettuce transplanted into the greenhouse beds, and the little plants are coming along nicely too.  Later today, I hope to make some mozzarella, so will get back to you on how that goes!

Tomato seedlings... not sure where the color went... they really are green!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Little goats gaining fast

We weighed the doelings today.  Sunflower and Ivy are 3 weeks, 3 days old, and Chikorita is 3 weeks, 2 days old.  The "Then" weights are from Saturday after they were born.

Kid             Then           Now
Chikorita      6lbs 7 oz    15lbs 4 oz
Sunflower     8lbs 9 oz    16lbs  4 oz
Ivy                9lbs 4 oz    19lbs  6 oz



Ivy and Sunflower

 And here are a couple of other pictures from this afternoon:

Lily enjoying the sun

Rehydrating the greenhouse beds


Sunday morning

What a beautiful spring morning!  46 degrees and sunny, just a light breeze.  Mickey and I just got back from a run and I am pleased to report our first sandhill crane sighting, and a red-wing blackbird.  We have not seen robins yet, but other folks are reporting them.

I didn't get the  milking pictures this morning that I had hoped to, but here is Vinca enjoying her breakfast.
I was happy to add her name to the milking stand yesterday.  I wonder how long that list will get?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Milking and more

Yesterday was Vinca’s first birthday.  Today was Vinca’s first milking.  Goats grow up fast don’t they?  So do daughters...

After a rather contentious start, Daisy has settled nicely back into the milking routine, hopping eagerly up on the stand to get her tasty kibble.  I still put the hobbles on her, because she does get impatient when the food runs out, but overall, she’s doing fine.  I really had no idea how it would go with Vinca, but now I am pleased to report that her behavior could not have been better!  I will try to get more goat pictures out here tomorrow.

I made cheese last weekend.  I started with a gallon of milk, and got a good amount of very tasty chevre. Next time I will weigh it, but didn't think to this time.  I added basil and granulated garlic to it and everyone who has tried it has said it was good (of course they are my friends and family...).  I am going to try some mozzarella soon, so stay tuned. 

Settling in nicely
A while back (like a couple of years ago) I sold a nice senior citizen a few of my hens.  She loves the hens and says they are the best chickens she’s ever had.  Due to some very sad family circumstances, these ladies are in need of “out of home placement”; that’s social services talk for foster care.  So, this morning, four hens came to join the henhouse gang.  There was some pecking and squawking, but this afternoon all is well.
While the garden is still pretty deep in snow, I am inside seeding flats of tomatoes and peppers today.  Kevin is working on the wood supply.
This lettuce is moving to the greenhouse beds very soon... I did have some of it for lunch!