Sunday, May 31, 2015

Change is a constant

This will be a brief post but wanted to just put a few things out there.  It's been quite a weekend. 

For one thing, it's been cold.  We had frost here this morning; good thing I haven't planted much yet!

If you read the post from yesterday, you know that Chicky and Bluebell have gone to a new home.  Today, a really nice dad and daughter drove quite a long way and took home Lily and Orchid. 

We decided some time ago that our horses would be better off somewhere else.  We've offered them for sale a couple of times, and today, they also left for a new home.  This was much more difficult then waving good-by to eight week old goats as they have been part of our family for many years. 


Out in the garden is the sad sight of my clematis dead and brown.  I have given it decent time to come up, and it just isn't going to.  It's just a plant I know, but a special one as I got it from a relative and amazing gardener who is gone, and I have never seen another like it.  Just when I had made up my mind to clear away the dried up remains, look what I found.

A sparrows nest!  It's only about 2" across.  It is lined with horsehair.  I think I will be keeping it when the birds are done with it.
After the horses left, it was time to settle in two new residents of Ole Lake Farm.
Yeah!  We have pigs again!

You be seeing more pictures of these guys and hearing more about them next time, but for now I need to get to bed- and don't believe the time at the bottom of this post... it's always 2 hours off and I don't know how to correct it.  In other words, I am not going to bed at 8:15... although some days I wish I could!

Thanks for stopping by the blog.  Be well friends.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Thursday night adventures...

I have a story for you.

There are many reasons why a person might choose to have goats in their lives.  Some folks might have them for pets or companions for other animals.  They can be usefully employed clearing brush and weeds.  I am told they are tasty to eat.  We have goats because we want the milk. 

Kids are born., milk is produced. Kids are cute and oh so entertaining.  Kids must be sold, or in short order the farm would be overwhelmed with goats. 

The process of selling goats or anything really, does not come naturally to me.  I am just not a salesperson.  This necessary task is just something I want to get over with as quickly as possible; kind of like my annual dental exam.  The upside though, is you get to meet some pretty interesting people.  This is the story of Goats In a Jeep, subtitled Chicky’s Midnight Ride (it wasn’t nearly midnight but that just sounds better than Chicky’s Late Night Ride, don’t you think?).

So, an email response to our Craigslist ad was in our inbox before 6:00 on Thursday evening, but we didn’t see it until after 7:30.  In brief, a couple was out on a goat-buying road trip (how many people could say that?) and could they come over and see our yearling doe (Chicky)?  They could be here around 9:30… Hmm, a normal weeknight usually sees me in my pj's, if not already in bed at 9:30… What the heck… OK, come on over. 

There were some misadventures created by their GPS app (sometimes I think these things have a malicious mind of their own) and it was after 10:00 (I think) when we met Keith and Kristen, two of the nicest people I have ever come across.  We visit the goat pen, Chicky meets with their approval, and then Bluebell worked her charm on Kristen.  “I want this one too” (I’m thinking, could she be a long lost sister of mine, because that is just what I would say!) Keith is such an agreeable fellow; “Sure, we can take her too”.  Ah, but is there room in the Jeep? 

We four people and two goats headed back outside to where their vehicle is parked and the scene that followed really was quite hilarious.  We hadn’t noticed when they arrived that they were definitely not alone.   The vehicle was an SUV type where there is cargo space behind the back seat.  I thought there might be a crate or two back there, but no, just bedding on the floor and three (I think it was three) adorable boer kids occupying the space.  Another kid, a very small one was tucked in there somewhere too.  So, in went Bluebell.  The back seat was filled partially by a small child who was obliviously snoozing, and a quantity of bags of feed.  So, where was Chicky going to ride?

A picture is worth a thousand words, right?  Thanks for sharing Kristen and Keith, and good luck to you!
Kristen pulled over to take this picture... I guess it was past Keith's bedtime too!
It's back out to the garden for me.  I hope to give you a garden update soon, maybe tomorrow.  Until then, be well friends!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

So, Sunday night, and I have a few minutes to jot down some things.  Seems like I have a lot of observations but not so many pictures, which (I think) is what folks come here to see.

I am going to ramble a bit. 

I took Friday off work to do garden prep and spend some quality time out in the soil.  Mostly digging.  The day was glorious but the expected peacefulness was marred by the massive tractors with their attachments & sloshing tanks of nastiness that were roaring around the field across the road.  Not our kind of farming.  Anyway, I dug and weeded, raked etc. and got my first sunburn of the year.  I found a few nasty grubs/cutworms and they were tossed unceremoniously to the chickens (well, sometimes there is a little ceremony; hens do like a little drama in their lives).  Earlier in the week we got the potatoes planted and on Saturday Kevin and Rollie did our big planting of Jubilee corn that is mainly for freezing.  Most of the planting will be next weekend. 

Even though we had fair bit of rain the previous week; it seemed to be getting pretty dry again.  There was a lot of dust blowing in from the road and from the field across the road. We planted wheat on Saturday, and that field was pretty dry too. Now, Sunday night, we are getting some rain again, and it is welcome.

Mosquitoes are back to plague us again.  We do have a good population of swallows nesting in the shed which can get messy but I am glad they are around to eat some of the bugs.

I saw my first fawn of the season on Saturday.  I am amazed every year at how tiny they are. 

We don't have any hives of bees here this year, so far anyway.  We've heard the bee man has had some health things going on, so we don't know if there will be hives brought out.  There are bees however; Kori got this great picture of one (of many) in the apple tree.

Speaking of the apple tree, I was worried about those blossoms this week as we had freezing temps two nights.  It seems to be fine however.

And, I will close this post with a picture of Ranger staked out on the lawn.  He enjoys getting out and really likes that long grass in the background. 
I wish you all a good Memorial Day.  Enjoy the day, and take time to remember what the day is about.  Thank you to all who have served.  Be well folks.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Welcome Echo and Asparagas

It's been a rainy, cold week in our part of Minnesota.  I don't know how much rain we've gotten, but enough that we can stop shaking our heads and lamenting how dry it is out there. 

This morning we picked up our new yearling doe Echo.  We put her in the little pen in the shed that is adjacent to the main living quarters of the does and kids.  There is a small door for the kids to come and go through which allows them to go over there for a little time away from the does; it is also where they sleep these days.  We thought that would be a good way for Echo to get acquainted with Daisy, Vinca, and Chicky.  Apparently she didn't agree as it didn't take long before she managed to crawl/wiggle through that little kid door and join the main crowd.

Echo on the left, Vinca to the right.  Check out the body language on Vinca!  She doesn't need to head-butt Echo to let her know who the herd-queen is!  Looking at this photo, seems like Echo is a pretty good name too!
Out in the garden, the asparagus has finally come up.  This is a fairly new planting so I won't dare pick much, maybe one meal. The strawberries are blooming too.  Thank goodness it wasn't rainy again today (just a few sprinkles here and there) so I could spend some time digging one of the four square beds.  Each of the beds is about 22 x 22 feet.  When I put in these permanent beds, it was pointed out to me that it is not practical to use the tiller for such a small space.  We have a pretty good sized rear-tine tiller and it is a great tool but for this garden I prefer to hand dig anyway.  No noise, no fumes, no wrestling match.  Just me with my fork and hoe, the earthy scent of the soil (that's my kind of aromatherapy!), and the clucking of the near-by hens.  Yes, it takes some time and muscle, but that's ok; it suits me. 

Asparagus is up at last!  Happy dance!!!
***Attention locals:  next weekend there will be a garage sale down at the North House.  Ardis will have all kinds of treasures there for lucky buyers so you will want to stop in.  I might send a few bars of our home-made goat's milk soap to put out; we are pleased with how it turned out and plan to make more.  I may have a few spare cherry tomato plants too.***

*** the message above is brought to you by the Shameless Commerce Division of Ole Lake Farm

And, just because she's cute, I'm throwing in a picture of Lily. Although she is for sale, she won't be at the garage sale!
And for today, that is all I have to share.  I'm heading back out to the garden, then chores.  Until next time, be well folks.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Enjoying Spring and Pie!

First off, if you are a mom, I will wish you a Happy and Healthy Mother's Day!

We got some much needed rain this week and things are really growing in the fields and woods, and in the garden too... mostly weeds but that is nature for you.  The deer, which were everywhere just a week or so ago, have all but disappeared.  We think they must be deeper in the woods having their fawns.  Good place for them; I wish they would just stay there!

The oats is up.  Here are a couple of views from my milking stand out toward the field.

Monday evening
Saturday afternoon; it's subtle but you can see the green on the field out there
And, for fun, some pictures of the goat kids:
Lily has a snack
Bluebell's mugshot
and Forest's too

and this is Orchid

Today some very rainy weather was predicted so we  bumped up our traditional Mother's Day wagon-ride through the woods and picnic up to last evening instead.  It is also Kurt's birthday today, so we celebrated both events yesterday, and will be having a nice indoor dinner at the North House today as well.  The North House  is Ardis and Rollie's house (sounds like a good name for a restaurant though) and besides Kevin and I, Kurt and Kori, Kevin's sister Lori is here and my sister Carolyn too.
A sweet little violet from the field where we had our picnic yesterday.

Kurt requested Rhubarb Pie for his birthday treat instead of cake.  I must say, I'm pretty pleased with how the crust came out... it's half lard and half butter, 2/3 white flour and 1/3 whole wheat.
Strawberry Rhubarb and Pumpkin Pies... yum!

Until next time folks, be well.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Oats and Goats

Good Evening ,

Well, the some of the oats did get planted last Sunday, and more today.  I have a couple of pictures here; it sure is dry and dusty out there.  We really could use some rain.
Kevin on the Alice and Kurt riding behind on the planter.

Today was the Moose Run in Moose Lake, and my friend Kathy and I had a great time doing the 5K.  No hardware for me this year, but Kathy got 3rd in her category!  After that, we were off to see one of the "goat ladies"; Gail and her husband Richard.  Lots of goats of all ages to visit, and ..... one of them is going to be joining us here at Ole Lake.  Meet Echo!
She's not so sure about this deal, but I am!

Echo isn't here at Ole Lake yet but will be in a couple of weeks. She's a yearling doe and bears quite a resemblance to Vinca, don't you think?

Hope to get in some garden time tomorrow.  Not sure what Kevin has going on, but he will be busy, you can count on that.  Until next time, be well folks.