Saturday, April 25, 2015

Just some spring things

This post is mostly going to be some photos that I took today.  We've had a pretty raw, chilly week but today was an improvement.  Kevin has been doing some soil preparations and will be planting grain soon... tomorrow maybe?   I am on schedule with my seed starting, and will be able to plant some things in the garden soon.  Just need to find the time!

I've been milking Vinca and Daisy in the mornings now.  This means the kids go into a big crate at night and then I milk in the morning.  After milking the kids are released (jailbreak!) and rush to their moms for their breakfast.  Vinca and Daisy have enough milk for all of us and it's great to have the milk again.

The kids are really developing their personalities!

Bluebell, in particular, is quite endearing...
Forest is charming

And Orchid and Lily (guess which one this is) are adorable but a little shy

My photography skills are quite limited, but I was very pleased to get this portrait of my best doefriend Vinca today. 

And, a couple of pictures from the greenhouse:
Tomato and pepper plants will soon be joined by cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

And we'll be eating this lettuce very soon

So, there is a little farm update for you.  Until next time, be well folks.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Spring Happenings at Ole Lake

Earlier in the week we visited Righteous Oaks Farm to see their crop of cute goat kids.  They mainly have meat-breed goats but remember this little gal?

Last years' kids, with Ivy in front
Ivy moved to Righteous Oaks last year after weaning we haven't actually seen her since then.  Well, she's all grown up now with a kid of her own!  Vinca and Ranger are grandgoats!
Having a snack on her  snazzy milking stand... and her little doeling having a meal at the same time!

Some of the Righteous Oaks kids enjoying the sun next to the old root cellar

You can learn more about Righteous Oaks Farm at their website and visit their blog too, just go to

Here at Ole Lake, our equally adorable kids are doing great and keeping us amused with their playfulness.  It's especially fun to watch them when they are outside doing some stumpjumping.
Forest pauses for a picture, isn't he handsome?

Bluebell leaps from stump to plank

Out in the garden, I have fenced off one of the four big beds and installed the new Hen Hostel there with three of my girls there to work the soil and hopefully eat all the cutworms for me!!!
While in the garden, I discovered this happy little Johnny Jump Up.  Although they can get weedy, these flowers are welcome in my garden wherever they want to grow.
Another sign of spring!

That's enough for today.  Kevin is out on the tractor and I need to get to work on some housechores, seeding some flats with cabbage, broccoli, etc. and many other things.  I am hoping to spend some time on garden clean-up today.  Thanks for stopping in to visit!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April Update

Another milestone reached for the kids, and not without some trauma.  The three doelings got disbudded and Forest got banded.  Then the door to the outside world (i.e. the pasture) was finally opened up and everyone got to have a good romp outside.  And Chicky has rejoined the flock.  After some initial head-butting and jostling, things have settled down in the goat pen.

It's pretty hard to get 7 goats into one picture.  I don't see little Bluebell in this one.  And, there is always someone's backside pointing at the camera!
So here is just Daisy's little family, on the move!
For those of you who don't know what "Forest got banded" means, I will fill you in.  (Those of you who do know, feel free to skip this part)  That means he is in the process of being castrated.  Instead of going under the knife, the young animal has a very tight and strong rubber ring placed on his scrotum between his body and his testicles.  This cuts off the blood supply and the unwanted part shrivels up, dries up, and falls off.  What was a little buckling becomes a wether.  That would be like a bull calf becoming a steer or a colt  becoming a gelding.  As you can see in the photo above, although there clearly is some pain and discomfort at first, the little guys get over it very quickly.

There is a plier like device that one uses to put the band on.  Ours is sort of a family heirloom.  Here is a photo of it, and it's box.  If look closely, you can see the 20 cent stamp.  There is a catalog inside from 1952 and this device sold for $12.50, postage paid.  What I find interesting is that I can order practically the exact same device today for $14.95, which is an increase of 19.6% over the 1952 price.  The postage from USPS, the cheapest way I can ship it, is $5.44.  That is an increase of 2,620%!  Wow!

Little tomatoes are growing under the lights in the basement, and that lettuce is now transplanted into the beds in the greenhouse.  We had a nice spring downpour today, and over all it was a really, really nice weekend. Hope yours was too.  Until next time, be well folks!

Monday morning post script:  The frogs last night were amazing!  Saturday night, no frogs.  Sunday night, thousands... millions of frogs singing, calling, proclaiming their joy of life.  How do they manage to wake up all at the same time?  And, speaking of joyous sounds of spring, I am hearing a gobbler this morning too, a welcome sound to go with the last of the frog calls as the sun comes up!  What a great way to start the week!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Saturday Farm Update

Spring is really in the air around here.  Lots of bird noise outside, and the noisiest of all are the Sandhill Cranes.  The does and their kids are doing well and Kevin is ready to go back to work on Monday.  While at home, he's been doing some projects, including building a small chicken coop to put in the garden.  I will post a picture of that when it's done and in place.  Other goings on are that I've got some seeds started and a flat of lettuce ready to transplant into the greenhouse.  Kurt and I also made our first batch of Ole Lake Soap a couple of weeks ago.  It's curing in the formerly room, safely out of reach of our soap-eating dog.

Our first goat milk soap, made with frozen milk from last summer.  Looks good so far!

The flat of lettuce last weekend was getting leggy.  I ate some of the bigger leaves in my salad today. The lighting makes it look yellowish, but it really isn't.

Little Bluebell hopping with the joy of being a kid.

Big sister Chicky having some outdoor time.  She's not as thrilled about the kids as we are!

It was a pretty big day for this little guy.  He has a name now, Forest, and he got disbudded.

Vinca's doelings moved back out to the shed this morning.
Vinca's doelings don't have for-sure names yet... remember I was thinking about Orchid and Lily?  Still on the fence about the Lily and which one will get what name.

So there you go folks.  I will get back to my baking (cheesecake for Kori's birthday) and wish you all a very happy and safe Easter.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Another Birth Announcement

Vinca gave birth this afternoon.  This occurred between barn checks, so all on her own with no one but Daisy and her kids to witness it.  I'm having a hard time getting good pictures of the kids but here are a couple.  Please forgive me the glowing eyes... I just can't seem to not have that.

I believe we have two very pretty doelings here.  Their tentative names are Lily and Orchid.  What do you folks think?  What I hear from the family is "but we (you) already have a Lily"  which is true, our beloved Lily the tabby cat.  These doelings are most likely only going to be with us for a few months though, and being as it is almost Easter and all... well Lily seems to fit to me.  I am open to suggestions though.

Pretty fresh on wobbly legs

Vinca is a very good mamma

Kevin observes the newborns

After supper we moved the little family to the shop.  It's going to be pretty chilly tonight.
The little ones weighed in at 8.7 and 8.4 lbs.  That is after having some of mom's milk.  They are practically identical; we really have to look close to find the differences.  They'll be wearing collars soon so we can tell them apart!