Yay! There is almost no better feeling than churning up the soil in the spring, smelling the newness of it, seeing the dark, richness that reminds me of ground coffee. We anticipate all winter long for the opportunity to do this, and finally this weekend we could! While we got plenty hot and sweaty getting the garden cleaned up, tilled and ready, sticking a thermometer in the ground said the soil was still only 49 degrees -- too cold for much to germinate yet. Even so, we put in our onion sets and planted peas -- Steven will get the lettuce planted later this week, but at least our garden season is off and running!
(not to distract any from the wonderful plants Steven has already started indoors under his grow lights -- but it isn't the same as when we break garden ground).
There was a elm tree, about 20 years old or so, that had been taking over the west edge of the garden, so Steven girdled it a couple years ago to kill it; and this weekend, we took it down, as well. We left enough of the stump to make a nice resting stool for the gardener. It was really very pretty wood, for elm.
The cut is slightly darker on the one side because I began the cut with my chain saw, but ended up finishing most of the cut through with our two-man cross cut saw, by hand, to make it smoother and more level.
(sorry these photos aren't all that great - took most of them with my phone rather than run back inside and get a camera!)
Last Friday (March 5th) we had some more kids born. Our last two nannies both gave birth about the same time in the early morning. However, one doe lost hers (stillborn) while the other had a live birth of a little male (buckling). Then both girls proceeded to spend all weekend fighting over who the live baby belonged to! (Steven got to play King Solomon). We really don't know for sure which one had the successful birth, since they were all the in barn together. However, they seemed to have settled on "sharing" the little boy, and he gets the best end of the deal by nursing on both mamas.
Steven with two kids - one male, one female, born a week apart.
Steven's herd really won't increase in quantity this year -- because we plan to butcher our oldest doe for our freezer; and we plan to either sell or butcher our buck, and get new buck blood for our next 2011 season of kids.
Our buck is for sale now (or we might butcher him). He was born here last February, 2009. He's been a great Billy - gave us good kids, and has a good temperament for a buck.
Well, the first of our three expectant mama goats gave birth this past weekend. Actually, first to kid was our smallest doe. But she seemed to do fine. When Steven went out to the barn to check the girls early Saturday morning, this mama had just given birth. (Steven had rightly said on Friday night that this doe seemed very close to giving birth - probably within 24 hours). She actually had one male and one female (I was very surprised she was big enough to carry two!) but the male was stillborn. However, the new little doeling is doing quite well. We watched them closely the first day, as it was this doe's first time as a mama, and at times she seemed a bit confused about what she should do. But finally they got the nursing thing going and baby girl has done quite well since then.
(there is audio with this, so turn up your speakers to hear her!)
The other two Does are still leaving us waiting -- Steven keeps a close eye on them in case they should need any help when the time comes.
Now I'm working on getting decent photos of our Billy goat in order to advertise him for sale. He's a great Billy, but related to these does, and we need some new blood. The kids born this spring show he is fertile and able to "do his job" and I hope someone will want him for their own breeding buck. He's a bit smaller than some bucks (he is not a year old yet) but I am sure he will get as big as his daddy was. Plus he has a lot better temperament so far.
My oldest son and I live on our sixth generation central Kansas family farm, trying to maintain the legacy.
You can contact us via ShadowOfEdenFarm (at) gmail (dot) com or visit the developing farm site at http://www.shadowofedenfarm.com