February 16, 2011

Around The Homestead

Updates, followups, and other odds and ends since my last Around The Homestead.

Life Without Charlie.

Charlie's grave

Besides leaving a llama sized hole in my heart, Charlie's death has affected the goats too. Not emotionally in the human sense, but it definitely upset the balance when it comes to buddy arrangements. On cold nights, everyone would pair up, Charlie and Jasmine, and Surprise and Crybaby. Now that Charlie's gone, the Nubians have become a team and Baby is on the outs.


Initially they chased her away from everything, from the food, from the hay, from the water, from the barn. Of course she then lived up to her name, crying and complaining louder than ever. Things do finally seem to be settling down though, fortunately.

Petey. Anyone remember Petey? I found him a new home quite awhile ago.

Petey, having escaped into the hay mow

Not only was he bullying and pushing everyone around (including Charlie and me), but he had taken to escaping (jumping out?) It was time for him to go. His departure didn't seem to be missed by anyone. Did he do his job? Time will tell.

Jasmine. Remember last December Jasmine had an infected teat? The vet gave me antibiotics but not hope. In fact, he was pretty sure the end of the teat would slough off, making it completely nonfunctional. Well, this photo was rather awkward to get...

Jasmine's udder

... but as you can see, the teat was saved. Whether or not it will be functional in the future remains to be seen though.

Last of the Garden Tomatoes. I still have a few of the ripening green tomatoes I picked last November, after one of our frosts.

Ripening Romas

As they ripen, they shrivel a bit however. I'm guessing this is because they are Romas, which as a paste tomato have a lower water content. When cut open, they look a bit greenish inside, but when chopped up and added to a grilled cheese sandwich or scrambled eggs, they are flavor packed.

Squerry Ben? Setting, lunchtime. We've just sat down to eat, Dan has said the blessing, and we're beginning to help ourselves. As I put mayonnaise on my sandwich, Dan asks, "What's squerry ben?" Squerry ben??? He points to the label on the gallon crock sitting on the table.

Squerry ben?

"That's sauerruben!" I exclaim. Now I ask you, is my handwriting really that bad???

Transplanting. January is a good time of year to transplant things. I can move things we don't care for in one spot, to somewhere they would be more useful.

Loading the wheelbarrow for transplanting

I decided to transplant a bunch of what I think are privet. I dug them up from our future bird garden (see master plan), and replanted along the north property line, where they can better serve as a privacy hedge. The digging up and planting were a breeze, but since the goats love to eat privet, my problem was getting the loaded wheelbarrow across the goat field. That involved pushing the heavy load through the field in a mad dash to outrun three galloping goats, and getting hung up at a gate that insisted on swinging closed every time I tried to push the barrow through. Eventually I made it, but the goats weren't too happy with the outcome.

3 disappointed goats

Dwarf Lemon Tree. I showed you when my Meyers lemon tree bloomed. Now I'm happy to report that I have little lemons!

Lovely baby lemons

I tried hand pollinating, and was obviously successful. I've counted about 27, with another round of flower buds forming. I'm not sure how many we'd need for a full year's supply, but I do know one thing. The first thing I'm going to do is make my great-grandmother's lemon cream pie!

Egg News. I know I just gave you an update on the chickens, but I have news. The Welsummers have started to lay again. On Monday, there was all manner of fuss coming from the hen house. When I went to collect eggs, I found six.

Clockwise from left: Delaware, Ameraucana, Welsummer,
Ameraucana, Barred Holland. Center: Welsummer

It was the first day in a long time that I'd gotten six eggs. Very welcome indeed.

Other than all that, there's my garden project, for which I'll have a plan soon. Unless you can think of something I forgot, I reckon that's it.

Now can we eat?

Around The Homestead © February 2011 by Leigh at http://my5acredream.blogspot.com/


Lynda said...

I didn't know for sure if your lemons would make it...the hand pollinating and all...YEAH! You are going to be making more than one pie!

The eggs look hand painted...isn't it wonderful! I'm always happy to get more than 4. Four are nice, but it's real special to get an egg from each of the girls.

Hope the rest of your week goes well. We're in the middle of a major *weather event* (that's what the weathermen are calling it)...rain and cold after such a beautiful week...

Geodyne said...

Poor Charlie. Poor Crybaby! It must be dislocating for them.

The homestead is starting to take shape now, isn't it?

Tami said...

Love these posts, Leigh! You had me laughing at the thought of you hustling across a field with 3 goats nipping at your heels. The pics are priceless. Waaaaaa!

Theresa said...

My how the kitties have grown! Thanks for the updates
and good going on the saving of the teat! Let's hope it works too.

Leigh said...

Lynda, I wasn't sure about those lemons either, but figured it wouldn't hurt to try!

The Welsummer eggs are pretty neat. They always look like someone gave them a quick spray with canned spray paint. And the patterns are different every time!

Oh no, another weather event. Do stay safe and warm!

Tara, we hope it's taking shape! Some days it feels like it, some days it feels like we have a million miles to go.

Tara do you have a blog I can visit? Your profile is private so if you do, I can't get there from your name.

Tami, never a dull moment and all that. :)

Theresa, Riley's really a whopper too. :) Very thankful about Jasmine. Of course, I'll only know the real outcome when she kids, and goat pregnancies are another uncertainty!

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

I can see your Husbands point on the crock. Actually I can see both words depending on how I look at it. And Yeah on the healed teet. I knew you could do it.

Mr. H. said...

Wow, that is an amazingly long time to hold over tomatoes but it is pretty darn neat to know that you can do so for such an extended period of time.

Congratulations on the lemons and I'm glad to hear that your goats udder is looking so good.

Woolly Bits said...

we just had a giggle about the squerry ben. must be a male thing, I read sauerruben immediately, but DH asked about squerry ben too:)) and compared to my scribbles you have very readable handwriting!!
good to know that the goats adjust to the changed circumstances too. I hope it all works out with kids, I can't wait to see pix of baby goats on your blog:)

Kids and Canning Jars said...

I just have to say how much I love updates like this. I should try doing one on my blog. Farm life forces changes. We just have to take them, even if we are not ready for them.
Thank you for all the fun pictures.

Mama Pea said...

Thanks for taking the time to acquire and post the pictures! They say so much.

I wish there had been a way of getting a video of you running across the goat field with that wheelbarrow of luscious goat nummies. When you always take such good care of your goats, they must have wondered why you were running away from them with such goodies. ;o)

Leigh said...

Jane, truth be told, neither my handwriting nor printing are very legible! Sometimes even I can't make out what I write!

Mr. H, thanks! I'm surprised at the tomatoes. Maybe some varieties keep longer than others(?)

Bettina, too funny. Thanks for telling me that! As for baby goats, maybe in a couple of months???

Melissa, I got the idea from a gal who used to do weekly bullet posts on her blog. They were a great way to present a variety of random material and I loved reading them. Things around here are in a constant state of loose ends, so occasional updates seemed like the way to go! You should do them too.

Mama Pea, oh the goats were terrible upset because I often bring them armloads of the stuff to eat. The real comedy though, was that gate. I swung shut about 4 times before I managed to get through, without the goats!

Sharon said...

Things are taking shape. I can't believe you've done so much in such a short time. Well done to the both of you.

I'm off to read the lemon tree post now...I'd love to grow one.

Alice said...

Squerry ben? I believe I'll have some of that, please.

Grace said...

I'm always impressed with you, Leigh, but the Meyer lemon tree is just amazing! I wonder if I could pull that off....hmmm... Grace goes on a lemon tree hunt.

Anonymous said...

Great post Leigh. I'm so sorry about Charlie. Glad the balance seems to have been restored. I laughed at your Squerry Ben! I wrote something similar...I was discussing the price of installing a "dry loop line" for my internet connection, so a few days later, I'm looking through my post-its, and I see "dry poop line $100.00"...Dry poop is that expensive??? LOL

Nina said...

That is wonderful about the lemon tree. I had one which met it's demise, living with my daughter for a few weeks when selling the house. I haven't found one since.

It's great that you can transplant this time of year as well. Our ground is frozen solid under a ton of snow! I'm only dreaming about planting anything yet.

As far as handwriting goes, I just hate it when I can't read my own handwriting sometimes :)

Phoebe said...

Good for you Leigh. I'm glad the utter thing cleared up (your salve must have helped) and that you have Lemons! Don't let your tree have too many lemons for its size. I was amazed at how much healthier my tree was when I cut down on the amount of lemons I let my little tree have.

Michelle said...

I'm glad to read about all of the interesting & happy things going on on your homestead after reading the sad beginning of Charlie's death.
Also thanks for sharing your experience with Jasmine's udder. It gives me a little confidence that I may be able to handle similar health issues.

Leigh said...

Sharon, the lemon has been really easy so far, and I'm not very good with potted plants. Many seed catalogues see them.

Alice, LOL. We actually like it better than sauerkraut.

Grace, thanks! The Meyer's lemon is a great tree and we're excited about having lemons. Do get one for yourself.

Rain, that's hilarious! Designer compost maybe?

Nina, I'm amazed mine has done so well. I'm usually not very good with potted plants. I'd love to do some planting besides transplanting, but I can't trust the weather yet!

Phoebe, thanks for the tip. It makes sense really.

Michelle, I actually have more faith in natural remedies than pharmaceuticals. I did give her the injections, but have no doubt that the rest of it did the trick.

Geodyne said...

Sorry Leigh, I just used the wrong login. Tara=Geodyne. I changed my email address when Mr G and I married last year and am still sorting out logins!

Leigh said...

Geodyne! OK, great. Marriage has a way of turning things topsy turvey. Of course, so does moving half way around the world. :)

Sharon said...

You're living your own "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral" life. Barbara Kingsolver has nothing on you.

Leigh said...

Sharon, LOL. In the back of my mind though, that book is a compass of sorts for what we do here. But, like everything else, the transition always seems longer and harder than we might have hoped.

Julie said...

Life is busy with all the animals your collecting! I'm still hoping for chickens!

Feed those kittys!

Danni said...

Ohhh, sweet Charlie's grave. I'm so sorry about that llama-sized hole in your heart. ((hug))
Isn't it fascinating (for lack of a better word) to watch how herd dynamics change when the addition (or subtraction) of a member? I watched it every time I adopted a donkey out in 2008 - the remaining donkeys would shuffle and jockey for position. It happened again when I combined llamas and donkeys and just recently when I added 3 new hens to my flock of nine. I hope your Crybaby finds a way to connect with somebody - it can be heartbreaking to watch somebody feeling left out and alone. :-(

Oooh...I'm very envious of your Meyer's lemon tree, you lucky girl!

bspinner said...

As alwasy I've enjoyed the farm update. Poor Crybaby! It's hard being the odd one out.

Cute picture of the kiddies.

Leigh said...

Julie, animals certainly do up the busy mix, lol. I'm hoping you get those chickens too.

Farmgirl_dk, if all my girls are pregnant, then I'm guessing they'll be too busy with their kids to worry about what the other goats are or aren't doing! It is curious about the social standings of animals. When we butchered most of our roosters, the entire pecking order changed.

Barb, thanks! Yes, poor Baby. Of course, she's a complainer under the best of circumstances anyway. :).

DebbieB said...

Leigh, so glad about the goat teat. Surely it was your homestead medicine and not the antibiotics that kept it intact - after all, the vet expected it to slough away even WITH his medication.

We just went on a trip to Disneyworld, and toured their hydroponics and greenhouse - very interesting innovations, and I thought of you when I saw vegetables and fruits being grown in variety and abundance (and in odd configurations - pumpkins in slings, eggplant trees, zucchini grown atop a fish tank, etc.)

Glad your eggbasket is filling up once again!

Robin said...

That was nice to read an update on all the animals. I was wondering how the teat was going to heal on Jasmine. We finished the last of our summer tomatoes last month. I saw that you got six eggs. I had to smile because I got six eggs today much to my surprise.