I know, I know. No post for a week, what kind of blogger am I? 40 lashes with a wet keyboard!
Here's what's been keeping me away from the computer:
I finally put up a fence for the reject pen so they could start grazing. They'll be weaned in another month so they need to start developing their rumens.
Mailed the bulk of the invitations to the Chef Farm Tour on the 19th. I hope I get a good turn out, I really want to show off the ewes and their lambs, plus I want to pick everybody's brain about product quality, pricing structure, recipe ideas... Also planned the menu, dug the firepit, found out who I can borrow a chainsaw from.
Weaned the slaughter lambs. Some of them are 8 months old, so I was surprised to see a couple of their moms' bags strutted up when I checked them today. Really makes you believe we underestimate the importance of leaving them with the ewe longer than the traditional 2-4 months!
Tracked down the data about what plumbing fixtures are routed into the septic tank at Susan Miller's goat dairy, Bleugrass Chevre http://www.bleugrasschevre.com/index.html. My place will be similar in scale to hers, so I can calculate a fairly accurate gallons per day wastewater flow from the average figures for what fixtures are routed to the septic tank. That's the final piece of info I need to get to Buddy Wilson, the Montgomery county environmentalist, who's in charge of issuing septic tank permits.
Called Chris Maloney of Maloney Excavating, he can be here to level the site in a couple of days. So I just need Buddy to issue that permit! Oh yeah, and find some place to put everything that's in the shed we'll be tearing down...
I saw that the deposit cleared on the dairy plans Frank Kipe is drawing up for me, so I need to send him my first revision of the originals he emailed me- otherwise Chris won't know what to do when he gets here!
I planted about 987,567 daffodils. My neighbor is putting in an acre of Cabernet grapevines, right over a beautiful stand of daffodils- probably an old homesite? So I went and lifted as many as I could before he had to fire up the auger. I got so sick of planting them I was giving them away to anyone I could think of. I even propositioned the UPS guy to take about a hundred.
Went to a Derby party, and ended up mourning Eight Belle's death. Animals should not suffer or die for our entertainment.
Ordered some ramp seeds from Glen and Norene Facemire of Ramp Farm Specialties http://www.rampfarm.com/ in Richwood WV. Ramps are a sort of wild onion that is becoming rarer as people like to eat them, but they are slow to regenerate- takes five years for a stand to become established. They grow well wherever Mayapples grow. I am going to put the ramps in near the Mayapples on the slope below the north side of the house. Ramps make the milk taste bad if dairy animals graze them, so I'll need to fence those areas off. Last year the pastures were being grazed so tight the cattle ate the Mayapples (the daffodils, too). Forcing myself to make conservation a priority by tying my economic interest to it- I'm either crazy or brilliant. Maybe both?
Planted the hyacinth bean vines I got from Moss Gathers http://www.localharvest.org/farms/M10673 in Celina Texas. They are hardy, beautiful, a bee favorite and produce stunning purple beanpods that are quite tasty. Turn green when you cook them, sort of a built in timer! An added bonus: digging in the dirt where we were going to plant them kept my son occupied while I got my sister-in-law lined out; she's going to start keeping the books for me. Hopefully next year's taxes will be a bit less stressful!
Took cuttings off the old mock orange that will get torn down when we level the shed. I'll put them all along the front bank where people can see them on the road- they are a glorious sight to behold when they bloom. Plus it'll screen the yard from the road.
I have two sampling days coming up- one at Berries on Bryan and one at Good Foods Coop Owner Discount Days- then the Farm Tour. And the man will be out of town most of each of the next four weeks. He was out of town two weeks during lambing too. I have decided his penance will be to go for the supervisory position that may come open at his job.
So I'll post pictures from the aforementioned events as soon as I can, but please be patient!