This evening, we again visited with Summer Ridge Dairy Goats in Cana, Virginia. They had just gotten back from an ADGA show in West Virginia and were busy unloading their trailer and goats. They showed some of their does, won many ribbons and had just purchased a new Nubian herdsire. They were wanting to cut back on the number of goats that they were milking and I purchased three Nubian milkers from them, two were two-year old first time fresheners and the other doe had just turned four. She is a heaviest milker of all. I also broke my personal rule of never buying kids. They were just too cute to resist. I bought two three month old twin doelings out of one of the two year olds that I purchased. Everyone made the trip home OK and went straight into the barn for a nightly feeding.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tomorrow through May 31 begins the Got to Be NC Festival at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, NC. This event features free gate admission, free parking, free concerts, free classic car show and free admission to the Got to Be NC Food & Wine Expo. Hours are 9 until midnight on Friday and Saturday and 9 until 10 on Sunday. Outdoor stages will offer bluegrass, beach and rockabilly music along with comedy performances. There will also be a 1,000 piece antique farm equipment display. Tractor parades are at 11 am each day. There will also be a Fiber Fair with demonstrations of weaving, spinning, carding and other techniques in the Holshouser Building. Wood and fleece will be for sale. Other free events at the fair ground that weekend include the Choplin Boat show in the Scott Building and the Clear Channel Health and Fitness Expo in the Graham Building. Some attractions will have a fee and these include carnival rides and games, daily events in the grandstand and the Capital Dessage Classic horse show at the Hunt Horse Complex. Barbeque fans can enjoy the Carolina Pig Jig on May 30 from 11 until 3. Masons from across the state will compete for top cooking honors. Adults can sample barbeque from all teams for $10 including sides and drinks.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
We've been making hay all week. With the grass being so thick from all the spring rains and the humidity, it's taking the hay a little longer to dry. We started baling it today and wouldn't you know it, we had bad luck. We got the first 32 round bales in the barn before the rain started. The rain only lasted a few minutes and the sun came back out. We continued to bale with the weatherman calling for rain Sunday and the following week. Unfortunately, the baler broke some of it's belts and we were finished for the day. Saturday's are not the best days for baling because if you break down there are no parts available until Monday. And, with this Monday being Memorial Day, the part stores are closed. We'll just have to finish up when we can. It's better for your hay to get wet from the rain and have to wait to bale it when it dries than to cut it too late and lose protein value.
Monday, May 18, 2009
We met the market manager of the King Farmer's Market located in the Stokes County Fairgrounds Pavilion. We hope to visit with them in a few weeks (it will be hay making time next week so no road trips for us). They are open on Wednesday from 11:30 until 2 and on Saturday from 8 until 10. The market will be open until October 31 to cover the large variety of items that are produced in this area. This market's moto is "We grow what we sell". Everything must be grown or produced on their farms. Johnny has been busy with making cheese from our girls. So far he has made a cheddar that is an aged hard cheese. This cheese will age 4 to 6 months. He made his own cheese mold for this one complete with brass goat's feet on the base of the mold. He has also made ricotta, a fresh Italian mild cheese, made with whey that is left over from the cheesemaking process. We used the ricotta in some lasagna dishes and put several dishes in the freezer. His latest project is a feta cheese. Feta is a soft cheese used on salads that can be marinated and kept at room temperature for months. His feta was aged in olive oil and some was aged in canola oil. And, of course, let's not forget the homemade vanilla goat's milk ice cream this week. So far of all the ones we have made, pineapple has been my favorite. Strawberry is next on the list. We have some fresh strawberries just waiting to be included in our next ice cream.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
This afternoon we travelled to Cana, Virginia and I purchased a ADGA registered buck named Rainstorm from Summer Ridge Dairy Goats who specialize in Lamancha and Nubian dairy goats. Stormy is one year old and is a "pretty" boy. He's orange with white ears and spots. I've already penned him with Jackie so she can be bred for the first time.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Yesterday I got my first set of kids born out of a polled buck that I purchased last year - - Crookedcedar Farm C CarsonCity. The doe kid looks like her dad and the buck kid also favors his dad. It will be interesting to see if any of CarsonCity's kids are polled.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Today, Zach Rich of Palmetto Horse Shoeing came to the farm to learn how to trim goat's hooves. He has been getting a lot of requests for goat trimming and wanted to get some experience. Zach worked trimming my Boer goat's hooves for about 3 hours and I finished the job 3 hours later. While we had them in the goat worker, I also trimmed tails and checked eyelids using the FAMACHA method and dewormed some of the goats. Zach is a graduate of the Carolina School of Horseshoeing in Florence, South Carolina and can be reached at 336.480.5873. Later, Zach is going to get some experience learning to trim our sheep and llama's hooves.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Seems like it has been raining for weeks on end. Last week I think it rained every day but we got less than an inch in the rain guage. Today, rain again. The grass is growing and the animals are happy. Our grass in the yard is growing, growing, growing. It's hard to get it mowed between the rain showers. Our feed truck came last Friday also. You can always count on it raining the day the feed comes. It works out that way every time! I'm been busy making soap since the weather has been uncooperative. I'm made another batch of goats milk soap, some loofah scrubs with goats milk soap in them, a lanolin soap and a goats milk soap with ground eggshells. The floor in my den is full of soap curing.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Today it was rainy again so we visited the Rockingham County Farmer's Market at the former Chinqua Penn stables in Reidsville, NC. We purchased some chevre cheese with italian herbs and another containing garlic/paprika from a representative of Sleepy Goat Cheese. This market is open on Wednesday's from 3 until 6 and on Saturday's from 8 until 1.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Today was a rainy day and we went to opening day of Krankies Local Market. They have a farmer's market on Tuesdays from 11 until 1. We purchased some fig and honey spreadable goat cheese from the Goat Lady Dairy.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Today we finished up the fence in the far pasture for the cows. We added the strand of barb wire to the top. The cows and sheep are enjoying their new pasture, Bubba too. I also made my second batch of soap. I think I have it down pat now. My first recipe was plain goats milk soap. Today I added cream and honey to that recipe and have it poured in a mold for drying. Tomorrow night I'll cut the soap into bars and it will dry for another 24 hours before removing it from the mold. The soap has to cure 6 weeks before it can be used. I can't wait to try my new soap and to give it to friends and family for them to try.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Today we worked on cleaning out the rabbit barn and all the rabbit condos. I always hate to do the cleaning because it is so dusty and it really bothers your head between the dust and the rabbit fur. We shoveled enough rabbit manure to fill up our 91 bushel manure spreader. We spread it on our cow pasture instead of buying fertilizer. This is one of our cost savings ideas that we came up with last year. Just after we finished spreading the manure and washing out the spreader, Andy came and borrowed the spreader to clean up his barnyard. His sheep had made a mess around their round bale feeder and he scooped up another load for us to spread. In the meantime, I cleaned out all of my guinea pig cages and added that to the pile. I made a road trip to Sadies Herbal Garden to get more soap making supplies before they closed. Tonight, one of my guinea pigs gave birth to 8 babies. One was stillborn but the other 7 are spunky. That is the most babies I have ever had out of one pig.