Saturday, March 31, 2007

grape arbor

From west to east we have:
1. Gewurtztraminer wine grape (pinkish red)
2. Chardonnay
3. Pinot gris
4. Glenora seedless table grape (blue-black)

new Quail pen

J mowing the lawn

Arbor vines are growing

There's a cow in the yard

The book "All Flesh Is Grass" inspired us to better utilize all of our forage.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Farming vs. Hiking

"For me, the difference between hiking and farming is the difference between listening to music and playing music." by Kansan farmer Bryan Welch

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Matsu semi-dwarf apple

In the SW corner of the bark area between the garden and the house. This should grow 12 to 18 feet high with the same spread. Pink to white flowers and yellow green juicy apples. Matsu apples are known as good cider apples.

Cherry tree on west side of house

It has green buds but no leaves open.

a vine in full bloom

Yellow Delicous semi-dwarf apple

This apple is at the NW corner of the house. Its little leaves are opening.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

goats in the garden

edible weeds flowering

apple leaves

The south three is leafing out.

You might be a redneck if..... have hay growing out of your tailgate.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Monday, March 19, 2007

3.19.07 - Mead & wine still bubbling

3.19.07 - Almost Time to Till!!

It won't be long before it's time to do the first round of tilling in the garden. Last year our garden was pretty huge with several 75 foot rows, so it does take all day to till even with our nice gas-powered tiller. This year I'm considering hiring out the neighbor's tractor. I hope he'll let me ride it -- under close supervision of course. :)

All we need is a week of dry weather and our clay garden is tillable. We have quite a bit of leaves and last year's straw mulch covering things, so we are improving the soil.

This is a photo of last year's garden (June 2006).

3.19.07 - Rearranged the office

This where I am most of the time. We added some Costa Rica vacation photos to the office this weekend and took down some old rugby photo prints from the early 1900s. You can also see my Harry S Truman bust on top of the book shelf.

All in all there's a touch of vacation memories (Costa Rica), a touch of J's farm (a funny hunting pic from '04), a touch of KCMO (Royals, Chiefs & Comets memorabilia and 1 pic of The K), and the obligatory rugby all. And of course there are diplomas ans such behind me out of my view.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007

3.16.07 - M captures goat predator

He chased and chased and chased, but the goats just weren't having it - although Berry did stick around to be petted.

3.16.07 - On to greener pastures next door

We opened up the gate to the garden pasture. The grass is up in some places and the blackberry leaves are starting to open up. The little white edible weed flowers are open too, as are the violets. London, the new calf, loved the open space and bucked around.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

3.11.07 - Sweet Pea and Calf

Sweet Pea isn't so sure what to think about J petting her baby.

3.11.07 - Berry the Nubian Goat

It appears that if someone won't scratch Berry, she'll use someone to scratch herself.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

3.10.07 - Grain Bandits

I screwed up last night by forgetting to lock the gate to the hay loft in the barn. In the past the gate would stay shut by virtue of the sag in the gate. However, the other night we fixed it allowing it to swing freely.

This morning we woke up to see the goats munching on the alfalfa while Sweet Pea had a crate of 50 lbs of rolled corn dragged out into the barn. I sprinted out there to find all the grain gone. This is a potentially deadly situation because of the risk of foamy bloat, overeating disease and acidocis.

After getting some advice from the vet and the neighbors, I ran to town to by some Pepto Bismal. Its antacid can prevent the harmful acid that leads to acidosis. While in line with 6 bottles of extra-strength, the clerk smartly remarked, "You must have some stomach ache!"

I got home and put the new squeeze chute to work. I tied the cow to the post and squeezed her between two gates. I then used an old ratted lead rope to tie the open goat to the locked gate. I finshed the squeeze chute by lodging an old pick axe through the gates behind her shank.

About then David and Faith arrived to help get two quarts of the pink stuff into Sweet Pea. I received a tip earlier about using a long-neck wine bottle to deliver the antacid so I had an empty bottle of Life Force Mead in hand. I forced the bottle into her mouth while Faith rubbed her throat to encourage her to swallow. Two doses of that later, and I released one frustrated cow.

Following that, Faith and I wrestled six goats to give them 60 ML a piece of the pink stuff.

Six hours later everyone is still alive, although tomorrow I shall put on a lock that latches automatically and a spring that closes it.