Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yarn Along

I generally try to strictly talk about the farm here--really this is mostly for family and far-away friends to keep up with our doings than for anyone to read, but for so long I've wanted to join in on the Wednesday Yarn Along.  Reading and knitting is just what I love!

Somehow, something always happens--I'm busy or I forget, or I don't have a project/book at the moment, but today the baby was even napping enough for a picture!

I'm working on a Camilla Babe for baby Clo, with the recommended  Quince & co yarn in Apricot.  It's very pretty and I love the fan pattern, but for a little bit the decrease round didn't make sense.  I think I've gotten it figured out now.

I'm reading a Diana Wynn Jones book we actually got to read to the kids at the library, but I got sucked into reading it last night.  It's the 3rd book in the series, and I've never read the first two, but I'm still really enjoying it.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

This was the first cake Mirin's ever made--it was a meringue made with our eggs and cream with raspberries (from the store--alas!  I wish we could grow raspberries!).

I went to the farm last Sunday with the baby in tow (her first ever trip to the farm!).  I can't say she enjoyed the car ride at all--actually she hated it, but she slept through most of me throwing rye grass and clover seeds along the first line.  (I almost finished the whole line, but have been very stiff and sore all week--we are looking to find someone with a spreader/seeder to do the rest of the seeding and fertilizing.  It's just too much this year!).

The garden has truly been transformed.  The cows did an amazing job eating and knocking just about everything down.  I was surprised to see how autumn-ish it looks out there.  The leaves are falling and changing and the autumn flowers are all blooming.  The grass has that unhealthy brown tinge it gets when it starts getting too cool for it.  A lot changed in only four weeks.

I was sitting in the hammock with the baby when Ethan went to collect Mairie for milking.  Before he left he said he had maybe 45 minutes to an hour left for milking--depending on how slowly Mairie went into the milking shed.  I noticed there were quite a lot more strands to the "brain cage" now than there used to be.
A few minutes later I heard him saying, "Come on, Mairie!" from above the orchard.  Baby Clo and I walked to the milking paddock to chase the ducks away (that hasn't changed a bit!) and to help I called her and knocked on the side of a bucket.  Thirty seconds later Mairie came charging into the milking paddock and got right in the milking shed.  When Ethan finally caught up, panting, he said very ruefully that she never, ever moves that fast usually.  He said she heard me call her and just picked up her heels and ran.  He was just a little bit insulted.  I ended up milking her that evening while Ethan held the baby.   Mairie turned out to be deathly afraid of the baby, so they wandered around until Mairie was unclipped again.  It was so nice to be milking again.  There is something so comfortingly rhythmical about milking and the way it must be done at the same time every day.  It made me feel back in sorts.

The first few days this week I felt so happy.  I think I've been really missing being out and doing the chores, without realizing it.  It's nice to stay home and rest, but there are so many things I missed--walking a long way over the ground and not asphalt, the sweet fresh smells, my animals, seeing the small changes every day in nature, the beautiful sunsets, and being able to look so far away with my eyes--in town we have so many trees in our neighborhood, I feel like my eyes haven't gotten to look far away enough.

It was nice to be back.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Peppers, persimmons etc.

I haven't written a post for so long--at first it was because there wasn't much to write about other than adventures with Mairie forgetting where the milking paddock was located.

(No baby cows yet--it turns out that I counted wrong when I was figuring out their due dates.  They are actually due in October and November--oops!)

But most recently, our new baby was born nearly four weeks ago, so we're both relieved that the cows won't need to be milked so soon.  Needless to say, I haven't been to the farm for awhile.  Ethan's been doing the chores tout seul all these weeks.  All I've gotten are rumors about how things are going.

I am going to try to go out tomorrow for the first time to seed some rye and clover along the grazing lines.  It will be nice to be out there again.

Supposedly, the cows have been in the garden and the jungle of weeds has been finally conquered.  Ethan pulled the last of the peppers out of there before they were devoured (I can't believe they ate the hot peppers, too!).

That made it possible to dig some sweet potatoes--so for the first time ever we have enjoyed home-grown sweet potatoes!
Last year the sweet potatoes had a tragic end--all 100 little slips--from a gopher tortise who would get into the garden (he had built his hole right through the fence), despite all kinds of barricades I built up for him.

We have also been enjoying persimmons from the tree in our yard.  The trick, we have found, is to pick them slightly green and ripen them in a bowl of rice.  We learned it in Diamond Village from a friend.  It keeps the animals from getting them first.  They are the astringent persimmons, so they have to be glowingly orange to be edible.

Another garden victory was that although we got only a very small amount of dent corn from the garden this year--unfortunately a lot of it was moldy from all the rain--I actually made use of it.  I shelled it and ground it in our corn mill and made some pinkish corn bread.  We still have a few more blue and purple cobs--they are all the same kind of butcher corn, but it comes in many different colors.

I hope we can grow a bunch more next year.  I still feel bad that all of last year's dent corn got devoured  by weevils before I got around to doing anything with it.

It was a pretty color when ground, too.