Sunday, May 22, 2011

Noisiest farm on the block

That is how Reed described our place this morning. The baa-ing and moo-ing is quite impressive! The bovine spent the night, by their choice, out in the fields. This was the first time that Sir Loin and Rustina have been able to access each other fully since Sir Loin was just born. He's been drinking her milk from a bottle from the beginning, but only actually nursed for a day.

The sheep had been moved from pasture into the hay storage area of the cow barn (which is currently mostly empty) to protect them from the rain in preparation for shearing, which is happening today. They are not too happy in their new, though temporary, location and are baa-ing up a storm.

Because the bovine decided to spend their night in the fields they needed to be coaxed through the "lane" into the cow barn. Rustina was not thrilled about this, though she is usually quite ready to be milked in the morning. Hmm...

Then, after careful and tedious coaxing, when she was finally in her milking area, the baa-ing of the sheep was upsetting and "new." Cows don't like "new."

Finally in the stanchion the reason for her lack of enthusiasm for being milked was revealed. Apparently Sir Loin does not need a bottle this morning. He saw an opportunity and grabbed it. Instead of her usual 32# of milk (about 4 gallons), Rustina came in at 17#.

Oh, well. One less chore this morning...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hopeful spring after a long winter!

After a very long and dreary-weather winter spring has finally emerged. With it has come some farm successes, including thinning our bursting-at-the-seams flock of sheep and creating some unbelievable Camembert-like cheese!

Recently we posted some sheep on Craig's list. The response was like nothing we've seen before and we quickly sold 12 sheep (8 ewes, 1 ram and 3 lambs).

Reed *finally* cut into one of our mold-ripened cheeses after what seemed like an eternity (but was actually only 60 days) and lo and behold, success! He made a real, live (literally) mold-ripened cheese that smelled right, looked right, and tasted better-than-right.

Hopefully we'll have some dry weather here so that we can get some planting done. Somehow, having a fire in the wood stove in mid-May just doesn't seem right...