Saturday, August 27, 2011

late summer; kids, gardens, the fair, and goats

We've been having the most incredibly beautiful, warm, sunny, summertime, weather.  I've been outside as much as I can soaking it all up.  Can you believe I even ate a ripe tomato off of one of my plants that I started by seed, a big deal for me, since it's the first one in 2 years.  Last year none of my tomatoes ripened it was so cold. Every few days I've been watering, and my squashes will be ready to begin picking any day, I have Sunburst patty pan, Zuccini, Rhonde de nice, and Delicata squashes I planted, the pickles are ripening and the basil is growing.

Today I was outside picking the last of the black currents and gooseberries, I've been freezing most of the berries I pick, and when the kids go back to school, I'll make the preserves and jams.  I also harvested 5 large cabbages today and will make the first batch of sauerkraut, I still have many more to harvest, and will turn most of it into sauerkraut and kimchee.  I like fresh cabbage this time of year to make coleslaw, and to put in soups and salads, and we've been eating lots of broccoli, kohlrabi and kale.  This is our most abundant time of year,  we have been eating from the garden almost everyday for most of the summer, but now more than ever, plus we'll have many things that will go all the way to late October.

It's that time of year again, that we've been school shopping for the kids and getting them all ready to go back to school.  They've been having fun this summer just hanging out being kids, and now it's almost time to get back into the school routine.  We're planning to go to the river a couple times in the next week to swim and pick blackberries, by the end of August the river slows down and is safe for the kids to swim and play in it.  This time of year they're all wondering who their teachers will be and who will be in their classes. 

We went to the Evergreen State Fair on Thursday, which lucky for us is right in our own town.  This is truly a country fair, with lots of horse events, logging, rides, and local judging of jams, baking, produce, artisan brews, quilts, paintings, photos and lots more.  It was fun to walk around and see all the animals, crafts and booths that were set up, the local granges set up the most amazing displays of garden produce and canning that you can imagine.  Of course I had to go look at the goats, and rabbits, and I thought our goats were more beautiful than any I saw there, not that I'm prejudice or anything.  We also watched a couple of the 4h goat shows. Then Tessa and Jarin watched the bubble gum blowing contest while Kaley and I ran around looking at the baked goods on display and some of the booths.  We found her a beautiful aquamarine ring that fit her little finger, it will be a nice ring for her to remember summer and the fair, as she looks at it during school hours.

The goats have a happy routine they seem to like.  Milking is going well and we have settled into a comfortable rhythm.  I love that every time I go out to visit the goats or chickens, I'm bringing back armloads of the freshest milk and eggs.  I have been drinking more milk than ever, I think we all have, it's that good! The yogurt is also delicious, it's light, tart and tangy, and with a little honey is just right.  The goats have won over the hearts of everyone, they are so lovable and call out for attention.  We also try to give them one or two walks with us everyday, and they run as fast as they can and leap and play.  It puts a smile on my face to watch their exuberance and happiness.

We've been discussing plans for the new goat barn, what it will need, a milking room with power and hot water, a feed room to store hay and grain, and 4 stalls... might as well put the dream out there.  We are planning to go look at a couple goat farms that have had goats for 20 to 30 years, and we'll see how they're set up after living with goats for so many years.  They are the farms where Jersey and Zolena came from, both are farms with many years of raising goats. 

The chickens are all thriving, we have Henrietta and the Cuckoo Maran sitting broody again, this will be their Fall chicks, they began sitting about 10 days ago.  The older pullets are getting big and looking like small chickens, I still can't tell which will turn into roosters yet.  The smalls chicks are growing and their mom is back on the perch and is letting her chicks sleep by Henrietta since she's sitting broody, she even lets them come sit near her at night.  In rabbit news, I also picked up my Champagne d' argent buck last week, he's only 8 weeks old, and is so cute an cuddly, he has one ear that flops to the side that gives him some personality. 

Anyway that's the current update for what's going on around here.  Hope everyone is safe on the East coast with the hurricane beginning to touch down there, I was glad to read the winds have slowed a little.   Good luck, stay safe!

1 comment:

bluetick said...

Sounds like your summer has been enjoyable...time with your kids, including your new goats is priceless. I wondered how your garden was working out for you and it sounds like it has been filling plates everyday so that's great. We are tending to our fall garden right now. I am looking forward to bread baking time and snuggling by a warm fire since this summer has been a scorcher in SC.

Enjoy your last few days of summer vacation.
Tracy