The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gardening & Goats in February

The weather has been snowy and cold for a few days and doesn't look to be letting up anytime soon. We don't have it near as bad as some of the folks to the north, east, and west, so I thought I would share the sounds of the coming spring. There is hope that spring will arrive, even if you're buried under feet of snow. Before long you will be hearing this sound in your area.

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I started some seedlings back on February 10th. The age of the seeds made me question their continued viability, so I planted them pretty thick. Well, most of them have done really well, to the point that they are in serious need of thinning. Here is a pictorial of their progress.

Green cabbage, February 16th

Green cabbage, February 25th

Michilli cabbage, February 25th

Kohlrabi, February 25th

When I thin these out, we will either eat the seedlings in a salad, or I will give them to the chickens. Now, if I can just get these cabbages to grow to maturity without feeding another crop of cabbage worms, that will be great.

Mixed lettuce, February 16th

Mixed lettuce, February 25th

Spinach & mixed greens, February 16th

I was surprised how much they grew in one day. February 17th

Now they really need thinning. February 25th

Onions, February 17th

Onions, about ready for a haircut to encourage bulb growth, February 25th

The broccoli didn't do as well, but there are enough for plenty of plants. February 25th

Yesterday I decided it was time to get the carrot seedlings started. I already had some pot maker pots rolled up, but during the cold, snowy, wet weather, I rolled up a few more. It was a cold day, but the sun was shining on the west porch yesterday afternoon, so I decided to give it a try. The garden soil we have in a large trashcan on the porch was so cold! It didn't take long before my fingers were frozen, even with gloves on. I decided to bring the three trays of pots I filled inside to thaw out before I planted the seeds. 

 This morning I planted them and watered them in with hot water. As it turns out, our indoor growing area is getting pretty full. I hope the weather warms up enough to move these cold weather crops outside into the sunshine during the day to encourage more growth and to harden them off before we plant them in the garden. If all goes according to plans, I hope to plant them around the middle of March. Next up will be starting more carrots, along with beets and green peas in more paper pots.

In the meantime, I have collected a few more short videos of the baby goats. They are doing very well, strong, healthy and active. The vet will be here this afternoon to disbud them. Today is when we were originally planning to start penning them up an night so we can get more milk. But with the disbudding and predicted 19* weather tomorrow night, we will wait until it is warmer. Maybe Saturday. Right now we aren't getting any milk, with the cold weather, the babies are drinking it all. But we don't hold that against them, they are babies after all.

Here is Patch chewing on One Stripe's ear and my jeans, along with a good look at Cricket, Lady Bug and Copper. I felt Cricket's babies kick for the first time yesterday.

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Here we have babies nursing and Lady Bug on the milk stand for the second or third time. I have started bringing in my three young does to eat on the milk stand so it won't be such a foreign place when I begin to milk them. Penny is the most hesitant about getting on the stand. Cricket and Lady Bug are doing great.

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These are our day to day events, and in some ways, year to year. I'll teach the young does to eat on the milk stand and get them used to being touched because before long they will be milked, everyday. We did this last year, and the year before, and we hope to do it next year with Patch and Buttons and ????. The garden is also day to day and year to year. It's a cycle, and it's a chore, but that's what life is about, isn't it? Now, how do I train those tomatoes to attach to that trellis? Think maybe they'll just jump right up there? Life is good. We have high hopes for a productive garden this year. And we have high hopes for productive goats this year. Hope your dreams come true. Mine have.

Until next time - Fern

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for the little taste of spring!!! Here in Michigan the winter is just dragging on & on and we might break the record for coldest Feb EVER.......

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    1. I know some folks are just buried in snow and have dangerously frigid temperatures. Stay warm and be careful. Spring will arrive........someday. Thank you for sharing.

      Fern

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  2. Planting in March? Hahahahahaha. I remember those days when we lived In California. Tomatoes by 4th of July. (sigh). Now we are lucky to even get tomatoes and can't set plants out until June 12th. Your goats are sooooooo cute! You know, I have never tasted goats milk.

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    1. Well, I hate to say it, Tewshooz, but you need to live in a warmer climate! June 12th reminds me of Alaska. I guess I will continue to torture you with harvesting from the garden before you ever get anything in the ground. Our last average frost date is April 1st. I should have peppers, tomatoes, squash, okra and beans planted by the end of April. The saying here is your corn should be knee high by the 4th of July.

      Baby goats are really cute. But then they grow up....that's what Frank and the vet were saying this afternoon. If you run across someone with fresh, raw goat's milk, try it. Then you'll be raising goats! (-:

      Glad we could provide a laugh. Thank you for the comment.

      Fern

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  3. I would love to live in a warmer climate, but that is where the people and humidity are. We have lived here for 20 years and love the wide open spaces where we can see 100 miles. Guess there are pros and cons for everything. We grow killer root crops, though. Corn? Did you say corn? hahahahah. Not here. I will look for somebody with milk goats....here they raise meat goats only

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    1. We do have humidity here, Tewshooz, but relatively few people. But with our hills and trees, you sure can't see very far. You're right about the pros and cons, there is no perfect place to live, or grow food. I bet we are blessed with many more bugs than you are. It's hard to find milk goats around here, since most people raise meat goats, as well. Whenever we need a new buck, like this year, I start looking around December and hope we find one by May. Thank you for sharing.

      Fern

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  4. For cabbage worms I've read salt sprinkled on the plants helps. We use a Neem oil spray for all bugs - natural and it works

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    1. I've heard of salt and/or baking soda sprinkled on plants for bugs. I think I have tried Neem before, I'm just trying to figure out what I can do or use when there is no store to buy it from. Thank you for sharing.

      Fern

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  5. Love ALL your posts.... found you a month or two back and have been catching up since your beginning post. Always good to find like minded people that are close in age. Shoot, good to find like minded people any age! So if it shows that I've been at your blog in large increments of time and often, I'm really not a stalker... just love you guys.

    We live in MI also, so it was great to hear the spring sounds and love your goats too. We are looking to find meat goats in our area soon. We do raise chickens and love them and the food they provide, both eggs and mea, we grow some feed and do gardening for canning, burn wood for heat, hunt, learn defense and arm ourselves. We started 7 years ago with research and accumulating things we needed since we were beginners at homesteading. We've learned a ton, make plenty mistakes and are still learning eagerly. Thank you God for bringing us this far and for friends like Frank and Fern.

    Midwest Grammie

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    1. Thanks for hanging around here and going to the trouble of reading the old stuff, Grammie. It looks like you have done a lot of work in the last 7 years. Good for you! Thank you for sharing your experiences and encouragement.

      Fern

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  6. Aww I am behind in my seedlings this year....house is having a hard time staying consistent in warmth. Think last year we had a different set up so the soil stayed warmer. soon I will plant soon! Hard to get excited with all the snow on the ground maybe by Tues I will catch the bug. Suppose to get up to around 62* ...we shall see.
    Thanks for sharing...ps love the goats!!

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    1. I don't know how soon we will be able to get into the garden to plant anything this year. We have snow, sleet or rain forecast for the foreseeable future, but the temperatures will be warming up. I'm afraid my seedlings will get rather leggy before I get them planted.

      By the way, we loved the G.H.A. article over at Krazo Acres you linked to your post yesterday. We, like you, laughed out loud, several times. It is probably funnier to people that have, or have had screaming goats like yours, and the one we sold. Just really funny! Thanks for the laugh.

      Fern

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  7. Those videos are great - keep them coming! My dreams are just starting to come true! After working our future homestead on weekends and vacations, we are just about to move up there for good and start building our new home. Our home here in the valley is sold and we will be closing escrow in a few weeks. We are so excited! The next two years while we are building our home are going to be hard but I know they will also be very rewarding!

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    1. Vickie, we send you sincere congratulations on dreams coming true! We have found that hard work and hard times never really hurt anyone. You'll come out stronger and wiser on the other side with the attitude you have about learning. It will be amazing how much you will learn and grow from the experience. There is no substitute for it. Thank you for sharing your dream come true.

      Fern

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