It’s been a while since we’ve blogged. This has been a very busy off-season… so I thought I’d at least let you know why we’ve been so silent lately.
Reason number one would probably be that I’m in the process of writing a book, and the manuscript is due to the publisher in April. So that’s taking the majority of my writing energy — and I’m also freelancing for the local paper (currently have 5 articles on the docket for this month) and that’s taking the rest!
Reason number two — our new website, Foggy River Farm. Emmett’s been working on it whenever he’s not working on the barns (which are, respectively, reasons three and four). We’ve built one barn for the goats — hay storage, milking parlor, kidding room — and we’re about to start one for the veggies, so we can have a nice shaded place to process our produce down by the field. It’s been a lot of work, but in the process Emmett has become quite the handyman/carpenter/architect. There are still some things to be done — like, it would be really nice to have a water faucet nearby, not to mention a source of light for late-night kiddings — but in the meantime we’ll carry buckets from the house for water and bring a lantern if any of the goats decide to give birth in the middle of the night.
Other reasons for our silence — we’re getting married! Which is exciting, but the process of planning a wedding is a part-time job unto itself, and as you can tell we each have several part-time jobs already… which explains why we’re just finally getting around to sending out invitations, and haven’t yet dealt with details like, oh, rings.
Finally, some exciting news: we’re expecting several kids. Four of our goats are pregnant, and one of them is due in exactly one week (yup, on Valentine’s Day). Which means… adorable Nigerian Dwarf goat kids, and fresh goat milk… which means… fresh goat milk cheese! Yummm. We’re also expecting lambs in a few weeks, so we’ve been busy giving “birthing haircuts” to all the pregnant animals. This is about as fun as it sounds: trying to control a hormonal pregnant sheep or goat while buzzing her butt with an electric shaver. We also trimmed their udder area so that when the kids and lambs are born, the little ones will have an easier time finding their food source. (You can imagine that trimming the udder area isn’t particularly popular with the mom-to-be, either, especially with the sheep, who had to be flipped onto their backs for the task.) We’ve made sure that all the pregnant gals are up to date on vaccinations and mineral supplements, and our nearly-due goat Emily has been receiving daily pinches of raspberry leaf and nettles, two good pre-natal herbs that are said to tone the uterus and speed post-natal healing. We’ll let you know how our first experience as “goat midwives” goes as soon as Emily gets down to business! Her udder is already filling up and we’re monitoring her each day for signs of impending birth (more on this later).
That’s all for now. Hope you’re having a restful winter — and enjoying this fabulous weather we’ve been having! I loved yesterday’s sudden downpours which vanished just as suddenly as they started, and later on in the day, the brilliant sunlight breaking through the towering clouds. And today, not a cloud in the sky — just good, old-fashioned, California sunshine and that crisp, cool, after-storm air.