Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gardening with Goats and Other Stories

I had some help yesterday in the gardens, for a while. 

My helper was tasting things as I worked. 

The hollyhock had blown down in the winds we have had the last three days.  It's staked now. 
Last night's winds, in fact, caused some other things to fall. 

You can't see it in this picture very well, but a very large branch fell to pieces off the old walnut tree.  
There are lots of pieces in the grass waiting for me to haul them to the burn pit. 
I was very grateful no person or animals was under it when it fell, and yes, we are going to have to do something about the tree. 

This apple tree has spots on the leaves and spots on the apples.  I'm going to read up today to find out what to do, and we suspect it will involve spraying. 

The tomatoes are all looking very well... and baby tomatoes are growing on. 
Every other day I pour duck pool water on them, soaking them in. 

This horrible, horrible stuff is bristly greenbrier.  It will HURT YOU, badly.... there is nothing worse than reaching in to get a bunch of vines or weeds down and getting hold of this... and see, it has deceptive flowers that look like potato flowers!   These were growing in the pea beds on the west side, and yes, I hurt my hand and had a thorn in it all afternoon.  I very, very carefully cut the vines out, and dug up the roots as much as I could to get them out.  

I pulled all the peas out.  I am probably not going to plant peas next year, as we do not eat enough of them to warrant it.  I have enough in the fridge to put in salads for the next two months (sugar snaps). 

I planted two varieties of green beans, though I am a bit late with them... both were from Baker Creek... "Beurre de Roquencourt", a yellow, and good old "Contender", a green. 

In the spinach bed, which Keith had pulled last week when it bolted, I planted two muskmelons... both from Baker Creek... 
One is "Collective Farm Woman" from Russia, and the other, "Kansas".  

I have a small watermelon I'd like to plant, and a squash, "Ronde de Nice" from Baker Creek... but am out of bed space... soooo....

I pulled up some onions.  I planted these onions as tiny little slips... and they have matured into lovely little globes.  Keith and I don't eat a lot of onions, but there were fifty of them in the bunch I bought, and I put them in the old hoop house in the barrels and bins we had tomatoes and herbs last year.  My gosh, they did very well.  We have a supply that will last us into the fall.  
I am going to plant the squash and watermelon in the barrels. 

This, however, is what's going on this morning. 
Yes, we're having a lovely small rainstorm which is nearly over.  It has been very cloudy and raining lightly for the last 45 minutes, but the rain has now stopped.  I won't have to water today, after putting the duck water on the tomatoes. 

The little guys are investigating the new hay I put in the back of their feeder, that they are STILL using as a napping bed during the day.  They now have the run of the pasture when I am home, but I keep an eye on them, going out to check on them off and on. 

They are getting less than half the milk as before as I try to get them weaned before Kelly comes, in another week.  Carol will have fully weaned him at that point. 

I am giving them a full 8 ounces each in the morning, but then only a few ounces at about 1 PM, and then a few at night before locking them up.  At about 2 PM yesterday I realized they were SCREAMING at me frantically, and realized they were very hungry, and I did give them a few ounces... but really, it's time for them to start eating like big boys. 

And of course, they are like me... we are all still burying our heads in the mulberry trees. 

We are expecting scorching heat the rest of the week, and triple digit heat indices. 
Today is a nice respite, and I have windows open. The skies are already clearing though, so I'll do an errand and then come home and work a little more in the garden.  I have to admit my back is a little sore and worn out today. 

I wanted to address something today because of something that happened on a blog yesterday.  I want to make it clear to everyone that I write about the things that I, or Keith and I, do here daily, as a journal of our lives, but also, to share with you our gardening practices and what fun it is to keep the animals... and sometimes, not so fun. 
I want you to know that you are free to criticize or have a different opinion about how things are done... and be free to voice it at anytime.  We value and learn from criticism, and we know full well that our way is not the only way.  I will always try to put things on here that are informative, funny, sad, but always true to what is happening.  Our son's death was one of those. 

Please feel free to give opinions... we value them! 

And now, Alica, one last picture...sorry....

This guy has been in this bowl since 3 PM yesterday, and is STILL THERE!

(top of closet in big henhouse-bowl for water for the bantams as in Rooster Two behind him)
(They have the big waterer on the floor and two outside) 



  1. What you call bristly greenbrier, we call sandbrier. Our opinions about it seem to match, though.

  2. At first I honestly thought that old stick was a darn snake.....ahhhhhh!!!! Your yard and your garden are so pretty!!! I know how much hard work goes into it everyday. How do you keep your little goats out of your garden?
    stella rose

  3. Yikes, that looks like a black snake in the bowl. Is it? This is my first visit here; we have some things in common, my hubby and I are retired too, and I like hobby farms tho we live in the city. I wrote for Hobby Farms Magazine for several years.

  4. It's still pretty hot here but no triple heat indexes. Close to 90 is hot enough for me. Been staying inside a lot. It looks like you are going to have a lot of tomatoes there. Enjoy your nice day!

  5. we had that brier in the pasture, yard, garden...everywhere. It was on my most wanted weed list along with morning glory and the weeds from H.E. double L that I hand pulled. I must have made a big dent in the population of all of the above, cause have had very, very few of them to pull this year.

    we have tiny apples on our tree this year and I think they are going to be the size of a large plum

  6. I think I know of which blog post you speak...things sure turned ugly, fast. There was a more tactful way of presenting that post for sure, and some commenters were lambasted for asking an innocent question or giving their opinion in a (I thought) respectful manner. I am certainly thinking twice before visiting that site again. Some people need to practice patience and in turning the other cheek.

  7. I think I would be relocating that boy!

    The dogs found one this week. We try not to bother them if they are away from the eggs. The snake patrol decided differently. It's gone.

  8. So as I was reading I was making a mental note of things I wanted to comment on to you but that last picture wiped everything clean for me LOL.

    The boys are growing so well! They look great as does the garden :)

  9. I love seeing pictures of the baby goats. They are adorable and in to everything it seems!

  10. I've always loved goats neat animals ! Hope you have a wonderful day !

  11. I always like coming here. Your gardens are wonderful and far ahead of ours. I can't believe you have apples already. I bet you are getting to where the snakes don't even startle you any more. Good luck with the weaning. The worst part will be the screaming. You may need ear plugs when working outside.

  12. Gardening with goats looks like such fun! Your plants are all so much further along than ours, I really enjoy seeing the contrast in your weather and gardening and farming seasons.


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