Saturday, November 5, 2016

Adventures in Milking

I don't have goats, but in an effort to learn whether or not I would like them, I've volunteered to take care of a neighbor's when he travels.  This means milking them.  Last month, I milked them for a week for him, twice daily with the electric milking machine.  It's way cool and doesn't take long - about 10 minutes per goat.

Today, however, things did not go quite as planned... I went to milk the goats with the electric milker, but it wouldn't start. So I thought I'd just hand milk them.  Goat #1 wanted nothing to do with my plan; she put her foot in the bucket and eventually kicked it over and began the "You can't milk me!" dance, (so I put her away and went on to #2). When I finished #2-4 (all far more cooperative, even though it took me an hour, being an utter noob at this), I finally had the brilliant idea to follow the extension cords through the barn to see if a line got chewed or something... only to discover at the end of the lines that one of the dry does or dueling had UNPLUGGED the milker. So #1 got milked the way she likes it. The chickens got the milk (we're not drinking it after the goat put her foot in it), and I had to laugh at myself all the way home. Always blame the goats first!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Honey and the Hoop House

I got the last of the honey off the hives (now I just have to find time to extract it).  However, some time later yesterday afternoon, the wind tore a 20 foot long tear in the plastic cover on the hoop house, too high for us to tape.  We got 5 years out of the cover, though, and it was rated for 4 (yes, it has lots of tape on it), so I shouldn't complain too much, except that I now have to find time and a non-windy day to replace the cover (we have a spare, thank goodness).

We lost a chick to a hawk (from the second to last hatching) and now the last hatching chicks are wandering around outside... I hope the hawk doesn't come back.

I went bow hunting last weekend, from the tree sling, and saw 2 does and 2 fawns, but nothing with a clear firing line to shoot.

Harvested a handful of purple beans (they turn green when you cook them), more zukes, and a bag of green maters to make piccalilli from the hoop house after I noticed the tear (figure it'll be too cold for everything inside soon, due to the tear).

I have a last batch of applesauce to can, maybe today if I'm lucky.

I should post more, but I'm too busy.