Sunday, March 22, 2009

Just hamming it up at the farm

Sunday at the farm was a very productive day.

We started tearing down the old greenhouse that had fallen in the "Blizzard of '08".

We found a bunch of chicken raising supplies from when my grandparents were raising a flock.

The major find was a big brooder. We just need to rewire it with a safer set up.

We also found a bunch of the original doors and windows off the house (c. 1876!). The doors were in really good shape.

There was a giant pickle crock that was cracked but repairable. I am sure the glaze is lead so we would not use it even if it were not cracked.

We took a peek into the old smokehouse and saw so many treasures that we want to go after. We are very patient though, knowing how unsafe that building might be.

At the entry way of the old chicken coop we uncovered a giant flagstone that was placed there to keep the mud down. My dad thinks he may have placed it there years ago.

This mama was all coy and shy about having her picture done.

This mama muscled her way in when I was taking pictures and shoved her mug right up into the camera to make sure I took her picture. She is a big ham but she is my favorite goat...don't tell the others. You can see her baby belly. I am guessing she will go another 4 weeks or so before we meet her little ones.

We have lots more to do in the coming months, stay tuned for updates.

Garden update: Yesterday we started 90 tomato plants, 48 cucumbers and 21 zuchinni plants!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gingerbread Goat Milk Ice Cream Recipe

I am making this tomorrow:


5 cups raw goat milk
1 egg
1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar (dark brown sugar is a nice change)
1/4 cup Gingerbread syrup (Monin is the best)
1/4 cup crystalized ginger
1/8 tsp sea salt

To really kick it up a notch add broken gingersnaps...mmm!

Mix well and place in ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer's directions.

Peak flavor occurs at 24 hours.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thor the Wondrous Buckling & a Saturday Farm Update

We've gone back and forth about whether or not to keep Thor.

He is an amazing buckling. He's frisky and feisty. He is larger than his sister and his older 1/2 siblings who were born a week before him.

He's also related to 1/2 the herd so it wouldn't be very wise to keep him, yet somehow I haven't talked myself in to selling him.

Here are a couple of pictures of him from today. I had to use my cellphone because my camera battery died.

Please read on after the picture interlude for more farm updates.

Here is Thor standing on one of our last 2 pregnant mamas. She looks resigned to it doesn't she??

Here is Thor showing his nifty horn buds. Little does he know that come fall they will be a distant memory.

We had twin bucklings this week. A cute little red one and a cute little brown one. Their mama is one of our older does so these may be her last babies. She has a huge udder and looks like she will be a gallon+ milker wooohooo.
I'll publish pictures of the new babies soon. I know I am terrible mentioning these cute little kids that were just born and then not adding pics!!
Today was a work day on the farm. Oh wait, aren't all days work days on farms?
We cleaned out an unused area of the old print shop and are busy converting it to a kitchen area for the dairy. I'm excited to be doing this because it feels like we're finally *in* business. If that makes sense?
We're putting up drywall and then painting the room with an aqua glaze. I swiped the color from the movie Mamma Mia! I know it's shameless, but what can I say ;)
We're staining the cement floors so they look like stone, adding a new door and window, some fun lighting, a stainless table and sink, a sterilizing dishwasher, hot water heater, fridge....and voila after all that we are ready to take on the world.
Meanwhile in the pastured pig world, we have 4 pigs spoken for so run don't walk to your nearest phone and call to reserve yours before they are gone!

See you soon.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What does an old building have to do with dairy goats?

In 1846 Thomas Crawford Davis first laid eyes upon the Willamette Valley. One hundred sixty three years later his family is still living on the same piece of ground that he homesteaded.

A lot has changed since his day. Much of the land has been sold off and houses have popped up all over like mushrooms after a rain. We still hang on to 22 acres though, and intend to for many generations to come.

The love of the land is behind our foray into farming again. Ideally we'd like to develop into a fully self sufficient farm with solar power, rainwater catchment and the like. We're starting small this year with a cistern or two to help with the garden.

Below is the old smokehouse on the farm. It has been around for about 150 years. This year marks the end of an era as this building will probably have to be torn down. It survived the heavy snows of December, but it is completely riddled with dry rot and will soon fall in on itself if we don't tear it down first.

We are heartbroken to be losing this building that was built so long ago by our pioneer relatives.

If you are out at the farm picking up milk, don't hesitate to ask to see the smokehouse before it's gone.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Spring is Springing!

Yesterday as I walked around our farm I noticed that the goat's favorite food was starting to bud. That's right, the blackberry vines had 1/2 inch leaf shoots on them. It was such a silly thing to have made me so divinely happy. But with all the snow and ice this year, winter has felt endless.

No new births to report, but the last 3 mamas who are pregnant are definitely getting round!

We've hired a new milk hand named Luis, who was the back-up milker at the farm we bought our dairy herd from. He's a very quiet guy, but I am sure after a few weeks of our gang he'll come around!

Juan who has been our "Juan of all trades" including milking, is now solely focused on the set up of the new milking parlor, snow damaged building tear down, fencing, garden preparation etc. He has his hands full with all the projects I threw his way yesterday.

We're currently planning the garden layout for our farmstand. So far we have heirloom tomatoes, swiss chard, cucumbers, zuchinni, winter squash, green peppers, misc. hot peppers, basil, cilantro and misc. other herbs and vegetables as space and time permit.

We are revitalizing a very old orchard so fruit will be in limited supply this year, but it should be of the very tasty antique variety! We have apples, plums, pears, 2 kinds of grapes plus black walnuts, hazelnuts, and 2 types of cherries if we can get to them before the birds. Our farm was blessed with an abundance of blackberries so we will offer those too.

No chemicals of any kind are used on the gardens and orchards of our farm. So the goodness of our produce really is from seed to skin and everything in between.

We are bringing in 8 piglets to live their brief happy lives in a grassy, blackberry filled pasture. They will never receive chemical wormers or antibiotics and will have free access to grass, sunshine and clean water. You've heard the saying as happy as a pig in mud? Well, ours will be as happy as a pig in grass. Their meat will be lean, tasty and good for you. Three pigs are spoken for so make sure to get on the list early. We expect to butcher in early November (after the dear oinkers clean up the fallen fruit from the orchard). Which means that you could have a fresh ham on Thanksgiving if you wanted to.

We will also begin to offer free range eggs at some point this summer. The care of the chickens will fall in line with everything else on the stress, lots of sunshine, fresh green grass and no chemicals of any sort.

Our farm email is rosemont century farm at g mail dot com.

Happy Spring.