Thursday, February 27, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Found BlackJack cold and waning this morning. Milked Licorice for the first time to relieve some pressure, and Blackjack took it all by bottle. Interesting process, the milking: brushing, cleaning the teats, fending off unwieldy kicks at you and your milking bowl... Worth it, though to see blackjack bounce back like he has. I'm watching him tonight on account of I have the kid-friendliest room. I expect that there will be some midnight requests for food from this little tyke, so I had better hit the hay.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Woke yesterday morning to Michaela's exclamation: "Baby goats!" Licorice had four kids during the night and stood dumb, wondering what all the fuss was about. One little one, who we named BlackJack Pranayama, didn't look like he was gonna make it. He was pretty chilly, but when he got a good cuddle, he bloomed. Two other kids, girls, are growing strong. We named them Daphne Pangaea and Anise Loba. They both have their dad's brown patches. The fourth one flew under the radar until this afternoon when we found her in a sorry state. Couldn't figure out for sure, but it looked like she either had been stepped on or was seizing. We stopped the suffering she was in, and remembered the exchange that birth and death are part of. We will take Luna's black and white coat before we bury her tomorrow, to continue to honor her.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Things really picked up once the final WWOOFer , Ariana, got here. She's from Vermont, and proud of it, too; she came baring a pint of maple syrup that we promptly powered through. So we're all settling into a schedule of chores, filling in gaps, and eliminating overlap. Each day now starts off between 8 and 8:30 for breakfast, cleanup, and then daily projects. Where I used to feed the animals first thing in the morning, the other WWOOFers have an easier time, seeing as their sleeping quarters are right by the barn.
Peter always has an ongoing list of stuff to do outside. Today, he mentioned that there is some wood that needs to turn into kindling. We discovered a trickle of ants in the kitchen so we are being proactive about that, too. Finished up the soap making project, too, and put everything back in its proper place. In the last week, we have taken down a pool, retrieved another truckload of sheep manure, layed gravel for a trailer/office, built a cob ramp to keep the goats in their sleeping quarters, mulched a path, and organized the potting/greenhouse area. We've had two bonfires, planted three beds, and are on to another four beds today.
Jini came home with her new dog, Ruby around the last time I posted a blog, and there has definitely been an upset in the canine apple cart. Lucy, the other pooch, thought she was queen of the castle, but Ruby, younger and about four times Lucy's size, has finally shown who is in charge. The dogs had a scuffle that Lucy is still recovering from. I'm just glad they figured out who was on top.
Valentines day found us hosting a little get together with music, guest, and love-laden foods. Two soups, vegan chocolate cheesecake, and BBQ ribs. Next day, we planted the starts for our garden that should get in the ground today.
Oh! I had my first visitor here, too. Ryan came up from Southern California to visit friends in the SF area, and made time to stop up here and check out my gig. He agrees that it is a good one, and I hope to see him and our mutual friend Chris up here around Mid-March. So much happening around here, that I wonder what the place will be like only a month from now.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
They also prepped the pumpkin for our vegan pumpkin chocolate pie for Valentines day. We're having quite the soiree tomorrow, and desert just may be the most important part.
Afterward, we zipped off to Ukiah High School to get a tour of their Aquaponics project. They have three rows of tanks, one big one on the bottom, and two staggered, smaller tanks suspended above that. Water flows constantly between the three levels. The fish live in the bottom, and provide most of the nutrients by eating the plant waste, and the plants use the nutrients from the water to grow amazing vegetables. The plants are susoended in a fliating foam with cocao mulch, and their roots soak up nutrients in the water they share with prawns in the upper tanks, and Steelhead or Bass in the lower tank. The solid waste settles in a catchment basin, and goes to the bio-digester, which catches the methane gas from the break-down. The gas powers a water heater that pumps warm water underneath the tanks to keep them warm in winter. Then, the digested sludge is finally fed to worms.
We could have been beat after a day like that, but we came home to delicious Gluten-free pasta, and my first crack at GF Sourdough. It was soo good. I missed real bread, but I think we made something that is close enough to actually call bread. I have another batch in the oven, and another one on the rise. Toast! How I've missed you!