Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Jean Louis " Daddy Pig"
This is our Berkshire boar, Jean Louis. The little girls call him " Daddy Pig " and if you saw him from a less polite view you'd know there is no mistaking he is male. They are always laughing and saying his butt is hanging out. The Fed-Ex driver took a picture of his " package" and emailed it to her mother. Jean Louis and Dante have a certain understanding and mutual respect for each other. He scares me a little personally.
We got our latest milk test from the state, some highlights are 5.81 butterfat and 8.90 solids. 97,000 SCC which isn't too bad with 2 fresh cows.
Tommorrow is the yearly appt with our vet to do all the cows testing. They get tested for TB and Brucellosis. I'm gonna have blood drawn for pregnancy tests on Gale, Chia, Happy, Ellie, and Jules, Happy had better be bred because I dried her off, a couple days ago. Second thought, I may have the vet palpate her-- if she isn't bred I should be able to just resume milking her again. She sure looks pregnant, but I get nervous. I dried off a cow who was not pregnant, but I thought she was once just as we went into winter. She gained so much weight that winter and then I couldn't get a bull for so long, I never could get her bred again. I tried for 3 years, it was very sad.
I can't get my new herb seedlings in the ground, it has been so rainy and wet. The slugs are wreaking havoc, and decimated some voluntary sunflowers that were growing under the bird feeder. I LOVE having flower gardens, a luxury I never afforded myself until this year. If it ever stops raining I'll take some pics. Most of the tomatoes look really good. I can't believe how many fresh herbs I use for our creamery products, I keep getting more and more plants and still don't have enough.
We got 3 of our barn cats neutered, and I can't believe the change in behavior. They were almost immediately more friendly and loving. I wish we could catch the elusive " Booka". He is just so wary and Zoie and I fear if we did somehow catch him and get him neutered, he'd never trust us again. I'm still thinking about it.
I had a very productive day in the creamery. Bottled milk and cream for tommorrow. Made mozzarella, and marinated a bunch in olive oil with garlic and basil, creme fraiche, fromage blanc, cottage cheese, compound butters, ranch dip, various yogurts. Whew! Managed to squeeze in a trip to town and ran errands with 8 different stops. I took all the girls with me. I can't believe I survived Ayla's ( 3) endless chatter. Everytime I swear I'm not taking her again, and am truly amazed I didn't go off the road she is so distracting, bless her " wittle" heart. She doesn't just blather on, she engages you in conversation and asks a million questions, and demands that you answer, then has to have a thousand sips of water which she spills a few dozen times, and then needs to pee no less than 15 times. I now just pull over almost anywhere. Today she went behind Hannafords. At least while I was gone Dante did all my creamery dishes and vacuumed and mopped the floor. Such a sweet gift that means a lot to me.
Last night Ayla and Veda were in the van with a kitten while I milked. I take the keys with me in my pocket and roll the window down. I'm wise to those tricks, when Zoie and I hear them yelling,
" FIRE, FIRE!!!!!!!!!" We charge out of the barn, hearts in our throats, yelling " where, where!!"
The girls just laugh and say, " No fire" and " Fire on my hand" and laugh some more. They were totally crying wolf. Where did they ever get that idea? 5 and 3 years old and they're comedians. Ayla's sense of humor is not that of your average 3 year old. I never know what she's gonna do or say next. It keeps me on my tippity toes.
Dante went to 2 different butchers and picked up TONS of goodies. I've been slaving away in the creamery, you won't want to miss the markets this week!