Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Farm Notes and Return Of The King.. I mean... Queen

WOW! What a day we had -- sunny and 80*. Could not have been better.

And we are so glad to have Queen Vita back with us. Actually her name is Evita somethin'-somethin' according her to registration... but we just call her Vita. Here she is with the little ones - look at Ginger goofin'!  And I love Vita smoochin' on Gilly..silly goaties.

Vita is our big ol' Sanaan -- the "Holstien's of the Goat World" - they are HUGE. Like big as a cow big... like, "Hey lets run back to the truck and get away from these monster goats", big. Big like.. well.. big. But they are usually described as big marshmallows -- really easy going personalities, easy to work with, and mostly they come in one color:  white.

A sassy showgirl, Vita is our herd "queen." Like all herds there is a hierarchy and honestly, we were getting a little sick of Debbie trying to throw her weight around. Vita sauntered into the barnyard, walked right up to Debbie...and then gave her special muzzle nuzzle I hadn't seen before.. and that was it. No fighting, no squabbles, and she didn't really care one way or another about the babies. Altho unlike with the other gals, Vita is happy to share a bucket of hay with those little ones. Now that the queen is back, order is restored and everyone is happy.

Talk about small, medium, and large! We usually think that Debbie is big but Vita has her beat by a mile!

Vita was at the breeder for the winter. She "freshened" on Friday and had an adorable little doe and a big strapping buck. The breeder, with his award winning herd, will find great homes for them and dear Vita came back with us for the summer. In the fall we'll take her back for breeding again. This unusual arrangement worked out really well for us.

We are glad she is back! 

Farm notes (and a reminder that part of this blog is my record keeping...apologies if its boring)
* Dinner chicks are really progressing - feathering out. It was too hot for them with the light on. Trying a bigger drinker for them also.
* Evita is milking like the dickens. Between her and Debbie we probably had about a half a gallon. The hens went nuts for it. We didn't keep E's milk as she still has some meds going thru her system from "freshening" (when she had her babies). We will worm her tomorrow.
* Everyone was out enjoying the sun. Little Nibbles looks like a blimp.
* Worked on organizing the lower garden workspace and setting up additional window teepee greenhouses.
* Planted a couple flats of:
- California Wonder Peppers - 75 days till harvest; may be too cool for them
- Basil - in the hottest part of the greenhouse; 10 days to germinate
- Beefsteak, Roma, & Super Sweet 100 tomatoes
- Early Bush Italian beans
- Black Beauty eggplant; 65 days til harvest
- One row of green onions in the protected part of the green house
- One row of sunflowers in the back of the greenhouse
- 10 pots of mixed sunflowers: Hallo, Lemonade Mix, & Mammoth Russian
All are under the greenhouse/protected area out of reach of birds of all types. Did mostly half packages just in case I'm rushing a bit. We should not have too many  more cold nites and I can cover the exposed parts of the planting areas.
* Bees are doing GREAT! Lots of different colors of pollen was found in the hives. Very active today.

Here are my low budget (FREE!) window teepee greenhouses so far they are working great. Probably too much air gets in, but it has kept the frost off the little seeds poppin' up. In the background you can see my other free greenhouses... water bottles. The bottom is cut out and I just put them over tender plants and seeds.

 Happy Gardening everyone!


Chai Chai said...

You had 80 degrees today. really? We had ZERO 80 degree days last YEAR!

All the snow is miraculously gone here but we are afraid to plant after losing one planting in late May two years ago and two planting in April/May last year.

Next year, if the money tree flowers (dreaming), I would love to get some type of greenhouse.

Looks like you are slowly being overrun by goats. Do you have just the four pictured or are their six (two mini's?)goaties wandering around?

I thought I had a good day until reading this (and saw that Mimi was busy baking BEER BREAD!).

Ohiofarmgirl said...

It occurred to me that I'm not official a 'goatherd.' And yep - totally being over run. We have just one mini...but she's about to pop any second. The neighbor kids think she might have THREE babies! Then we really will be up to our elbows in goats! Its kinda like the chickens.. I'm afraid to actually count them. Its better not to know exactly how many their are....

BTW, your goaties and sheepies are so cute! Great job!

Sally said...

Oh my she is big!! I LOVE her!!! I am gonna get a big old marshmallow!!! I have a bad case of goat-envy!

No sign in problems today. :o)

We are getting blown away with the monsoons, so we are headed to Port Tonsend to dry out for the day.

Happy Friday!

Weekend Cowgirl said...

The goats are adorable as usual! Love the glass idea. Happy Easter.

wickett6029 said...

I absolutely love your blog, and am admiring the easy-peasy windowpane "tents" (a farmer after my own heart, lol!) I, too, am in beautiful southeastern Ohio, and you're always my first read of the day :-)

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Hi Sally! As a Big Brown Horse owner you'd do great with these big goaties!

Happy Friday, WCG!

Golly, wickett6029, thanks! I've got a special funny for you. Glad you stopped by - chime in anytime and let us know what you are working on.

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