Sunday, April 6, 2008

first weekend

If you ever come across a city boy with a sledgehammer, run! Nick decided to spend the weekend getting stuff done on the farm, and one of his chosen recreational activities was to break up this big chunk of shale located in the middle of a field. Little does he know it's actually bedrock. He's gonna be sore for a few days.

I visited my friend Severine (check out the documentary she's making: in Red Hook & her pal Paul took us up the road to a man who raises some goats, sheep, rabbits, & chickens. Just a little operation, he mostly sells the animals to folks who eat them. He had a Boer billy goat (good meat breed), whom he bred with several alpine-mixed (milkers) does, and a few lamancha (milkers) does. Lots of little kids prancing around! We got to pick some up, they were really friendly. A few sheep & a couple lambs. He didn't dock their tails. I wasn't so impressed with the state of his barn & yard. One of the goats had some mange I think. He wanted $120 for a kid. Severine talked to him about rabbit hutches, and I brought home a fertile egg to place under the broody hen back at the farm. He promised me a dozen more in a few days. Looks like mostly Rhode Island Red, maybe some other mixed breeds. I'll let that black hen hatch those chicks & raise them if she could, then I'll probably just eat them when they get fat & I get hungry.

I got a patch of stinging nettles from him-- he said I could come out & get as many as I wanted later this summer! But I planted some at the farm anyway. We'll see if the deer eat them.

My tomatoes are up! A few rows at least! How exciting. But I may have planted too many of them, too close together. No cayenne peppers yet, but a row of my herb tray came up. Nothing happening with the soil block experiment, and the blocks are kind of melting together with every watering. We'll see.

I am thinking more & more about getting sheep. I can buy 2 lambs when they're weaned off their moms, raise them on the grass around the fields, the spare back pasture maybe, and the cover crops, feeding them very little hay & no grain at all, and then in the fall I can kill them for meat. Free lawn mowers, fertilizers, & food... but here are the imputs: $ for the lambs, $ for the electric fencing, time to move them every day or so. More research today.

1 comment:

Dzeli said...

changing your mind about sheep, eh?
if you get 'em, i wanna come over and help shear them!