Melody is here! She is a four-year old Jersey cow with a sweet temperament and a whole lot of creamy, sweet milk.She came to us from Judy and Bob of St. Brigid’s Farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It is a gorgeous dairy with an all-Jersey herd who are intensively grazed from April through November. We met them at their annual Field to Fork dinner a couple of years ago which was so fun and I highly recommend if you are into good food and farms.
She is in with Penny, Pepper and Piper and they are all settling in to the new routine.
We are milking her twice a day and getting a little over four gallons of milk a day. It is kind of amazing and I am giddy with the freedom and possibilities of so much milk. Now, instead of despair, I look at cheese recipes and think, “This gouda recipe calls for 4 gallons of milk. Perfect!”
It has started to look more farm-y around here lately.
On Thursday, David built a goat shed and I painted it. Blue of course. I would paint everything blue if I could. He built it as panels, held together with screws so we could build it by the house, then disassemble it, move it and put it back together with relative ease. Its not “portable” but it is definitely “lug-able”.
On Friday, we brought home three goats – Penny, Piper and Pepper. Nothing says “goat” like alliteration.
Penny is the full grown brown one, Pepper is the girl kid with the pink collar and Piper is her brother (and he’s a wether).
Zoe has spent every possible moment with the goats, even getting up at dawn to feed them.
Even when I asked her to leave them be to sleep and chew their cud, she took her book on to the back porch to watch from afar.
On Saturday, our friends Kate and Bart came to help us build the bigger pasture barn. Who doesn’t love to dig?
Even better, Kate and Bart actually came back again the next day. On Sunday morning, we started with six holes in the ground with concrete footings in them.
And by suppertime, it was an identifiable building.
Now, we just need our family cow. Fingers crossed for this weekend. :)
Remember this little guy? He was the only chick to hatch from a clutch of eggs over the summer.
Well, check him out now, all grown up and crowing all day
We went to a friend’s birthday celebration on Saturday and decided to make just a little something for the two-year old birthday girl. But what to make? Most two year-olds would be happiest with the box something comes in :) Or stickers. Or a purse! But not just any purse – a chick purse!
The pattern is the Beastie Bags from Abby Glassenberg and I just love her stuff. They are cute patterns that come together quickly, using minimal fabric so all the scraps I have laying around get used up. This is the third bag of hers that I’ve made and they are just perfect for a little kid to carry treasures around in. I do have to admit that I tried to make one last-minute chick bag at about 11pm on Christmas Eve. Shockingly, I made many mistakes – can you imagine? What could go wrong late at night on Christmas Eve? Sigh…
We filled the bag with stickers and handmade cards from the kiddos. And then Zoe decided that she needed to make her own softie for the little girl.
She drew out a paper pattern, cut it out of fleece and stitched it up. We tucked the little teddy bear into the purse, and off we went to the party!
P.S. Please pretend that these pictures show a beautifully organized and clean house.
P.P.S. Abby has a book coming out in May on making softies and I can’t wait to read it. I’m just thinking out loud here, but that sure would make a nice Mother’s Day present wouldn’t it? ;)
As the days are starting to get longer, our hens have really picked up the laying again. We’re back to having more eggs than we can eat, which is good, because I cook and bake like I have an infinite supply of eggs. ;) Some of the hens are three years old and the rest are about two years old, so most of the eggs are pretty big. As a chicken gets older, her eggs get larger and larger and her production is not as regular. Because of this, in commercial laying operations, they usually only keep the hens until they are two years old at the most.
Despite this trend to larger eggs, we do get some misfires every once in awhile. We’ve had several huge eggs, usually with double yolks and every once in awhile, we get a teeny tiny one like above. This one only has white in it, no yolk and we didn’t eat it. But its still fun to find in the coop.