Monday, June 30, 2008

Farm News

It has been a week away from the vacation at the beach....and it seems that in our absence the place has had an amazing growth spurt. The vegetable garden is quite productive. The blueberry bushes are loaded with not-quite-ripe berries.

The baby goats continue to grow and mature each day. Three goaties have left us and begun their lives in their new homes. It is so sad to see them go, but alas, we cannot keep them all; especially if we are going to have more babies next year! We now have 5 goat pastures and don't want to have to build any more fences!

Yesterday was vaccination and microchip day for the baby Nigerians. Becky vaccinated, Jack held them, and I photographed. Poor babies, the process was traumatic, but quickly forgotten with treats of Ritz crackers (their favorite). You can see that poor Stella is not a bit happy with this arrangement.
For those of you who wonder how Myrtle is doing....well, she is now Myrtle, the amazing one-eyed goat. I am happy to tell you that the pathology report was negative. Her nasty eye was full of inflammation but no malignancy.
Two of our 31 chickens have been placed into the chicken relocation program and sent back to the older chicken coop....for some reason these two were ostracized by the rest of the flock( a little fowl-play going on). Now those two will share their own chicken condominium, with very roomy accommodations. It should be any day now that all of our chickens begin laying. 30 eggs a day......hmmm......anybody need eggs???

Friday, June 20, 2008

Keep Myrtle in your Thoughts

Our dear sweet Myrtle has been battling an eye issue for the past year. Most of the time her eye is swollen and sore and bulging. Unfortunately as a result of this, she has had to have her right eye removed. Please keep her in your thoughts and send healing energy her way. She has been such a good goat and a great Mama to her twins....we hope that life gets a little easier for her after her surgery. The bulk of our strawberries have been picked. The blueberries are ripening as is most of what we have planted in our vegetable garden. Now is a good time to take a short off to the beach we go for the rest of the week. Please check back with us after June 29th.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Poor Forrest

Registration time has rolled around again. That means that all of our fainting goats that were born this spring need to be registered as pure fainting goats. In order to do this, several photos are necessary. Photos of each goat showing both sides' markings and a photo of each in a "faint" are the requirements.

This weekend we set about the task of obtaining the required photos. While this looks like it might be fun, I find it to be pitiful. I have a hard time causing an animal sheer terror like this. Unfortunately it is a necessary part of the business. My kids, however, have no trepidation about this task. So with Jack on video, me on digital camera, the kids had the job of scaring the goats. For some reason, we had a much harder time accomplishing our goal than we expected. Forrest was the only cooperative goat this attempt..... Success!....poor Forrest.
Notice my serious tone of voice....this may be just as stressful for me as it is for the goats.

The Dwarf Nigerian goats live a much less stressful life. They seem to be afraid of nothing and no-one. Just entering their pen has become slightly hazzardous these they all seem to want to share the love! This is my son(minus his left ear) from N.C. here for his first goatie visit....

Friday, June 13, 2008

Our First Product of the Season

Here it is, ready for the pantry....pint sized jars of fresh Bee Haven Acres Strawberry Jam. Yummy! More and more berries are ready for picking each day. These berries have been a bit tart this year, which makes the best jam!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Little More Goat Fun

Here is dear hubby with "the kids"...can you imagine how dangerous this is going to be when they are all full grown? And....with full grown horns? Yikes.....

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Berry Good Day

April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? Strawberries in June!! We have had a rather moist Spring this year which made for excellent growth of our strawberry patch. Now the plants are loaded with ripening berries and the hot weather has arrived just in time.
Saturday was our first official "pickin" day and one search through all of the plants yielded 10 quarts of ripe berries. Most of these were quickly turned into jam, with a few being saved for scrumptious Shortcake!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Big Skies

Although Pennsylvania is not typically known as big sky country, we are so lucky to live where the skies are always dramatic. Being in a rural area has many benefits when it comes to gazing at the clouds and the stars. Without the ambient light, we have incredibly star-filled skies at night. Because we are located in an area without large mountain ranges, and our property is fairly elevated, we are treated to amazing sunrises and sunsets.
So often while working on the farm the wind will change directions and we immediately know that a new front has pushed its way through. Along with each front comes amazing cloud formations.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sign of the Times...Bee Haven News

A new addition graces the corner of our little lane that cuts between horse pastures, goat pastures and chicken yard. For a long time we traveled around the farm by Gator (vehicle) on dirt paths. But, the past two years' increasingly rainy weather has made it imperative that we pave our lane with shale and fine stone. Otherwise, it was a constant battle with mud. In order to designate this lane as a non thru-way, I ordered a street sign.

We are just about a week away from a huge strawberry explosion. If the weather cooperates and we have enough sunshine, we will be inundated with luscious berries. I hope to turn most of them into jam...although we will stuff ourselves with the fresh berries in the mean time. This picture shows 4 of our mature rows... each are about 50 feet long. There are also 4 new rows created from last year's runners. All of the plants are loaded with fruit.

Jack and I spent a few hours on Saturday building an elevated box for herbs in the garden. I hope to add one of these boxes every year for planting herbs, lettuces, and other smaller vegetables.


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