Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sustainability

Sustainability.

It's a buzz word.

You hear it in relation to agriculture, and energy and industry.
It's the mantra of the new"green" culture.

Sustainability.

The dictionary defines it thusly: the capacity to endure.

Simply....doing what we need to do with no negative impact on our earth...
so that we could continue to do it for eternity. 

We as a society are re-examining our farming techniques.  Modern agriculture, under the present agribusiness system is not sustainable.  We clear our land with herbicides, treat our crops with pesticides,
erode our once rich soil with crops that remove nutrients.  Then we think we are replenishing those nutrients by dumping industrial fertilizers on our land, that eventually pollute our waterways.
And for this, we grow....what? 

Corn
or soybeans.
These are the raw ingredients from which chemists manufacture substances that we have 
come to know as food.  Substances in boxes and bags that have ingredient lists that read
more like chemical soup.

Sustainable?
Not on your life.

Our society is examining the sources from which we draw our energy.  Up to this point....and some would have us continue....we have relied upon fossil fuels to meet our ever growing thirst for energy.  There is a finite supply of fossil fuels....not to mention the impact that they have on our environment.

Sustainable?
Not on your life.

Industry is in need of a re-examination, also.  We manufacture low quality items with planned obsolescence with the goal of economic growth rather than producing quality items that last.   We fill our landfills with plastics that will never decay... not to mention the health risks these plastics pose.  

Sustainable?  
Not on your life.
Or mine.
Or anyone's, for that matter.

Sustainability.
It needs to be more than just a concept that we think of with respect to 
agriculture and industry.
It needs to be our way of life.
It's simple and it should be the rule for everything that we do in life.

Everything.

Even our relationships....the way we treat ourselves and each other.

Everything.

The measure of each and every thing we do should be...."could I continue to do this forever and have no negative effects on myself, others, or my world?"

Think about it.
If we approached our relationships this way,
how much better would our world be?
If we thought of the impact each one of our actions has on our world and each other....

well, just imagine......
It sounds difficult, but I believe it is easier than you think.

To me, sustainability is all about love....
loving our world...
loving each other....
loving ourselves...

And placing that above all else.
If every thing we did was motivated by that kind of love....
Our world would be sustainable....
forever,
and ever.

Sustainability....
it's for each and every one of us to strive for.

For now.....just try love....

love the earth and all of its inhabitants a little better.

Oh, and plant a garden! 

Sustainable?
You bet your life!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring is here.
The calendar says so.
The weather is not cooperating,
but spring is here, nonetheless.

There's love in the air....

And honey-drippin' sweetness all around!


The grass is just beginning to "green up"
which makes the chickens ecstatic.


The days are getting longer.
And with that the trees are budding.

Spring.....
a time of rebirth, renewal, regeneration.

For us....a time of babies, babies, babies.

Next week will bring the delivery of 25 Cuckoo Maran chicks
and hopefully O'Malley's delivery.
She looks as though she is carrying twins.

Myrtle's triplets had their first outdoor adventure yesterday afternoon.
We though that Bert would be so happy to finally have a few friends to play with,
but he acted like a shy child on the first day of kindergarden....


hanging onto Becky's arm for safety.

The triplets ran and played...
much to Myrtle's chagrin.
Oh, it's so hard to watch 3 babies all at the same time!


Sam wanted more than anything to play, too....


Maddie watched from the safety of the gator.


Lucky for us there is nothing else happening at this time.
The garden is slumbering...awaiting the warmth of the sun to wake up
the tiny seeds that are sleeping just beneath the surface.
Winter clean up is just about finished.
A little more pruning and we are ready for new growth.
This gives us plenty of time for goatie loving and goatie play.

In a few more weeks, there won't be enough hours in the day!
Until then, we will spend all of our free time in the company of our
 babies.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Just Us Kids

Myrtle and babies are doing just great.

Still pretty tired from their journey...


Getting more curious....

Even a little more independent....


Oh so lovable and cuddly!

The babies are spending these first few days in the 
maternity ward.
The temperatures here are still very cold.
In a couple of days they will venture outside to play with Bert.


Tyler had a little meet and greet with the new triplets.
Is there anything more precious than babies with babies?


"Hey Grammie, this goat is kissing me!"


Myrtle's little girl seems to be his favorite.


Bert was as curious about Tyler as Tyler was about Bert.


Thank goodness Tyler's mama doesn't mind him getting a bit dirty!

Please let me know if you are getting tired of baby goat pictures!!
(Wink, Wink)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Birth-day!!!

Oh what a wonderful Sunday we had here on the farm.
I think all of your good wishes for (One Eyed) Myrtle helped.
She went into labor late Sunday morning
and with the help of Dr. Becky, in a few hours we had triplets.

I video'd each birth so that I could share it with you.

First born....it's a boy!!


Second born....it's a boy!!



Third born....is it another boy??
No.....a girl!!


Myrtle spent the rest of the day cleaning her babies.
The babies spent the day learning to nurse and resting up
from their journey.

Very soon the activity and the antics will begin.
Stay tuned!!

Great job, Myrtle!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I live with savages.

It's true.

I live with 2 fur-boy savages,
who love to shock me and make me shriek.


Don't let their apparent innocence fool you,
it's all an act, I assure you!
Savages, I say!

I have avoided writing this post at least 6 times previously
because I didn't want to shock you with pictures like the one
I am showing you today.

You're curious, aren't you?

Well, let's step back in time to the middle of winter.

One evening, Oakley was at the back door barking to be let inside.
As I got to the door, I saw him pick up something and prance into the
kitchen with it in his mouth.
(I was in the middle of cooking dinner).
There in the middle of the kitchen floor,
Oakley dropped a disembodied deer leg...complete with fur and hoof.
Oh, and it was frozen.

I concluded that he had found it in the woods at a nearby hunting camp.
(Why hunters feel the need to saw off deer legs and leave them in the woods
escapes me!)

Hubbs quickly snatched up the treasure that Oakley was so proud of,
took it into the garage and threw it into the trash.
(What else to do?  If we buried it, he would have dug it up....another
favorite fur-boy trick!)

Over the course of the winter, Sam and Oakley have returned home
on 6 occasions with more deer legs.
(I have this Far Side cartoon in my head of 
legless deer hobbling through the woods.)

 #6.....Really, Sam?


Yesterday, Oakley brought home leg #7.
Here it is....


Oh, and check out Fur-boy Oakley licking his lips.
And Sam lurking behind him.

Savages, I say!

And you, dear hunters.....
could you please take your legs with you??

By the way, we don't allow hunting in our woods.
I prefer to provide a safe haven for the deer.
(As a result, we now have quite a large herd of them in our woods.
But that's a post for another day.)

So.....
On to less disgusting topics.

Here is Sam, up to his usual playtime with Ollie
yesterday morning.


Both of them just love this game!
And I love this action photo.

For those of you wondering how Myrtle is doing....


She is as broad as a barn.
I'll bet she has triplets in there.
We shall soon see,
as she could deliver any day now.

And last but not least,
I will leave you with a little Baby Bert video.

Baby Bert Gets His Groove On



Have a great weekend....and stop back to see us next week!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

We awoke yesterday to this....

32 degrees, an inch of snow on the ground, followed by a day of rain.

I was not impressed.

Neither were the Roos...

The cats did their best cheeseburger impersonation and stayed
beneath their heat lamps. (Scowling, I might add.)

By the end of the day the farm looked like this....

And Rod, of course, looked like this....

Meanwhile, in the nursery....

Myrtle is getting a bit restless.
(Maybe she is thinking about delivering soon!)

Bert stayed warm and close to his mama.

Believe it or not, he has grown a bit in these past 5 days.
He hasn't yet grown into his ears, though.

Cute as a button.

And friendly as can be.

Oh, my, wouldn't you like to have a goat or two???

How about a boy and a girl?

Then you could have cuteness like this every day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Never Listless on the Farm

I have to admit, I am a "list" gal.
Making a list each day and crossing each item off
makes me happy.
I like to set goals and accomplish them.
It gives me a sense of purpose.

Since moving to the farm, I have had to change the way I look
at my lists.
I have had to divide my life into a short list (things I can accomplish on any given day)
and a long list ( a list that just gets longer each day).


Every day when I make my short list,
I take items from my long list....
like things that need to get done immediately,
or things that are just driving me crazy right now,
or things that are perfect to do in a particular weather situation.


Yesterday was a day for working on the long list...
accomplishing a bit of horse grooming.

As time and weather permits, I have been planting the garden,
washing windows,
trimming goat hooves and horses hooves,
cleaning chicken and turkey coops.


Very soon I will empty out the barn and give it a good
Spring housecleaning.

Then there is pruning to be done in the orchard,
pruning in the blackberry patch,
 and uncovering the strawberry patch and weeding it.

In a couple of weeks I will open the bee hives and get them ready
for another season of honey gathering.

All of the outdoor wooden furniture around the farm
will soon be uncovered and water-sealed.

And after that you would think that my list
will be down to a manageable size...
 but, no....
that old list just keeps growing.

It has taken me quite a while to adjust to this way of living...
never getting to the bottom of the list.

I suppose I should just consider it "job security".
I will never ever have an idle day,
or wonder what I am going to do with myself.
There's comfort in that.
Not to mention that I sleep better than I ever have in my life.

I have also come to understand that I have to put the list away
and make time in each day to stop and just enjoy life on the farm.
Like.....baby goats.

And here is your baby goat "fix" for the day....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Feet

Bert had a little playtime yesterday afternoon.
It's amazing to me how not even 3 days old,
and he is so very agile.


Baby goats always seem to have "happy feet"!



His mama, Sissy is on the left with him.
He ventures over to the right to see his grandma, Myrtle.
Myrtle is also due any day, and is in no mood to play!

Once she delivers, Bert will have playmates.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's A ........

Boy!

Friday night at 11 PM, our dear Sissy 
delivered one blue-eyed, tri-color, baby buckling.

His name is Einstein.
"Bert" ( as in Albert) for short.


This was the perfect name for him because he is just
the smartest little buckling ever.
He stood up and walked as soon as he was born,
sought out his Mommy's milk supply,
and then headed to the heat lamp to warm up.
He didn't need to be shown how to do anything....
what a smart little guy!


And speaking of babies...
Friday's afternoon temperature approached 80 degrees.
Tyler had his first crawl in the grass
and spent the afternoon outside with the animals.

Gosh, he is growing up so quickly.

Living here on the farm amidst the circle of life
affords me the opportunity to see life through the eyes of
the very young and the very old.


Baby Tyler reminds us to view the world with eyes of wonder...


Hickory, our 16 year old half-blind terrier reminds us to cherish each day
for we have a limited supply of them.

Happy Spring, friends!
May you all enter this season of rebirth with the wide-eyed wonder of a child,
and the age old wisdom that reminds us how precious each day is.

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