Archive for November, 2009

Panoramic view of the farm

November 30, 2009

Just messing around with Photoshop to create a panorama of the farm. Should give you some idea what the whole place looks like. Click on the small photo to see a larger version.

November 29, 2009

Nessie's massive body weight holds branch down for other goats to share the pine needles

November 29, 2009

Goats stretching their limbs and feasting on pine

November 29, 2009

The finished product: a fine loaf of bread!

November 29, 2009

The machine that does the job: grinding wheat into flour

November 29, 2009

The before and after on the way to making bread: wheat berries and flour

A Rainy Day

November 27, 2009

The weather has finally taken a turn for the less pleasant with rain and wind, though it’s still pretty mild. Will has been working on construction projects. He built an awning over the wood pile (next year’s wood) which will keep rain off and allow air flow so the wood dries out. He has also been working on Buckley’s “palace”, the horse shed outdoors that is being converted into a buck barn (otherwise known as the “bachelor pad”). Buckley and Nick were in there yesterday looking around, deciding where to put the big screen TV and the mini-bar. Posters of sexy girl goats will go up on the walls and wall-to-wall deep hay carpeting will complete the look of the “palace”. Yesterday, Will put two big plexiglass windows in and is now working on the outside sheathing. The structure won’t be insulated but it will be draught-free with lots of deep hay to burrow into, so I’m sure the boys will be comfortable. It’s quite a large structure and will eventually be a comfy home for quite a few boy goats.

I spent some time collecting soil for soil samples. We sent in two separate samples, one from the field closest to the house/barn/driveway and the other from the field at the east end of the property. The soil near the house looked pretty homogeneous while that farther away had some different colours and textures in it. The basic analysis package covers pH, major nutrients, trace nutrients, and all those other useful bits of info. It doesn’t include organic matter (this cost extra) so we decided to leave that until after we’d been growing in the soil for a while. The samples were boxed up and mailed to Fredericton so it will be a little while before we hear anything back about it.

I also measured the fields, starting with Will’s magic measuring wheel and then giving up on it (keeps getting caught in weeds and giving inaccurate measurements) and just pacing out the distances. Will and I actually compared my paced measurements with the measuring wheel and my paces are surprisingly accurate. The areas of ploughed land are not regular in shape so the measurements were to the best of my pacing and mathematical abilities. We seem to have ploughed up around four acres, not a bad start for the year ahead and it should keep us out of trouble next summer dealing with it all!

I also made bread from our wheat flour last week. Will’s Mom had bought us a grain mill for a wedding present and we tried it out right away. It very quickly converted wheat berries to flour and the result makes a truly wonderful bread. The first bread I made was a mixture of our Glen Valley-grown whole wheat flour, plus organic white unbleached from Speerville Mills here in NB, plus some Speerville oats, sunflower seeds and flax seeds. Recipe? You want a recipe? Okay, it was 2 cups of milk, warmed on the stove, add oats and then ½ cup of honey ( I would use less honey next time because the bread turned out a bit sweet). Meanwhile, add two tablespoons yeast to ½ cup warm water and 1 tablespoon honey. After yeast foams, add it to the milk mixture and then add all this to a mixture of 3 cups each, GV whole wheat and Speerville white flour. I then tossed in 1/8 cup flax seeds and ¼ cup sunflower seeds. Kneed for 10 minutes, let rise, etc. Yum!

I just finished another book (yes, I read fast!) called “Tears of the Desert” by Halima Bashir. It is the story of a woman from the Darfur region of Sudan who grew up in a small village, went on to study and practice medicine in the country and then ran foul of the military regime, forcing her to flee to the UK. It is an amazing story and quite shocking in the details of the brutality that people are suffering in this country. It is well worth a read and it made me wonder, more than ever, how Canada can justify a strong military presence in Afghanistan while ignoring even worse situations in other parts of the world. How sad that politics outweighs human suffering in making these decisions.

November 24, 2009

Anatolian Shephard

November 24, 2009

Border collie pup - can I take her home?

November 24, 2009

Norm's goats, note Anatolian Shephard dog in background