More from the farm

The weather has been lovely these past few days so it has been difficult to find time to sit down and write on the blog. I think about it a lot, though, if that’s worth anything!

We have been putting up fence: kilometers of fence, actually. The fenced area will enclose about 3.5 acres and now, after a couple of days of hard work and lots of help, it is almost all done. Most of the fence posts were already in place though not all of them were in very good shape. We pulled out a few and replaced them and also put posts in the ground where before the fence was attached to trees. Other than a feeling (is it sentimentality or reality?) for the trees when they have nails driven into them (ouch!), there is also a concern for the long term viability of a fence that relies on something that continues to grow and expand to support it. Unfortunately, where the fence ran close to (or attached to) trees, digging post holes was very difficult due to big roots and other obstructions. We bought ourselves a post-hole digger at the local Kent Building Supplies store (I love the place!) and usually Will, though once or twice me, employed it to dig. As well as making holes for fence posts, the digging also allowed us to get a bit more up-close and intimate with the different soil types on the property. I am happy to report that most of the farm seems to have a deep topsoil layer, lots of worms, few big rocks (though a few small rock/gravelly sections) and a nice brown colour. We’ll get soil tests done in the spring but if healthy weeds and big, fat worms are any indication, I think we have very nice soil.

Mom and Dad have been coming out almost every day to help with the fencing project and are becoming quite the experts at it. For any of you who don’t know how wonderful it is for us to have my parents help out, just imagine having two Jo Willsons working at your place. For those of you have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Jo, well I won’t embarrass her by telling you how amazing she is, but she is, and so are my parents! The lovely weather has made outdoors work even more enjoyable and I really want to believe that this is a typical November in NB, though I’m sure it isn’t!

Yesterday, enough of the new pasture was fenced to let the goats out into it. I reckoned we had a couple of days before they discovered the limit of the wire and started visiting the neighbors, so this was another good motivator to finish the job quickly! The goats were pretty excited to explore new territory and eat new weeds. They are picking up lots of burrs – way too many of those sticky things around here I’m afraid – and none of them seems to have discovered anything poisonous. The goats followed us out to where we were working today and discovered an old apple tree with windfalls on the ground. Well, just imagine how much fun it was to try and put up pagewire fence with goats trying to climb it! They also took great pleasure in dipping their muzzles into the bucket of fencing staples and dropping mouthfulls of them on the ground. Now what would motivate a creature to do such a thing?

Cardinal finally got to justify his existance today as he bred the first doe of the season. Medusa will have the first kids of the season in the first week of April. Hopefully the weather will be not too nasty. I talked to another goat farmer and he starts kidding in January. He uses heat lamps to help keep the new kids warm and says that, other than the very cold late night goat checks, January kiddings seem to work fine for him.

Other than farming, Will and I have had dinner with my parents (we feed them sometimes, too!) and played lots of Scrabble. Will has been on his bike a few times and I attended my first fiddle jam in St-Antoine. It was a lovely evening of playing fiddle and meeting nice people. I knew a few of the tunes they played, though not many, and I’ll be learning lots in the weeks to come. It is quite a good sized group with around 17 fiddles, 8 guitars, mandolins and keyboards. The group plays together for the first hour or so and then each fiddler gets up and plays two tunes, with the rest of the group joining in. I summoned my courage and played my two tunes and had a great time! I look forward to Monday evenings to come.

That’s everything for now. We are looking for second-hand farm equipment now and there is an estate auction happening in the next few weeks which we’ll have to check out. Hopefully we’ll get some hay-making and cultivation equipment. IF we get a plough soon I’d still like to plough up some of our front field. We’ll name that field soon, or else consider breaking it up into smaller fields once we get the lay of it a bit better.

Thanks for tuning in and looking forward to hearing from you all at some point!

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One Response to “More from the farm”

  1. jo willson Says:

    Hi A&W The blog just keeps getting better all the time. Your living room with its new furniture looks so cosy. So glad you’ve met up with the local fiddle group (and with all those extras too, guitars, mandolins & keyboards) You’ll be making a CD soon, I know! The goat antics are so amusing – milking goats with burrs in their hair, ouch! The wilderness woman is coming to GVOF next week; I’m looking forward to giving her a tour. Paige is inviting us for tea. I wish there was two of
    me,I’d love to be on your farm helping out. JO

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