The first goat babies of the year!

As you see from the pictures, we’ve had our first goat births on our new farm! Yes, they weren’t expected this early but in spite of the surprise nature of it, everything went smoothly. Pearl was so large I was afraid she was carrying triplets or else really large twins. Well, the twins are definitely good sized, but the birthing went well and they both seem to be healthy and happy. The mystery of paternity was solved as well: Buckley is no doubt the father! His kids are always easily identified by the floppy ears and dark brown coat with a bit of white. Now we need two names for these kids: a semi-precious stone name for Pearl’s little girl (Pearl is daughter of Ruby who is daughter of Opal) and a name for the boy that denotes a short life and a destination on the plate. Yes, I’m afraid that is the way of it on the farm, though, rest assured, his life will be high quality and his demise humane.

The snow continues to disappear and today it is raining. After all those years in BC, the sight of rain shouldn’t be unusual but since it’s the first rain I’ve seen in many months, it is! The rain will help melt the snow which is my personal goal: snow melts, soil warms, grass grows to feed goats and Al and Will start planting. My needs are simple ones.

I attended a Local Food Forum in Moncton last weekend and enjoyed meeting many great people. The turnout was good, almost 60 of us gathered together: farmers, politicians, government agronomist, NGO reps and lots of people who are interested in where their food comes from. One thing that came out of the conference is the slogan which I’m sure will appear on t-shirts very soon: “Who’s your farmer?”. Since most of us have our own doctor, dentist, accountant, etc. let’s plant the idea of each of us having our own farmer growing our food. I learned some interesting facts like NB used to be self sufficient in carrots (though no longer) and there used to be communal storage facilities for root veggies in different centres in the province. Though they no longer exist, there is a real interest in the farmers I talked to about organizing more cooperatively owned and operated facilities for food processing, storage and transportation. This Wednesday I’ll be attending the AGM for Really Local Harvest, a group of farmers who are in the process of initiating some co-op marketing ideas. Exciting stuff! Maybe I’ll even be able to provide some useful information from my co-op experience in BC.

I also met a chef from a restaurant in Moncton, also recently moved back here after running a restaurant in BC for 13 years, who is very interested in buying produce from us. He was looking particularly for heirloom tomatoes but also interested in whatever else we’d be growing this year. Hmm, maybe we should buy some more seeds! We actually already had plans to put up our coldframe and fill it with heirloom tomatoes this summer, now we just may have a market for them! Will ordered the coldframe yesterday and it will be here in about three weeks. If this extra dry and mild spring continues we just may get it put together in time to plant these tomatoes.

Will has signed up for a course on natural beekeeping in Lunenburg, NS, this June. He has always been interested in bee keeping and is now embracing the doing of it big time. The more you hear about the loss of wild bees and their important pollination duties, the more I realize that we all must start raising bees and raising them without antibiotics, pesticides and fake bee food. We probably won’t have hives this year, though maybe we will! We’ll see what we can do. It will pretty much depend on whether we can get bees from a source where they are raised naturally, since bees brought up on chemicals will not be healthy enough to live in a natural system.

Will is also doing a lot of research on the Acadian forest and learning about the types of trees that were indigenous to this place before they were all cut down for ship building and other industry. Anne and Paryse, the original owners of this farm, started a reforestation project a few years ago by planting 5000 white pine and spruce seedlings. We’d like to continue their good work and see what else we can introduce to this ecosystem. I also have a plan to propagate more of the black locust trees we have on the farm and plant them along the driveway from the road to the farm. They are exquisitely beautiful when in flower and highly scented, plus of course great for the bees. I can just picture our farm a few years from now and the picture is quite delightful!

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2 Responses to “The first goat babies of the year!”

  1. Eileen Says:

    THE goat naming game:

    Beryl and Capretto?

    The March birthstone, aquamarine, is a form of beryl, the same mineral family that emerald belongs to ….so BERYL might be a possible name for your little female.? (Aquamarine didn’t sound so great)

    And, googling Goat Recipes for Spring season, ” This recipe of Baby Goat meat with Dried Peppers (Capretto ai Peperoni) is a traditional recipe from the cuisine of Southern Italy. It is very popular for special occasions and the perfect match with Aglianico del Vulture wine”

    I don’t know why I’m participating in this part of the naming, being vegetarian and all!! …. but CAPRETTO sounds kinda cute.??

    OK, back to work!

  2. et Says:

    Check to see that black locust is native and non-spreading in your new region. It can be awful if it takes over.

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