The cows are doing really well, both of them. We’re getting 5 or 6 gallons of milk per day from the two of them, which doesn’t seem like great production until I remember they’re both almost entirely on grass, with a very small—token, almost—amount of grain, and they’re both staying in good condition. So our input is very low, and considering that Pearl is going on a year of continuous milking, I’m pretty happy.

Last week I sold two of the goats. Oscar had just kidded, so I didn’t sell her, and I liked her personality so much more than the other two, that I thought maybe I would keep her and her two kids, which would give me a little goat milk to play with. Then this afternoon I walked outside to find her standing in the garden, and I turned around, came back inside, and listed her on craigslist.  Ten minutes later she was sold. I love craigslist.

So maybe goats really aren’t for me, or maybe I just need to have a better infrastructure before I attempt them again. And for now I can get 6 or 8 gallons of beautiful goat milk every week from my neighbor—all the fun, none of the hassle.

Speaking of animals wearing out their welcome, Gloria the pig has decided no fence can hold her—I had to chase her out of the garden last night at midnight. So, although I had hoped to breed her, she’s going to the butcher Friday, and we’ll just get a couple of weaner pigs who will have more respect for the electric fences.

It’s sort of a zero tolerance thing around here these days!

Pearl’s milk production has picked up to 2-3 gallons a day, and suddenly I have to be making cheese. I’m trying to make enough feta to get through the summer, even though I much prefer making it with goat or sheep milk, partly for flavor, but mostly because yellow feta looks wrong to me!

The weather has been so, so lovely, but I can’t get a thing done in the garden, because it rains so often, the ground won’t dry out enough to work!

Baby tomatoes are up, and peppers, and cardoons. And nicotiana.

The girls and I are all burned out on the dairy. There’s too much to do here, and way, WAY too much to do there.

Maeby looks gorgeous. Her sister, Maude’s daughter, just had a calf and it sounds like she’s doing well.

Ok—off to the kitchen.

The peach tree in front of the house has finished blooming, and is leafing out. The grass and clover in the pastures is belly-high to Joon.  It’s an early, early spring (it was 80° yesterday), and so far, there’s no end in sight. DH took on the miserable task of cleaning out the greenhouse this past weekend, which was a big job after the duckies spent the winter in there, and today I’m starting tomatoes.

I’ve had such a hard time posting this month, I guess mostly because there’s been so little going on.

It’s snowing this morning, and last night was a howling windy snowstorm, after a couple of days of rain and thunderstorms and hail and tornados. Weird winter weather.

This afternoon, I’ve given myself two assignments: put together my seed and potato order for our group order at Fedco, and work on a design to replace our current barn, which is coming apart in all this wind. It’s been falling apart since before we moved in, and is too rotten to save, so it’s time to figure out how we want to replace it.

It’s actually refreshing to have a snowy day—though tonight’s 13 windy degrees isn’t sounding that great!

We dug more potatoes yesterday. The big knobby purplish ones are Caribe, the yellow ones are Cosighin, and the small red ones are Red Thumbs. We ate the Caribes and Cosighins last night.

The Caribes had a great yield, producing really big tubers, and they were kind of gorgeous (you can’t see in the picture that their skin is bright lavender-fuscia). They have white flesh, and an ok flavor, but with a hint of bitterness—just the tiniest hint. Their texture was kind of meh—DH called it creamy, I thought it was watery.

The Cosighins had a small to medium yield. They were also beautiful—golden skinned and yellow-fleshed, but their flavor and texture were great. They were very dense and smooth with a buttery flavor with no trace of bitterness. They were wonderful—too bad they’re almost impossible to find! These came as part of my sampler from Tom Wagner, so we’ll see if I ever manage to get any more!

It was so mild today—in the 60s—and I spent hours in the garden, digging potatoes, preparing a bed for garlic (yes, I know it’s late), and generally cleaning up after the messy, weedy summer. There were lots of these praying mantis egg cases, which I collected and stuck in trees and shrubs around the garden.

I’ve been planting tons of pansies—I got a lot on sale for very cheap. It’s so cheery in the winter during a mild spell to see a few bright flowers, but they really start to come into their own in late February and March. By April, they’re big colorful mounds, which can be a lifesaver in early spring!





I was a little whiny yesterday after a few days of gloom and muck—sorry! We woke this morning to a crystal clear sun and heavy frost—gorgeous! Between that and going out for pizza last night, my mood is dramatically improved. I could almost—almost!—get in the holiday spirit.

We LOVE this variety! They’re bright red on the inside, too, and have a great flavor and a fluffy texture. They’re produced on the prettiest potato plant I’ve ever seen, too. We’ll definitely grow these again next year. More potato updates to come…