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!

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Hope you all are doing well this blustery New Year Day. We are busy with farm chores, trying to get everything taken care of before our first real blast of cold air arrives tonight. Collards and black-eyed peas are simmering on the woodstove, and we have a huge batch of ribs in the oven. The house smells heavenly, and I wish you all were here!

Fall is pretty messy here—I’m not the neatest of gardeners at any time of the year—but I like the colorful chaos. I am looking forward to cleaning up the garden and getting my garlic planted, though. We’ll probably have a freeze later this week, so after that will be a good time to get to work out there.

 

And speaking of chaos, all the animals on the farm are total freaks right now. We can’t keep horses or pigs fenced, the dogs have all turned neurotic, the cows are freaky and milk production is down—-seems like sometime every spring and sometime every fall, this happens—must just be the feeling of change in the air?

We moved the pigs into some new pasture, where this volunteer was growing. ED harvested it fast, before they could get to it—isn’t it pretty?

Sorry for the pun.

Today I roasted these little beauties—Sungolds, Blondkopfchens, and Isis Candies—with a little olive oil and salt, and I’ll can them in a couple of small jars. They’ll be a treat this winter, I think!

 

I also canned regular old tomatoes in quarts, and I finally got around to canning the dulce de leche I made a few days ago, along with a batch of sweetened condensed milk. Now I’m making butter while warily eyeing the bowls of tomatoes and the massive zucchinis that are lurking in my kitchen.

 

Yesterday ED and I went over to Tennessee to pick up the lamb from the three sheep we dropped off last week. The meat is absolutely gorgeous—so deep red it’s nearly purple, and well marbled. This is exciting for us, as these fellows were totally grassfed—ED has been rotationally grazing, moving them daily—so we weren’t sure if the meat was going to be too lean for our tastes. It’s not—it’s perfect. Very, very mild and tender, too. ED is feeling a great deal of satisfaction, seeing the fruits of her labors, and I am just so happy to have a freezer full of lamb and pork for the winter. Actually more than one freezer—we had to plug in another one we haven’t been using to hold the legs and shanks.

DH, ED and I took a few sheep over to the butcher in Greeneville, TN this morning and picked up Bill: 241 pounds of pork chops and sausage. We chose to not have the sausage seasoned, as I’m not terribly fond of breakfast sausage, and I’m glad we didn’t—the plain ground pork is wonderful! Also, a friend told me this afternoon that she got all her sausage seasoned, and it had msg in it.

 

So next week we’ll pick up 150 or so pounds of lamb. It feels great to have a full freezer!