Farm tour, animal troubles, and harvest

Farm tour, animal troubles, and harvest
Today I had two women I work with come over for a farm and fiber tour. They are both spinners and love fiber. I am truly honored because one of the women (Gail) had put in her two weeks notice after 20 years of working 2 weeks prior and had chosen to come to my place instead of working her very last day.

I had gone out to the barn to do some of the chores before they arrived but didn’t get everything done. We went into my “fiber studio” first and I showed off my stash- some of which I’ve purchased but a lot from my fiber animals- sheep, goats and bunnies. They did a good job pretending to be interested as I’m sure I bored them to tears with all the different fibers have. They did seem to like standing on the sheepskin rug that came with the place when we bought it.

Then I showed off the critters- starting with the goats and bunnies. Then we looked at the rams and finally the ewes. Unfortunately when we went out to look at the ewes I noticed something amiss. The barbed wire that runs along the top of the fence was down, and one of our sheep was tangled in it. It was Amanda, and she was quite stuck in it. We tried to get it out but couldn’t so I ran and got some wire cutters and we cut the wire. Still it was so tangled in her wool Lori ran to get some scissors while Gail and I tried to keep her still and continued to untangle her. Finally we got her free- she seems fine- the barbs didn’t seem to get near her skin but it did ours- all of us were bleeding a little by the time we were done. Quite a farm tour! I feel bad they had to see that, but I’m so glad they were here- I don’t know how I could have untangled her myself. We cut down that section of barbed wire and threw it away. I’m not sure how it came down though.

After they left I finished the barn chores and put the goats in their breeding groups. I have Candy and Maybellene in with Cody and Patches, Magpie, Dot-com and Cally in with Mr. Mahogany. Cody doesn’t get as much action this year. He’s the father to Patches and Magpie so I can’t breed him to them and Dot-com and Cally make wonderful spotted kids with Mr.- so Mr.’s going to get more breeding this year. Plus I like that he’s polled and passes it on to some of his kids.

Finally I went into the garden and did some harvesting. Plenty of root vegetables as well as some more corn, tomatoes, chard, and beans. I’ll make roasted root vegetables soon! The season’s definitely winding down, but it looks like we are going to have very large pumpkins this year. Usually I’m not so successful with them. So I can’t wait to start carving them. We traded apples for Asian Pears on Monday with Franna so we’re collecting apples to make our hard cider. Pressing time is coming up soon!

After I came into the house after all of this I found a message on my answering machine from an animal control officer. There had been complaints given to her about the welfare of my donkeys and cows and that my dog bark too much. I was again horrified. My cow had an eye infection which with the help of the vet we are treating and it’s improving. The donkeys bray because they think they are hungry but they are fat. The dogs bark at the coyotes and keep them away from our lambs and goats. I couldn’t reach the officer as she had gone home for the day so now I have to deal with this situation. I am assuming it’ll come down to an issue of having a development near farm land. I’m hoping it’ll turn out OK since Skagit County tends to have regulations that help protect farming.

2007-10-05 14:28:24 GMT
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