Sunday 23 June 2024

Say Cheese!

It took all day on the 13th, and then the 24 hour press through the 14th, but on the 15th my very first batch of cheddar was finished and waxed and stored away to mature.

It won't be ready to try for 3 months yet. I plan on letting this first batch be a testing batch. Basically we'll open one every so often to see how we like it at that age. The plan is Three months, Six months, Nine months, One year, Two years, Five years. I've also made some yogurt and some squeaky cheese curds for snacking/poutine.

The goats are doing well. I gave them their vaccine booster on the 17th and Star's neck lump hasn't gotten worse yet so we likely just have to wait it out for a few weeks.

Isabella still isn't laying and Lilly's eggs come out wrinkled. This is likely because I have to keep putting the chicken food away for most of the day so the goats can browse. They're eating bugs and plants and they get a breakfast and dinner of pellets, but they likely aren't getting all the vitamins and such they need for this stressful routine. Hopefully I can get that barn divider up soon and they'll have a goat-free place to eat. We've run into some hiccups with the living-room window so that isn't going in yet.

The greenhouse is doing well and pumping out.... mostly spinach right now lol. I know I got a late start but the carrots are almost ready and I'm hoping the tomatoes will start doing their thing soon. I do need to get some more seeds in like beets and turnips. The radishes are good but we don't eat them regularly. I might do one more big planting of them to have enough to make radish pickles.

Tuesday 11 June 2024

Busy as a Beaver

So back on May 15 the vet came to give the goats a physical their first vaccinations. On the 17th Star had developed a very swollen lymph node in her neck right above her left wattle, and the vet told me to monitor but it's likely just a reaction to the vaccine that will take 4-6 weeks to go away and considering the booster 4 weeks later will likely re-trigger the reaction, it'll be end of July or beginning of August before it goes away. Thankfully it hasn't gotten any worse at all. She's eating well and it isn't growing. It's hard to see and harder to photograph. Just think of sore throat "swollen glands" but if it was under your ear to it stuck out more.

The company we contacted to clear the trees around the rock wall came to do the logging while I was still fussing over Star's possible illness. They did the job I asked for in the 3 days they quoted and now I have a 25ft swath of cleared land between the rocks and the forest. There's still a lot of work to do there before I can do any planting or anything but the first big step is done for that area.

Seems the chickens were also low on calcium so even after their worming treatment there were still some egg issues. Pretty sure I have it sorted now.

The weather is starting to get a little warmer and sunnier so the potatoes are sprouting and the greenhouse is taking off. I've started my canning planning for this autumn and put down the deposit for our local pork. We went through the 1/2 hog too quickly so I ordered a whole hog and plan on canning stew chunks, stir-fry strips, ground meat for sauces & nachos, pulled pork in bbq sauce, etc so the freezer can be just for the stuff you really want to cook same day like bacon and pork chops.

I tried to make some yogurt with the goats-milk but I'm pretty sure I tried to run before I could crawl with that one. Made a lot of mistakes and didn't really have anything to show for it except a lot of dishes and some compost ingredients. The pasta I made went a lot better. I'm finally narrowing in on a good gluten-free recipe I can make and store dry for easy meals.

The first harvests from the greenhouse were really just thinning plants that were too close together.

A squirrel has decided to find out what the blue-jays have been eating and came right up on the deck a couple times. I have seen a few rabbits around and they have no interest in the trap so I've decided to just not worry about them. The rabbits don't eat my garlic or potatoes and that's really the only thing growing outside the greenhouse this year so ** shrug ** whatever.

Since the vet mentioned that both goats are a bit thin and both of their coats aren't ideal, I did a feed recalculation. Star is definitely getting as much of the feed as she's supposed to but she'd not taking advantage of the mixed minerals available free choice to them. Her previous owner mentioned that she was giving her copper and selenium supplements and both of those in excess blocks the absorption of zinc which is a key mineral in weight gain and coat condition so I got them some supplements and we'll see how that goes.

The fridge in the kitchen died so we had to get a new one. it was from 2005 or 2008 so it wasn't that surprising but it was annoying.

We got the power company to come out and move the light for us. It's so dark on the deck now that I can't take a photo at night. Love it. Here's a view standing near the greenhouse and pointed down the drive way.

The gravel guy came and redid the driveway last week and it's looking great. Everything is settling into place nicely and it should be good for a long while. :-)

I re-found a wooden puzzle company that had puzzles I wanted for a while but couldn't justify($100+ each!). Seems I wasn't the only one because they were having a going out of business sale (~$10 each) so I got a bunch. We've only opened one so far but I love them. The pieces are so odd and whimsical and it just adds another layer to puzzle building.

The more recent harvests from the greenhouse have been phenomenal and the greenhouse still looks empty! It's going to be VERY productive once I really get going with it.

The glass in the basement doors has finally been replaced with the frosted glass I specifically requested. The living room window is getting repaired this week; hopefully that will stop the heat leaking right out it all winter.

I'm working on designs for the wall in the barn and for a proper compost set up. I hope to have built both before this autumn.

Shadow is doing well but has taken to waking me when the birds start singing, at sunrise, or when the rooster crows, whichever she notices first. This means 6am at the latest. I wanted to sleep until 7:30. This is not fun.

Wrapping up this post with a photo of the goats enjoying a hike.