Saturday 6 July 2024

A very weird week or two

The main thing I didn't tell you last post was that Hugslut was going to be going out of town for work. She flew all the way to Barcelona Spain last weekend for a three day in person work thing. Due to the fact that the airport is a 3 hour drive from here, and layovers, and the delayed flight that caused a missed flight, etc etc etc,... getting there took 17 hours. From noon(our time) on Saturday until 5am(our time) on Sunday. Getting home took 26 hours. From 4am(our time) on Friday until 6am(our time) on Saturday.

My poor wifey is (understandably) completely wiped out and is going to be spending this entire weekend just recuperating. I'm also kinda worn out from worrying about her flight back so I'll be mostly chilling too. 

Hugslut did take time off this month and on Wednesday she's got another long drive ahead of her as we drive 3 hours to the airport again to pick up our friend Wolfie and then drive all the way back home as he'll be vacationing with us for two weeks.

So what have I been up to with Hugslut away? I did some catching up on housework, a little programming work on my farm tracking program, but mostly? More cheese. lol

I've made a slightly different 2 gallon batch of goat and cow cheddar to compare against the first one. I did just find out that I can re-wax opened cheese so next time I want a multi-maturity waxed cheese test, I can leave it as one block and re-wax after cutting off the tester chunks. That's so much simpler and tidier than the six tiny cheeses I made the first batch into. I also made a 4 gallon batch of cow and goat Havarti with sage and onion powders mixed in.

The Havarti won't be waxed as this recipe is a "washed rind" variety which just means that I wipe the outside of the cheese every other day with a saltwater solution to prevent any nasties from growing and it should develop a hard skin over the 1-3 months it's maturing.

Speaking of nasties, about a week after her vaccine booster, Honey developed a sore at the injection site. It's probably my fault for putting the injection somewhere that could get bumped while they were roughhousing or she lay down in poop or something. I've kept it clean and it seems to be scabbing up and healing so that's all good.

On the subject of poop, I got quite a scare the other morning. I went out to do my critter chores and found a great big PLOP of stinky poop in the middle of the gravel driveway covered in flies. I hosed it off and found some undigested guts and rabbit (or dog!?) ears inside. Based on the info I can find, it's most likely a black bear (coyote scat looks completely different) and no, I'm not going to post the pics of poop and partially digested ears on here but if you're very curious just text me and I'll send them to you directly.

Since then I've been making sure the chickens fence is electrified every night. I'm not sure it would actually stop a black bear, but it might make it look for an easier meal. 

On a more pleasant note, the garlic scapes have been harvested and I'm looking forward to making a scape and sunflower seed pesto fresh gluten-free linguine for when Wolfie gets here. :-)

The greenhouse is doing well and I've been happy to share eggs and spinach with the neighbours. The spinach and lettuce is doing really well. The tomatoes are starting to flower, the peas are well into flower and are starting to make pods, the nasturtiums are even flowering, and the cucumbers are nice and big now and I'll have to dig past those spikey leaves soon to check if it's flowering yet.

Next year I will need to set up some trellis system and maybe even some drip tape watering, but this year I've already learned a lot about how hot it gets on sunny days and also what variation in lighting patterns there are. For example: where I planted the first batch of carrots and green onions gets a lot of shade from the shelves/potting table in the afternoon. This is likely the best spot for lettuce as it protects them from the hottest part of the day and also makes for easy frequent harvests. The goats have absolutely loved the nasturtium leaves I've harvested for them which is great because they're just far too peppery for all the humans who have tried them. I should see if Wolfie likes them.

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