Hello beautiful peeps,
Sorry for not getting a newsletter out last week. Life happens. I’m back on it this week.
We have been really, really busy shelling peas. I canned 14 quarts of green peas today.
Sheep and Goats
The sheep are contentedly grazing on grass each and every day. I wonder if the girls are pregnant. We have never tried to have lambs in the fall. I checked the calendar today and, if all goes well, we will have lambs the last week of October or the first week of November. Some sheep will not breed except in the fall for spring lambs. Our katahdins are supposed to breed any time of the year. We shall see.
We named Violet’s calf Newton. At first he was “new guy” but that just wasn’t a good name so Newton evolved from that first cute name.
The twins have moved on to another home. Every day, while giving them their bottles, I would wonder, “What are we going to do with these guys?” Out of the blue, we were blessed with a phone call from someone in need. A farmer less than an hour away was desperate for a calf to nurse his cow. She had just lost her calf that morning. By nightfall, Hansel and Gretel were on their way to a new home. We suggested he take both of the calves as the cow was a Holstein and they can produce lots and lots and lots of milk. This was a win-win for all concerned. Hansel and Gretel are always looking for more milk to drink. Now they will have their fill and more.
The artificial insemination was completed a couple of weeks ago. We are standing by to see if any of the cows come into heat. I don’t know what the odds are of having all seven impregnated the first time. Less than 100% I’m sure. Let’s see if we can beat the odds.
We had a pretty good hatch from the incubated quail eggs. Unfortunately we made a large error in keeping them warm. Putting the brooder boxes on the concrete floor was a huge mistake. Even with heat from a light we lost half of them. We think that too much cold came up from the floor. Anyway, we have 22 right now. They all look to be quite healthy. We live and learn.
Still nothing much happening with the creamery this week. Scott is still really tied up getting other things done. The hay is in but the deer fence around the orchard needed to be mended. The game cameras indicate there are two deer consistently munching on the blueberries every night. Scott is also helping me with shelling peas and he trimmed donkey hooves. The donkeys are all getting spruced up for the sale barn. We will miss them but they will be out of a job once we have a dog for livestock protection. Let us know quickly if you are interested in any of these great animals. Anyway, not much happening with the creamery. It may be another week or two before he gets back to it.
I ended up pulling up all the peas and laying them on the floor in the living room. We spent days getting the pods off the greenery. In the end, we filled five 5-gallon buckets with pea pods. The last three or four nights we have been shelling peas in front of the TV re-watching the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy – extended version. Over 9 hours at this point. We are going to have to pick something else later tonight as we will have finished LOTR.
The resident deer that I mentioned above ate some of the green beans. Yet another reason to get that deer fence mended. The crowder peas are doing well as are the tomatoes and peppers. All need to be fertilized. Perhaps I will get to that tomorrow. We shall see.
That’s it for farm news. Now on to the farmer’s market update.
Wytheville and Independence Farmer’s Markets
I will be at the Independence Farmer’s Market on Friday 9-1 and at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market on Saturday 8 – 12.
I have quail eggs and quail meat in 1 lb packages.
We are out of ground goat but have grass-fed ground beef (approx 1 lb) and ground lamb (approx 1 lb).
Herd Share Peeps, I’ll see you in my usual location at the Wytheville Farmers’ Market. Add on as you desire. Yogurt, milk and all cheeses and butter are at your service. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday and/or Tuesday.
You can pickup at the Wytheville Market between 8:00 am and 12:00 noon or at the farm Saturdays 3 pm to 5 pm or Tuesdays 10:00 am to noon. Email me to let me know want anything extra this time.
I still have new raw milk cheese shares and a couple of milk shares available. Contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (276-694-4369).
As always, we love meeting you in person. You can find us at the Wytheville Farmers Market on Saturday from 8:00 am to Noon. We are at Independence Farmers’ Market on Fridays from 9:00 am to 1 pm. Masks are no longer required at the Farmers Markets.
As always, you may visit us at our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and the cheese operation and where it is stored.
Peaceful Heart FarmCast
In this week’s podcast, “Canning Peas” is the topic. What else would I talk about other than peas, peas and more peas? I go over the steps needed to can vegetables focusing on peas. My method is to break it down into five easy groups of tasks. Starting with preparing the equipment and finishing off with getting the jars out of the canner. I hope you enjoy this yummy podcast.
I want to follow up on my previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources.
You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE. Or, if you have an Alexa device, just say: “Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.”