Hello beautiful peeps,
I got so much done today. Besides the unexpected need to care for a couple of our cows that have contracted pink eye due to the massive amount of flies, I made three pounds of butter and two batches of jam, one blueberry and one strawberry. Before all of that, early this morning I went out and harvested some fresh herbs.
More on the fresh herbs and the jam in the Market section of this newsletter. Also, if you are a herd share owner, check out that section below for a new delivery location option.
Sheep and Goats
Treating the cows and calves gave us the opportunity to check up on the sheep and goats more closely. I checked famacha scores. Looking at the color of the mucosa just below the eye tells us whether they are being affected by a parasite load that could potentially kill them. Due to our great pasture management, no issues yet again. It has been a very long time since we had to use any kind of chemical worm medicine on the sheep or the goats. They are all so healthy. Lambert is really fat. I hope he can still do his job. He has 4 or 5 girls to which he must attend so that we can have lambs in the fall.
We found that one of the goats (the one that escapes and goes wherever she wants, whenever she wants) had a big gash on her shoulder. Probably the result of scooting under a fence somewhere to get into another pasture. We treated that as well.
Newton is doing well. No signs of pink eye there. Virginia needed treatment. We caught it early and it looks like she will be fine. Antibiotic directly on the eye and an injection. Perrin had it in both eyes. Poor guy was having lots of trouble seeing. He is a two-year-old bull, but we were able to restrain him for treatment. Surprisingly, he held still for most of it. He is much larger than Virginia and had to have four injections. She only had two. Not fun but he stood still for the most part. We treated Wendell prophylactically, just in case. It seems to happen most often in the younger cows. Last year we treated Luna and she made a full recovery. With pink eye there is always a danger that they will not fully regain their eyesight. I believe Virginia and Perrin will be fine. We will check on them regularly to make sure.
No signs of any of the milking girls coming into heat again after their initial AI experience. It will be a couple more days before we can be certain they are not going to come into heat indicating a likely pregnancy. Fingers crossed.
This evening I started collecting quail eggs for hatching. The next cycle is about to begin. I will be loading up the incubator on Wednesday.
There are still 22 little ones out in the brooder. They are really starting to crowd that space. They grow so fast. It is likely that they will move to the penthouse on Friday. Because there are only 22 of them, they will only occupy one side of the penthouse. We will keep the extra egg layers on the other side for six more weeks.
Creamery and Scott’s Other Stuff
Still nothing happening with the creamery this week. Scott repaired the deer fence around the orchard and garden. He replaced several fence posts that have needed his attention for a couple of years. Today he is mowing the orchard, the garden and a little bit around the house. He has spent lots of time moving the cows, training them, treating them for flies, etc.
We have had such a time with the flies this year. Unfortunately, we were forced to resort to a stronger pesticide. We try to be as organic as possible. Sometimes you have to do what is necessary, such as the antibiotics I mentioned earlier. The animals’ health is our responsibility.
I did find out that the next step with the creamery is the electrical system. Scott said he has a lot of work to do just figuring out on paper how it will all work.
I finally finished canning the peas. In the end, I canned 28 quarts and 18 pints of green peas. They are really yummy. Just to keep you updated on our “movie watching while shelling”, after finishing the Lord of the Rings trilogy, we moved on to a re-watch of Sherlock Holmes – the Benedict Cumberbach version. We were most of the way through the second episode before completing the pea shelling. Still more to go on that series.
As a side note, did you notice Perrin’s name? Perhaps you wondered how we came up with that name. If you watch Amazon Originals, you will find out in the fall (at least I hope that is still the time frame). My favorite fantasy book series, The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, is being released on Amazon video. Perrin will be a prominent character. The book series is a prequel and 14 volumes. Tune in and see why we love this story so much.
Ok, so that has nothing at all to do with the garden, but I’m going to leave it in this section anyway.
The green beans get a weekly milk fertilization and they are loving it. I have a podcast coming up next week that will explain that in detail, so tune in for that one. The beans are just beginning to bloom and we should have green beans in a week to 10 days. The crowder peas are doing well but no blooms yet.
There are a couple of tomatoes already on the vines and lots of blooms starting up. Same with the peppers. The banana peppers are nearly ready for picking. The green bell peppers will take quite a bit longer. The pepperoncini will be ready in a week or so. I’m so excited to try pickling these great little peppers. Look for them at the farmer’s market soon.
The yellow onions are winding down. The red and white onions may go another week. Once the tops fall over and begin to dry out, it is time to dig up those beautiful onions and get them ready for storage.
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
Are you ready for that blueberry jam? I’ll have that and the strawberry jam at both markets.
I’ll also have fresh basil, in packages designed for making pesto. I’ll have some smaller packages as well. Fresh oregano and thyme will also be available.
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’ve set up a delivery point at the Independence market. Let me know if you want to switch your pick up to Independence.
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 Friday, Saturday and/or Tuesday.
You can pickup at the Independence Market on Fridays between 9 am and 1pm, the Wytheville Market on Saturdays between 8:00 am and 12:00 noon, at the farm Saturdays 3 pm to 5 pm or Tuesdays 10:00 am to noon. Email me to let me know if you want anything extra this time.
I still have new raw milk cheese shares and a couple of milk shares available. Contact me via email (email@example.com) 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.”