January is drawing to a close, and again I have neglected you, my friends. It seems moving takes more out of you than I ever expected when moving 4 people with active interests, livestock, and garden. January has been full of new things and work. And did I say work?! It never seems to end now, I finish one project only to face another. It does keep my mind busy, however. The weather has made life interesting as well. From freezing cold to warmth that makes the kids beg me to open the pool, it has hit us. Tonight the wind is howling as temps begin to fall from near 80 to the low 50’s. I can hear the neighbors travel trailer flap clanging and feel the house vibrate with large gusts. Tonight I also have a doe in the kidding stall, of course she would be on a nasty night and just as it gets cold again!
The barn is coming along inside and will be amazing when done. I got the stairs done today going up to the loft and the boys helped me haul hay up there. That’s a great workout if you need one to tone legs, arms and bum! 18 bales, up and down. By the time I was through my legs were a-quivering and my arms a-shakin’! I think it might have worked my abs a bit too, blowing my nose hurts! It felt really good, though, to see all that hay up there, all dry and safe. And Jameson was great as he went up the stairs (made with heavy 2-by planks) telling me the stairs were not very safe or sturdy because he was so frightened he crawled up them the first time. I loved seeing their little faces peeking over the edge of the loft as they lay on their tummies and watched the goats below. I think I am going to eventually make a little play area up there for them, maybe with a pole to slide down into the goat pen. I was going to leave some holes to drop hay into feeders from anyway 🙂
In other farm news, we got our first livestock guardian dog (LGD), a 10-month old Anatolian/Pyrenees. He is great, though still very much a puppy. We have to watch him with the goats, he likes to try playing with them. One time I caught him batting two of the doelings out from under the hay feeder, looking so pleased with himself when they moved! He loves the boys and looks forward to his training time. We spend a good bit of our days out there with him and the goats, which makes it a little hard to keep up with everything else, but its coming along.
Beyond the animals we are working on plans for the garden, among other things. We picked a spot that is going to be great! Its beside the pasture and protected in a little hollow. We want to put up a picket fence, an arbor, and have the chicken coop with a run on the fence-line so the birds will take care of grass and weeds. I need to put bees somewhere, and I would also like to set up a small aquaponic system inside a greenhouse. The fish may be just to feed the birds and act as fertilizer, or we may choose a local fish like catfish or bluegill that get big enough for us to eat. I made a little drawing of the front half of my garden I though I would share with you. I don’t know if I will really get to paint all the beds, but I sure hope so!
I am really looking forward to a big garden this year! We should at least have as much space as before our move, and eventually more. First I have to get one bed turned into a little greenhouse and get my seeds started! And I need to get busy and order chicks, turkeys, and ducks 🙂 For now I am heading out to check on my goat that is in labor, then maybe take a nap since it’s night. Have a good one, friends!