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Showing posts from January, 2019

Then Jessie

First Violet delivered twins , then two days later it was Jessie's turn. Triplets! A little buckling came first, followed by two little girls. They arrived in between dinner and dessert. This is what I mean about getting good photos. Most of the time they're facing away from me. The little boy is the one at the bottom of the photo. Buckling several hours old. Here he is the next morning. Jessie and her boy Sisters. The little black was second-born and the white was last. Last of the triplets, also a doe, was the biggest of the three. The sweaters are all too long for newborns, so I ended up shortening them. Sporting shorter sweaters. Of course, there were onlookers. Violet and her twins I'm relieved that's over. Now I can take a break from middle-of-the-night doe checks and catch up on my sleep.   Then Jessie   © January 2019  by  Leigh   at

Violet First!

The other day I looked out into the pasture and counted six goats. There are supposed to be seven. I took a second look to see who was missing. It was Violet. I went to the barn and there she was, standing by herself. Goat gestation is 150 days with kidding commonly taking place between days 145 and 155. For Violet, it was day 147. Separating from the herd is one of the signs that kidding is close. I put her in the kidding stall and kept an eye on her. A little buckling made an easy appearance at about 4:45 p.m. Half an hour later his sister arrived. It's chilly so they each got a baby goat coat. Violet is an excellent mother. Everybody was interested in what was going on. Here's a parting shot from the peanut gallery. Iris and Meowy It's always a relief when the birth goes well and the kids are healthy and strong. Jessie will be next.   Violet First!   © January 2019  by  Leigh   at

January Garden Projects

January has continued with our exceptionally rainy trend  (another 6.8" so far), and up until the full moon, the daytime temps have been mild and pleasant. Since then it's gotten cold and not so much fun to work outdoors. But I took advantage of those nice days and got quite a bit accomplished in the garden. My flooded hugelkulture swale bed finally drained so I could finish filling the swale and mulch it with leaves. We will border it when Dan can take a break from working on the carport . I had hoped to dig a few more of these beds, but since the ground is still too wet for digging I decided to work on another project I had in mind - the outside edge of the hoophouse. It's been a weedy mess for a couple of years now. Instead, I'd like to plant something there that could use the hoop house as a trellis. For that, I built a narrow bed. I didn't dig a swale here, just built it from the ground up. I used random landscape timbers we had laying about and filled the be

The Hayloft Challenge

Thankfully, we haven't had to buy much hay this year. We were able to grow and harvest much of our own, just not a year's worth. So far this winter we've bought two round bales of hay. In the past, we've just rolled it to wherever we're storing it. But the new barn has a hayloft, which presents the challenge of getting that heavy awkward bale up there! What you're probably wondering, is why not get smaller square bales? They'd be infinitely easier to handle. The answer is that my Frugal Self won't let me! I can't get past the math. Small square bales weigh around 45 pounds and sell for $7 - 9 (or more) each, so we're looking at somewhere around 16 - 20¢ per pound of hay. A round 4x5 bale weighs between 600 to 800 pounds and costs $45 - 65, making it 7 - 8¢ per pound. See what I mean? I can get twice the hay if I buy large round bales. That monetary savings, however, comes with a different price - moving it! The right equipment to get these round

Looking for an Interesting Read This Winter?

I've got just the book - Up the Lake: Coastal British Columbia Stories by Wayne J. Lutz. It's nonfiction with something for everybody. Wayne and Margy Lutz live in Los Angeles but are adventurers at heart. They spend their summers in their Piper Arrow exploring the Canadian Pacific coastal. When they discover the small town of Powell River in British Columbia, they fall in love with the area. That is the beginning of a new life adventure and a new lifestyle. Home base for this new lifestyle is an off-grid float cabin on Powell Lake. I found the idea and uniqueness of living on a lake to be highly interesting. Float garden, anyone? The adventures include small aircraft, boats, kayaks, motorcycles, and all-terrain vehicles for exploring rivers, lakes, mountains, islands, old logging roads, and the rugged BC coast. They are filled with interesting people and local culture, wild weather, wildlife, and, of course, a well-loved dog. The book is written with a well-crafted blend of

What I Bought With My Christmas Money

For Christmas, I received an unexpected and rather generous gift of cash. I pondered what to do with it for a bit and then started a search on Craigslist. For a number of years now, I've wanted to replace my old sewing machine. But I didn't want another electric one, I wanted a treadle machine. In my back-to-the-land days, I used to use a treadle sewing machine. We didn't have electricity although we didn't refer to it as being off-grid. Solar panels as we know them now were still being developed, so when it came to electricity we simply lived without. That's how living off the land was done back then. So I have some treadle sewing experience under my belt, even though I wasn't going to fool myself into thinking I still have the same dexterity as I did back then! But maybe it will be like riding a bike. (One can hope.) There were a number of treadle sewing machines on Craigslist with prices ranging from $350 to $600. That was more than I had to spend, so I kept