Thursday, August 30, 2007


This is the area that the goats have cleared so far. After we move them off, we rake the leftovers into a burn pile. They've gotten about a quarter acre so far.

This is a picture 180 degrees around from the last one, showing the hill. The goats are moving here next.

This is a very small spot of grass on the 11 new acres. It's not much, but it's the most we have right now!

Here's some more grass across the driveway.

This is a view from halfway up the hill. Squint and the brush looks like grass.

There is going to be an orchard here before too long. The driveway is to the right, curving away. We plan to plant the orchard from the top of this hill to the driveway, on a gentle slope.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Smokestack's Honey Machine

I took this video of my bees on the land. I was too close in Sherlock's opinion- our video has no zoom. It sounds like a waterfall, which you can hear on the video, and can be quite intimidating, especially when a honeybee flies right by you. Other than that it is quite peaceful and fun too lean up against a tree and watch them running off a butterfly, trying with a lot of effort to get a leaf about ten times bigger than them out of the hive, then bees coming in landing on the leaf sometimes even pushing it back (on accident of course) in the hive. I saw all of this and sat for about an hour watching these fascinating workers that are so busy. I also got up and followed the bees to a field of tall yellow flowers. Now it is quite hard to follow the honey bees who fly so fast, especially when I usually can't see them when they are flying in the air. So I made a plan to follow one group of honeybees (usually three) and stop when I can't hear them anymore. I repeated this process until I found the flowers.

I hope to get a lot more honey next year, unless Winnie the pooh beats me to it.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Beans and Canned Goats

Last Thursday we graced the stockyard with our presence again in the hopes of growing our herd. We repeated the process that Smokestack detailed, but this time we bought four, making a total of six. We would have bought another- a kid, for Smokestack- but the price climbed to $60.00. All of the goats have adjusted well, seem to have no serious illnesses, and are quite tame (at least in the presence of food, anyway). We selected larger goats this time, since the first two are a little smaller than we wanted. I've tried milking two of the largest, which seem to have recently kidded, but without success- but I'm still trying!

Yesterday after lunch we took an abundance of green beans we had picked from our garden here to Granny's house; there my great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and sister canned them while we menfolk were working on the driveway on our farm with a four wheel drive John Deere tractor and boxblade. In other words, we were playing with a new toy. ;)

The green beans filled several jars to our great satisfaction, after which we had eggplant lasgna for supper to our greater satisfaction. We truly appreciate the blessing of living near our family and having the opportunity to spend time with them, creating lasting memories and close relationships, at the same time performing a useful task. There were four generations working together yesterday, snapping beans just as they were snapped eighty years ago.