Friday, May 21, 2010

Crisis! (Last Week, Revisited)

Photos to follow...
19 full udders. 19 does waiting for the coveted grain that comes with milking. And the pump was broken.

Peter had to disassemble the entire pump to extract the milk that had overflowed into the mechanism during the morning shift a few days ago. The two young people who milk during the mornings were adjusting to the new routine, and the process took them longer than expected, so the milk was plentiful; too plentiful, as it turns out. They accidentally overflowed the pail and tainted the pump, which was the reason it was complaining for the past few days and finally gave up the ghost. The repair process took about two hours; I’m so glad Peter was there to help.

In the mean time, I unloaded the wooden stakes for the garden, put some useless items on the burn pile, fed and watered the goats, watered the herbs in the little greenhouse and laid a straw path. I checked my garden (it was still moist from the storms), then drove into town for a load of garden soil.

My home garden is small and mighty. I grow all the herbs I need for the summer (with some to spare) as well as salad greens and tomatoes. I’ve added some medicinal herbs this year, and some flowers for my soul. I have some wild plants started in the shade under the pear tree, and three logs inoculated with various mushroom spawn (oyster mushrooms, chicken of the woods, and reishi). I have perennial flowering plants for the bees and hummingbirds, perennial herbs and rhubarb, and several vines I’ve trained to soften the edges of an otherwise unattractive view. My little garden is a micro-paradise; verdant, lush, and fertile. I had plans to add a few large planters, and found that buying soil for gardening was much less expensive if you bought it by the cubic yard, so that’s what I did. A cubic yard of garden soil is HEAVY! My little S-10 struggled and shimmied under the weight on the way back to the farm.

Two hours later, after wrestling very-hungry goats and relieving very full udders, I drove home at a pregnant crawl in my heavily burdened truck. Though I had hoped to unload the truck that night, it was dark already and I was as hungry as the goats had been. Dinner (local, grass-fed chicken thighs, organic eggplant breaded with local egg-batter and baguette crumbs, and sautéed mixed wild greens) was soon cooking. Peter brought home our next box of grape mash for wine, and set things up in the basement while I seared the beef cubes and pot roast I intended to slow-cook overnight for Sunday’s soup; all this, and a pile of dishes later, and we once again fell into a sore and exhausted heap on the couch, where we ate our meal and dozed until bedtime. Whenever that was…I have no idea when we made it up the stairs.

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