Yesterday was Wednesday, not that it matters the farm does not care what day of the week it is. I wake up at 4:45, have coffee and do my sit down computer work while I wait for the coffee to hit me. I have a very strict office manager that keeps me on task.
At 6:30 I start pasteurizing the day before’s milk and warming milk for the baby goats. When the milk is done, I put the pasteurized milk in a container with ice to cool and I make the 5 bottles for the babies. I gather my milking supplies for the morning, my small radio and my bottle of water. It was suppose to be 93 degrees and I wanted to stay hydrated. Morning chores consist of making sure all the animals have food and water and letting them out of their safe overnight pen so roam the yard or their field. Next is to bottle feed the babies. I only have two hands and there are five babies, so it is a juggling act.
One baby had a small wound that needed to be cleaned and then it was time to go milk the mommas. I milk the goats by hand and it takes about 20 minutes to do two of them. It depends on how fast they eat. After milking it is time to move them to the pasture. With the help of my son we move 5 goats and a pot belly pig to the pasture.
It is similar to herding cats. They all want to go their own way. We get them to the back field and my son finds a puddle full of frog eggs. We have to stop everything we are doing to save the eggs before the pig crushes them when he wallows in the puddle. My job was to get the bucket and then distract the pig. Once the eggs are safe we can return to our duties. Now we have to move 5 baby goats to their field. This is like trying to herd kittens. They just want to run and jump and spin… they really could care less what we want them to do. In the end, we pick up and carry most of them across the field.
With animal chores done it is on to the garden. Every morning I harvest the things that need to be harvested, I start the sprinklers and I pick the tomato plants for horned worms. See picture below. Then it is on to weeding and trellising tomato plants. At this point the tomato plants are 5 feet tall and have grown bushy enough to cover most of the walk ways between the rows. I trim suckers, cut off dead leaves and harvest tomatoes.
The pole peas are starting to grow so I provide them with bamboo to grow up, as well as, weed that bed. We have not had the best luck with the beans this year because of the wild rabbits. I am hoping that this next planting does better.
Once I came in from the garden I cured bacon from last years pig. I had harvested several nice size tomatoes and nothing is better than I BLT.
Yesterday it was really sticky outside so I decided to sew and mend some clothes instead of go back out to work. I mending several pairs of pants saving us hundreds of dollars. Learning to sew was a valuable skill, I am very glad my mother forced me to learn, and I will make sure my children learn to sew as well.
After sewing, it was time for lunch and dinner prep. We would be driving several hours to go pick up the piggies and I need to make sure we all had a good dinner.
Right before we got in the truck to go get the pigs we checked on all the animals and turned on the sprinklers again. It was a really warm day and we did not want anyone to run out of water. The baby pigs did great in the truck and it looks like they are enjoying their new pen.
Came back home at about 7 after picking up the pigs and feed and started evening chores. It was time for bottles, milking, watering and moving animals again. One thing that we have to do in the evening is bath the pot belly pig. He rolls in mud all day and it can dry out his skin, so we make sure he gets clean before bed. He is suppose to be black not brown! We collect eggs, walk through the garden and harvest any monster zucchinis that grew during the day, and head into bed just as it is getting too dark to see.
I start a load of laundry, wash dishes, wash children, fold clothes, shower and collapse into bed about 1030, just to wake up and do it all the next day.