Monday, November 17
Saturday, November 15
We've got the buck here now to breed our goats, which puts us "kidding out" sometime in April. Life has been busy lately with the construction of a new small goat barn, new pens for goats, and the partial closing in of our three-sided hay barn.
Jennifer had been struggling with a name for our farm, something to put on a business card when selling goats in the future. Her friend, Carol, came to visit recently. She's quite good a coming up with creative names. During her visit she watched Jennifer in the pasture with the flock of chickens, the herd of goats, and the horse all peacefully existing. She told Jennifer later it was very harmonious sight and the name Harmony Hill was born. I guess it's maybe a bit better than Geek Acres. In any case, the blog will remain Geek Acres, but for goat and other farm product marketing purposes it's Harmony Hill.
We have also teamed up with a couple other local goat ranches to combine our marketing efforts and we'll be launching a new website soon. Stay tuned for more information on that.
Technorati tags: Geek Acres, farm, boer goats
Saturday, September 27
Her ear tag IDs her as number 42. Of course this number has special
meaning to geeks, especially those who went to school at Rolla.
Lilly, as we've come to call her, is my favorite goat. She's the most
affectionate of the herd and by far prefers to be petted than other
goat activities like eating.
We're up to 10 goats now and we're enjoying having them. Jennifer gets
to spend quite a bit of time with them so they trust her as their
shepard so to speak. The herd won't venture into any tall brush with out
her leading them in. They will typically follow me now as well.
Wednesday, September 3
Friday, August 22
Tuesday, August 19
The chickens are good at finding the places to escape, showing me the weak spots in our fence, though they only usually escape one at a time and spend the rest of the time trying to figure out how to get back to the flock. Every few days or so I'll have to spend five minutes trying to catch a stressed hen to put her back with the flock.
I have had to change my morning chore routine a bit because of the chickens new freedom. I used to let the chickens out of the house first since they've been cooped up all night (pun unintended). But after the chickens learned the goats are fed a bit of grain in the morning the first thing they do is make a mad chicken-waddling dash to the goats for some of the goat's grain. It's a pretty funny scene to see 20+ chickens in an all out sprint, wings half spread and heads just bobbin' back and forth as fast as their legs will take them. Only one of the goats makes and effort to push the chickens out of their feed. The other two simply watch the chickens peck like mad. I've resorted to keeping the chickens locked up just a bit longer to give the goats a chance to have some breakfast.
There are lots of misconceptions about goats like that they'll eat anything or that they stink. These inaccuracies are mostly perpetuated by pop-culture and urban (or is it rural) myths. A goat that is not properly cared for (read: hungry) probably will eat anything, just to survive. Does do not stink, though a buck can. We'll only lease a buck long enough to breed our does.
We've really enjoyed having the goats. They've got great personalities and like a good scratching. Delta (Delta Smelta), Smokey (Smokely Dokely), Annie (Annie-mal) have been with us for about six weeks now. A couple weeks ago Jennifer acquired three new goats, Lola, Glitter, and Sparkle. They're currently in separate pastures but we'll combine the herds soon. Lola is nursing a leg injury at the moment and we don't want the bigger goats pushing her around.
Sunday, July 6
Thursday, June 19
Tuesday, June 3
In it's place we bought this little car, a 2002 Hyundai Accent, and I will be using it as my daily driver. It's a no frills base model with hail damage but she'll do the job!
It's a bit different driving when compared to the truck. The most obvious is the height and size difference. With my seat this low to the ground 55 mph seems quite fast, this psychologically helps offset the noticeable difference in power. The amenities and comfort level are different as well but for the savings I'll suffer through it.
Friday, May 23
We began our Memorial Day weekend early this year. I have vacation time and know how to use it! I've taken Thursday and Friday of this week off and will be back in the office on Tuesday of next week.
Last weekend we hauled in 3 cubic yards of compost and quickly used it all up in the vegetable garden. Yesterday we used my dad's dump trailer and hauled in another 6 cubic yards. That ought to last my wife a couple more days! ;)
The vegetable garden is coming along nicely and Jennifer is having good success at the farmer's markets "in spite of herself," she says. I plan on taking some photos today. The heirloom and organic herbs are selling quite well and this weekend some unique varieties of lettuce and radish will be ready for market. Stop by the Willard Community Farmer's Market and pick some up this Saturday!
The rest of the weekend will be interspersed with fence building, irrigation system installation, hay hauling, outdoor grilling, lawn mowing, and some occasional relaxation.
Sunday, May 4
So far this year we've had to scramble to protect all these plants (and more) from frost damage on three separate occasions. Hopefully we're done with that! (Audible sound of knocking on wood)
Look close at the photo and you can see Scarface the rooster, as well as Des our Percheron mare. Scarface is of course so-named for the Great Chicken Massacre of 2007, of which Scarface survived, sans one eye. We've been diligently closing the chicken door at night and have managed to keep the flock number steady. In fact our recent arrivals (25 new chicks) now call half of the chicken house home. I divided the house in half to let the little ones acclimate to the outside temperatures. We keep a heat lamp in one side in case they get cold. I haven't had a chance to get back to the hair-brained idea of an automated chicken door. I do still imagine it coming to fruition one day.
To construct it I used 2x8's in fastened together in a simple rectangle. On one side I stapled weed fabric. For the hoops I attached 10' long half-inch CPVC. It was more flexible than regular half-inch PVC. We stretched plastic over the hoops and stapled through cardboard, through the plastic, and into the wooden frame. To keep the plastic from coming off the ends I used some alligator clips and rope to keep tension on the plastic from within.
Saturday, May 3
Monday, April 7
Friday, March 28
We arrived late on a Friday night after making the 6 hour drive. On Saturday we awoke to snow on the ground and freezing temperatures. This was no matter for us though, we came prepared with warm clothes and power tools. An pneumatic impact wrench made short work of the rust bolts and nuts. We were able to take the two green houses completely down and load them securely on the trailer in about 10 hours. Not too bad for a bunch of amateurs. The area behind the pile of metal in the picture is where one of the greenhouses will go.
In a previous post snapped a picture of a plant auction and you can see some of those pots in the background above. Jennifer is already busy tending and preparing these plants for sale. We plan on hitting some of the farmers markets and perhaps an auction or two once the plants have developed. Longer term Jennifer is starting a new venture growing heirloom vegetables as organically as possible. There seems to be a lot of excitement and interest in this market, hopefully the hard work will pay off. In the mean time, Jennifer is finishing up her master gardener's program and has been enjoying it immensely.
Friday, February 15
Pictured here is the "X" that marks where the fatal head shot struck the president. The view is from behind the fence on the grassy knoll, the supposed spot of the second gunman.
Monday, January 28
It was a constant struggle for us to balance his quality of life and our own selfish needs to keep our boy in this world with us. He had many good days playing with us and animating that personality we love so much. We worried we were being selfish, our vet told us we will know when it is time. On this Wednesday in January the balance tipped away from our own needs to Dobie's needs.
Dobie went to sleep for the last time in Jennifer's lap on the couch he loved. We couldn't have asked for a more peaceful end; our deepest heartfelt thanks to Dr. John Mozier.
Dobie rests now in a spot over-looking the pasture where he often would lie and take in the sun.
It's been dark and cold in our home since he passed. Maybe time will make it easier, but there will always an empty spot in our hearts that Dobie filled.
There will never be another one like him. He was the kindest, most loyal and loving soul I've ever known.
My only comfort is knowing someday I'll see him again.
We love you, Dobie Do.
Monday, January 14
Gelleon was bleeding from his mouth. We called the vet who told us that it's a rather common thing to hear about and to feed the dogs wadded up balls of bread to help coat any small pieces they might have eaten. Mr. Mellon couldn't keep the bread down and kept gagging, so off to the vet he went. Dr. Mozier examined him and observed him for most of the day. He was sent home with some prescription dog food.
He seems to be all right now, but we'll going to have to be extra careful with what we leave on the counters.
Stuff like this always happens when I take the day off from work.