|Such a happy group of girls chewing their cud. Valentina, Fern, Sable, Desdemona, Clover.|
If you noticed (or not) I haven't posted much the past couple of months. Let me catch you up...
One of the reasons is the goats are dry, except one, Izzy, who is only giving about 3 lbs a day. Not enough to do much cheese making. There are a few girls who definitely look pregnant (never got them tested) 'crossing fingers'. First due date is January 11. Five due in January. Five due in March.
I counted 17 roosters here the other day. OMG. They're all gone to dinner, felt awful, but that is farming. They take up too much space, food, and its a whole lot quieter here with them gone. Imagine, rogue bachelor's in the height of their ... um... you know... amorousness? The hens are happier. Egg production down -- could be the weather, or just time change, or getting beat up by the 17 boys. Duck production is back on track though. Duck eggs for sale again.
Bees are holding their own.... I'm at two hives down from 4 at the beginning of the year. I should have split one before dearth hit, I didn't. One absconded in October. One died from pesticide spraying. It's all still such a learning curve. My honey addiction is still strong, though purchasing from a local farm. I can get you some for you, if you let me know.
Sadly, Buster brown my new buck just purchased in August, died Monday. He came here thin and recovering from long term problematic parasite issues. I just couldn't turn it. Although loved by his last farm, I'm thinking he had just one too many close calls and one too many owners. He was 8 years old and to many, long past his prime. He went into rut, couple that with my own 2 month long odyssey of appendix bursting and recovery, my lack of attention to his special needs during it all, he just couldn't turn. He was wormed 6 times just since August. And still nothing changed. I'm sad, he was a sweet sweet buck. He wasn't here very long but he was special. I hope he gives me some kids to carry on his line.
My appendix.... well, it burst, while filming a short documentary for PBS show Victory Gardens. How is that for best / worse case, all in one day? The fateful day started off fine, though towards the end of day, I kept thinking I'm too old to keep up with these filmographer's. I slept the next day, in pain. Woke up a day after that, called a friend to feed for me, and she insisted I call 911. I guess, I didn't look too good. It must have burst while showing off for the film crew. I'm very curious to see if it shows how sick I was on camera.
PBS with Edible Magazine is doing a series called 'Victory Gardens' and they were in Florida for a week to shoot various people. I was lucky enough to be chosen. We'll see if it makes TV or online viewing or both. We filmed from morning to evening chores, and everything in between. It truly was fun. And awesome. Despite the next month's nightmare.
About the appendix....Recovery is good and I'm almost back to normal. It was a mess in there the doctor said, and the surgery took about 3.5 hours to fix me up. There also was an abscess found 4 days after the appendix surgery. The abscess was drained. After 9 days in, I had had enough and started my campaign to leave, they wanted me to stay another 4 to 5 days. Not a chance. The stress was just too great... With drains in, still stapled, I walked out of the hospital (barely). I got home, and stayed on the couch another 10 days. But at least I could start damage control, call clients, order feed, see the animals, and manage with some help ( I will never be able to thank all my friends that came daily to care for me, help with goats, and do chores)... I've never been away from my animals for more then 2 nights, even then I saw the effects of not being there and what it does to them. 10 days and well.... If I'm not working then no money is coming in. If i'm not milking they decrease. If I'm not on the computer, I lose touch with customers, and clients. I felt better, I was recovering faster then most and kept telling the doctors this will ruin me, let me go home and recover. They only cared about protocols, lowest common denominator, general patient recovery and covering their ass. Which I respect. But, in my instance, not being home was going to drown me. They just wouldn't take into consideration me, my personal recovery rate, or my personality. They weren't dealing with a normal person. So, I walked out, drains and all.
The goats decreased all milk production during this time by half, most if not all should still be in milk and are not. Design work had to be re-routed to others, or pulled altogether, income on both fronts, gone. I have no idea what is going to happen next, or if i can pull out of this, I'm lucky to be alive, the goats are pregnant, design work is starting to come back, the market season is starting again, hopefully, we're getting back on track. January can't come soon enough. But this profound point of farming that one little setback can break you. 10 years of working my butt off, finally to see that light of recognition, and then possibly all could stop.
Sept 16 started out as one of the highlights of my farm life, and in one fell swoop became the worst... Life in the farm lane.