Thursday, September 27, 2012

This Little Piggy

These little piggies have been exhausting!
They escaped last night and ran deep into the dark woods. We thought we'd never see them again.
But then we heard oinking under the window. They were back.
Then they escaped again, from a better pen. This morning the neighbor called with pigs in his goat pen.
They got past us all and ran into the woods again.
But then they came home again.
Now they are hopefully secure in their small pen, built especially for Houdini pigs.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Forgotten Baby Chicks

Laura's chicks came last Thursday morning!
I forgot to blog them, probably because I put them on facebook and considered them publicized.
So here are Laura's 16 laying hens in miniature.
They're Golden Comets, a mix of a New Hampshire Red daddy and a White Rock momma. The Amish folks around here use them as laying hens because they lay beautiful dark brown eggs daily once they get started at around 20 weeks.
They are soft and fuzzy, and so friendly and docile that they fall sound asleep in your hands.

Partial Pigs

Tonight wasn't a good night to get a pretty picture of these two cuties. By the time we got home it was pitch black.
Darn Autumnal Equinox.
But tomorrow is another day, and I promise some pictures of two tiny piglets for you to enjoy.
These are just two of the four pigs that Katie is planning to use in her pig breeding operation. They're just mixed breed piglets from an Amish friend down the road.
One of them is destined to take up residence in Barefoot and Sometimes Pregnant's freezer.
Katie is contemplating using the other one of these ladies as a second breeding sow for her soon to be purchased Gloucestershire Old Spot boar.
Either that or we'll eat her this winter.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Buttermilk Pancakes

I couldn't decide what to blog. I wanted the post to be boastful, yet yummy.
Here is just a small portion of breakfast by Becky this morning.
She made applesauce from a few of the apples that Danny bought at auction yesterday,
and these buttermilk pancakes.
They were delicious!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Next on the Agenda

Katie reckons she's ready to step her pig business up a notch by making the move from raising a pig for the freezer to breeding heritage hogs.
Gloucestershire Old Spots are an endangered old breed who are supposed to be docile and well suited to being pastured.
Here's an 1834 painting of a "GOS" pig.
I think Katie's pigs will lend a rustic air to Providence Farm.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

More Penny

Here's a picture of Penny for you to admire as we rush off to soccer games all day.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

First Butter

Becky skimmed off a little of the ridiculous amount of cream this morning, put it in a jar, and Katie shook it till...
The buttermilk was delicious. The butter is indescribable.
Go buy a Jersey.

Mechanical Milk Maid

Yesterday before the surprise Jersey cow was delivered, I saw an ad on Craigslist for a milk machine. Cheap!
So Laura and I drove up the road, bought the machine, and came home right before Penny stepped off of her trailer and into our hearts.
Penny hasn't been machine milked before, so we milked her by hand last night and this morning to settle her in more easily.
We would have given her more time with hand milking, but this morning she stepped into the stanchion and stood for milking like an old pro, so tonight we'll try the machine for the first time.
When I milked her last night, I was shocked to find her to be the easiest creature I had ever milked, so I felt like the machine had been a mistake. But Becky assured me that although it's nice to have an easy-to-milk cow in case of a power outage or other rare event, she was perfectly content to use the machine normally.
Machines keep the cow's supply up better by getting out every last drop. They make milking effortless (that's a pro and a con) and they keep the milk much cleaner than an open bucket, so it stays fresh much longer.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

CSA Basket

Here is a small portion of the basket I bought today from the lady who sold Penny to me.
The apples are Jonagolds. I'm going to plant that variety this fall.
I'm not good at gardening, so receiving this plus a watermelon, plus sweet potatoes that were to die for, makes me consider hiring my gardening done!

Dairy Heaven

We decided to milk Penny tonight to get her used to us (and so we had milk to go with our cookies.)
She put her head in the stanchion and proceeded to munch contentedly while we all took turns milking her.
I had never experienced a Jersey before, but now I don't wonder that they're so popular as family milk cows. What a dream to milk!
She gave a half gallon tonight. She's been giving a gallon and a half once a day. We'll milk her twice a day to keep her production up while she settles in, then switch back to just once.
She's expecting a purebred Jersey calf in January.
We'll milk till November then give her a break till the baby comes.
Seriously, buy a Jersey.


Dan and I heard that a friend was selling a Jersey cow in milk.
Penny is that cow.
So we bought her as a present for Becky, who's wanted a Jersey milk cow for a long time.
Penny is two years old and is expecting a Jersey calf in January. She's giving a gallon and a half now, being milked once a day. We can milk her till Thanksgiving before giving her a break before January's blessed event.
I will blog the other half of Becky's surprise tomorrow.