Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weekly Farm Report

Let's see if I can remember major events for the week as they pertain to the farm...

It might be easiest if I start with today and work back.  We made it to the farmer's market for the first time since July 24th.  I didn't do any bartering, but bought grass fed bratwurst (they are SO good), salad tomatoes, a giant sunflower head for the chickens, some purple beans and carrots and sourdough bread.  I put it all away before I took pictures, so sorry. 

After the market we went to check the critters at the pasture and noticed a yard sale sign.  We followed that and ended up at a friends house!  They want OUR house.  I can't believe anyone would want our house.  The property yes-the house no.  Anyway, they want to downsize so they seriously are interested.  We'll be having dinner next week to talk about possibilities. 

From there we went to look at some property that Tony found while TJ and I were on vacation.  It's for sale by owner, and the owners moved to 57 acres in Arkansas.  The husband comes back once a month to maintain the place-seems like a LOT of driving.  Anyway, we started with the outside and I was getting excited!  There's a pond (used to have bull frogs and turtles in it); a hen house and run; a stable and tack room; lots of mature trees and grass; and a fenced garden area.  It's fenced enough to keep animals on one side and people on the other.  There's a large garage/workshop that would be good for Tony's work, a drive over oil change pit, and a separate workshop from the big one.  Then we went inside.  The outside looked cute-has a nice covered patio and is two stories (TJ wants stairs).  I have to keep in mind that they haven't lived there for a while, but I was disappointed with the house.  The main level has a bathroom, kitchen, living room and office.  None of it very big.  The living room is two stories.  Upstairs is the master bedroom and a kids room, with just one bathroom.  I think there was a linen closet too.  It also has a basement.  I almost got excited again!  Half of the basement would be perfect for aging cheese.  Then the owner pointed out a leak.  Not so good for a basement.  It was more like seepage, but won't seepage become a leak?  There's also a pantry and another bedroom.  No windows in the bedroom though.  Wouldn't work for foster care.  All rooms for kids MUST have two exits to the outside.  They're asking price is a bit high for the area, but it is two acres of irrigated land, away from town and traffic noise, with nearly perfect out buildings and set up for animals and gardening.  Too bad the house falls short.

Wednesday we took Annie and Cream over to the pasture to meet Boots the buck.  Boots got quite excited-hopefully the girls will come into heat and let him have his way with them.  If I haven't posted pictures of him before, here he is.

Having Annie at the pasture means gathering up all the milking supplies and going over there to milk.  Tony built a new stand so that there's one at each place.  By taking Cream away from Peaches, I'm getting more from her.  Not a lot, but more.  I got 11 ounces one day.  She stands still for me though, so that's good!

Tuesday we drove to Payson to meet my parents and celebrate my dad's birthday.  We drove thru a big rainstorm that followed us into town.  We sat on the patio at the restaurant and watched it blow in, then had to go inside just before the meal came because the wind was blowing so hard.  We drove around looking at property there too.  We found a 3.75 acre parcel in a little spot filled with people that garden and/or have critters.  There are some out buildings and incomplete house on the property, but the house has a cracked foundation, so that would just come down or be turned into another out building.  We talked to the neighbors and it sounds like a great place!  Too bad that owner wants too much money too.  It's in a cooler climate, but not so cold that winters would be rough.  I think we're going to take another trip that direction and look at some properties further up on the Mogollon Rim.  I told Tony it would be colder there, but he's OK with that.  Might find a place on one of the creeks there.

We got a good portion of the garden weeded and have some mystery squash plants growing.  We don't remember planting anything there, and there's nothing on my map in that area.  We never watered there, but when we had a few weeks of rain, they popped up!  Tony planted some potatoes from a friend while I was gone.  We pulled a beet, and I made a juice drink with that and 4 carrots and 2 apples.  Not bad!

Oh yeah-Mr Redford got out of the yard.  Tony was putting one of the younger hens in the hen house and couldn't close the gate.  I got there while he was still near the gate but he hopped away.  We were sad, but hopeful that he'd come back on his own.  I'm happy to report that's just what he did.  Now he's learned to hop onto a chair and then over the fence.  I was milking this morning when he came hopping up from who knows where.  At least he knows how to get back-we just worry that a predator would take him.  We moved the chair.  :-)

So I guess our farm report is more of a moving report.  Or would that be property search report?