Monday, May 31, 2010

A Thousand Words

Words. Use words, not pictures.

The rituals, the routines are not set yet, of course, but the routine since the calf has been born has been to put mom and babe up at night to escape possibly marauding bear. Calf is all legs but coordinated now and I swear she’s gaining ten pounds a day -- I pick her up every day but I don’t think I’ll make it to 600# cow stage and still be able to pick her up. Cows are like deer in that momma will PUT baby somewhere and baby will NOT move, and gosh darn they are hard to find when they are like that. So I put momma to finding baby and now she’s getting the routine and sees me coming and, at least today, she didn’t make anything hard. And the mornings, turning out, have always been easy.

So of course we will soon change the routine. Not too soon though. I’m beginning to milk her with the calf around. We are on opposite sides and the cow licks the calf then licks me -- I’m just another calf to her. She’s a slow milker, she’s got a ton of milk, and I think we’re going to rehabilitate the shoeing stock to a milking stanchion just because her milk is so slow I think I’ll need something like that to hold her still long enough to get her milked out.

On the way home today, with manure, I saw a rainbow. That’s several this season already. They seem to always have a foot planted here, on this farm. It hasn’t been a wet year but it isn’t too dry either, plus we’ve gotten several showers and rains up on the mountain that they haven’t gotten lower. Tonight’s pot of gold at home was the salad from the garden.

In the garden the family has been very busy and hard at work. One day, 100 pounds of potatoes were planted. That’s a kind of late start for them and the seed potatoes were all sprouty. We cut them a bit big and planted them rather close and made eight rows a little further apart than in the past. Then ten rows each of Hickory King and Bloody Butcher corn was planted. When these are up (potatoes and corn), each row will be hilled and then we’ll start adding manure to mulch the middle and then before long it will be a forest anyway. I hope that we’ll find plenty of, oh, that succulent tasty weed that I especially like that we usually find in the corn but that I can’t think of the name of right now.

There’s still room in the rectangle garden and we’re debating what we’ll plant there. One option would be to wait until the hard corn is about to tassel and to plant the rest with sweet corn (I’m partial to Country Gentleman myself) enough to preserve for winter eating. Another would be to plant mangles or turnips or some such as livestock feed for the winter. Squash or pumpkins or melons are also possibilities. And there’s probably others we haven’t discussed yet. Our plowing and harrowing this year, and stewardship of that piece for many years, really showed in working in it.

The other garden is almost completely jungle free! We have a large patch of Jerusalem artichokes that looks jungle-y but that’s pretty much it. The pump needs its piece of leather replaced again so it will work.

Well, I’m out of words for the time being. It isn’t a thousand but you know what I mean.


Kitt said...

Lovely. I'm so behind on my puny planting, so I'll just get a vicarious thrill from yours.

Is your tasty weed purslane?

CG said...

yes, thank you! Now, get on that planting . . . it is never too late! Right now we're eating a lot of lambs quarter and poke (and gosh I love both of them).