Three and a half months ago there was a big bad storm that blew in the big door at the West Barn. When I got to the barn the following morning Manu (Hereford Boar) was in with Molly and Tahiti(Hereford gilts) . Do you remember? As soon as I could I separated them back out and I am positive I saw Tahiti in heat three weeks later – though I never did see Molly in heat. Not ever.
But the fates collided and now I THINK I have two very pregnant too young gilts. Tahiti is ballooning and I actually felt piglets in Mollys belly. And so did Amanda so I have corroboration. This has all become apparent in the last few days leading me to believe we have only a few weeks up our sleeves to prepare an extra pen for Molly.
Because, the problem is, I have only one birthing chamber where the mothers and babies live for the first few weeks. One. I had planned for these two to farrow (in late August) in the field but last week they began taking the rat house apart, piece by piece so they are back in the barn. Now, there’s a problem! A very surmountable problem though.
The little beef herd (plus one heifer who is too young to be near a bull) are happy in the Chicory Fields over at the White Barn. No signs of bloat or scours. So the pasture mix is balanced which is good. It has lots of flowers it is a pity my dairy girls cannot get to it.
And here at the home farm are the breeding herd. Carlos the Tiny has Naomi, and Alex (with her baby Txiki) in tow and everyone is very happy.
Carlos is taking his work very seriously, but is being very gentle with his girls.
My two milking girls are in the heavier dairy fields by themselves. And baby (Talia) is still laying about in the big pen in the barn. My plan is to sell her when she is weaned so I will be advertising her soon.
This week we ramp up another gear.. Our first farm to table dinner party (Jake and I are collaborating on this as he is a chef as well as a market gardener) is at the Farmhouse.
It is a family dinner for The Matriarch so we have even more people coming to stay at this house and in the cottage. So as well as farming and feeding even bigger groups, (entire families are coming), we will be cooking for the dinner party this weekend. PLUS possible piglets and the man knocking a hole in the kitchen wall.
The hole in the kitchen wall is the long awaited walk-through from the kitchen to my big store room. So from now on we should be able to walk through the pantry and right out the other side into the dry store room basically extending the kitchen. So ALL the dry store room goods and their shelves have been relocated into the lounge while he works in the store room. I have made sure that everything is stacked tidily so we can still function efficiently. However it is not pretty and it will get worse. Hopefully the building job only takes the two days we have set aside for it because everyone starts arriving on Friday. I have NEVER had a building job go according to plan and there are many variables in this one.
And I will be building in the barn sorting the extended maternity ward.
But short term stress is OK. This is just a couple of weeks where I will have to be in top form.
Oh! AND. Congratulations to you – the blog with its Fellowship of the Farmy has just passed its FIFTH year anniversary.
Have a great day. My crew come back this evening and will hit the ground running so this is my last hard day and I had better get up and at it!
So much going on! Such a full cast of characters. So much coming and going and change and newness. Tell us, what thoughts swirl through your head as you fall asleep at night? Are you still working and planning and organizing in your head? Or do you go to an entirely different place? x from Italy
I wake up with a full list that just needs writing on the board – so i must be thinking about it all night.. c
More pigs – how exciting (for us at any rate)! I put in a door once and it took me about 2 days, so I’m sure a professional will have no trouble. Happy Anniversary 🙂
Happy blogiversary to you 🙂 Manu must have read the page where we were questioning his virility, so much excitement going on. Good luck with the renovations. Laura
Congratulations of hitting the 5 year mark!
What is the dinner party all about? How many people? Do give me details. Sounds exciting.
Only about 30 people so it is not a biggie this time … I am very lucky to have Jake as my resident chef but we are using vegetables from the gardens and chicken and pork from my fields. Plus of course the soft cheeses and pate – the usual thing – deliciousness. Simple sparkly tastes.. c
Oh Ms. C- could you possibly have a post ( w/ recipes) about the food for this gathering? I am so interested in the food we eat from our own homesteads. Plus, I am in need of some gastronomic inspiration. Our family tends to eat the same old foods in the summer (lack of time in the kitchen due to gardens animals, baseball…) and we are ALL tired of what I’ve been serving lately 🙂
You are very good at making lists, Celi – so write everything down, teacher that you are and begin ticking things off! First of all thank you for the five years and huge congrats and may the next five be even more productive. Secondly it sounds like an important date for The Matriarch: let us know! Thirdly, put everyone coming to work, just as you do the wwoofers . . . well, fourthly may these unexpected teenage pregnancies end on a happy note . . . . fingers and toes crossed!!
Yes I hope the pigs come through ok – and of course as usual I try to let the family details stay as private as possible. I am sure you understand.. c
Surely do . . . but may all run smoothly and have a memorable time . . . . best regards to The Matriarch anyways 🙂 !!
Yup. I understand. But curious Gayle doesn’t particularly like it. However, I will comply with your wishes without too many complaints. Much love, Your Gayle
Talia continues to steal my heart. Interesting to know that a pasture for grazing cows needs to be balanced. I’m in with all of your posts.
I try to get at least ten different varieties of plants into the fields without too much protein or too little.. it is a juggle.. c
Again, very interesting.
I reckon it was Manu who hit the ground running! That young fella took advantage of the opportunity..wind or storm…nothing stopped him ( typical male) so now to add to the work load, little piglets will arrive soon. Naughty boy ..he should have had more self control!
Creatures will do what they do, given half a chance. Net result, lots of unexpected but hopefully welcome piglets. That flower pasture is looking amazing – no wonder the beef cattle are thriving on it. I wish you clarity, patience, endurance and heaps of fun in the forthcoming construction and festivities!
The piglets are welcome – yes but the gilts are a little young. c
Oh my, you do have your hands full. But, as you always do, you manage and make lists. BTW: It is WET and HOT in Texas. Miserably hot…. I feel like the Wicked Witch saying “I’m Melting” all the time. 😉
I hope that heat stays over your way – c
OMG when it rains it pours. You have a busy world right now! I laughed when I read the part that the Reno is for the same weekend. I know you will make it through with laughter mixed in with the stress! Remember to breath!
Yes – but one cannot say no to a builder when he finally finds a free day to do the little job. He has already knocked the hole through the wall and it is fantastic! c
I have always like the chicory flower. The plant can grow and bloom in the harshest of conditions like at the side of a dry and dusty gravel road.
Plus it is a great plant for recovering soil.. the flowers are towering over the young cows – I love it.. c
Read that the pioneers also used it as coffee or to extend their supply of coffee. I have always loved the blue flower – so pretty
I remember that, vaguely….my mother used to drink a tarry looking mix that was called ‘coffee with chicory’…..a forerunner to powdered instant coffee I think.
Remember to breathe my sweet friend. You will make it beautifully through all of this – I know you will! I have faith and all of the confidence in the world in you. XOXO – Bacon
Congratulations on five fabulous years! And oh my goodness, so much going on!
What a whirlwind of activity at the Farmy!!! At least you aren’t able to get bored. Although maybe you long for a little boredom 🙂
Happy Anniversary. Lots of exciting plans! Best of luck. I have just finished tearing apart my laundry/storage room and now have things that are throughout the condo to return to some retreivable order. Feels good to be done a project. I hope your table overflows with milk and honey and good will and conversation. Cheers!
Love reading your blog…must be a farmgirl at heart. Keep up the good work. Busy two weeks, you are going to need all the help you can get.
Happy fifth anniversary, Miss C. Take time in your busy and stressful schedule to celebrate.
your planned activities have my head spinning! Happy 5th and happy remodeling!
You do have your hands full, what are you cooking for the farm to table dinner?
Wow! You have your hands full—your head, your heart, and your hands, in fact—but you seem to thrive under pressure. So I’ll wish you well in all of this and may everything go even more smoothly than you can imagine! Happiness abounds.
Fruition is such a lovely concept
TWO litters of piglets! Would the girls raise them together?
Cheers and onward. Farmy rocks
Happy Fifth Anniversary!!! A dinner party and remodeling and piglets. I had that going on over a Thanksgiving and Christmas one year. The dining room was totally redone, 1/4 inch drywall on ceiling and walls because there was no point trying to fix all the cracks or deal with the huge amount of plaster dust the fixing would have made, plus a ceramic tile floor installed, new ceiling fixture, fresh paint and all. Looked wonderful once it was all done, but it made both holidays a bit more difficult. Fortunately adding a door isn’t too bad as far as mess and time are concerned.
Piglets coming too. At least you’re forwarned, those two have been keeping the secret. I’m sure you’ll have it all in hand.
Happy anniversary – 5 years of life and adventures. The farm is burgeoning, with so many animals and an atmosphere of great fertility. How wonderful!
Five years – wonderful! I have a room that sorely needs gutting but neither John or I really want to do it. My plan is to start dismantling tomorrow as soon as he leaves for a short fishing trip in the hopes that the momentum will carry us to finish it when he returns. I hope. Best of luck with the piglets and remember, be like a duck – sailing serenely along with a smile whilst paddling like hell below the surface.
A duck! That works! c
At least you know now that Manu can get the job done! What sort of problems are likely if the gilts are too young – birthing problems, or raising problems? Hopefully neither, and everything goes well!
More in the way of birthing problems i think – hopefully if that happens i can get help here in time.. but they are big strong girls already esp Tahiti so maybe it will be alright.. c
Five years! I am so blessed to be a part of your stories. As a result of your stories, I am a little bit more country girl and a little bit less city girl. Thanks, Celi. A little balance is in order. Lots of love and smoochies for the five years, Your Gayle
Fruition is such a lovely concept
I’m a bit late, but congratulations on your 5th year!! How great that is!! xo
Congrats on making it for 5 years. I’ve known you that long? That aside, 5 years in the blogging world is quite an achievement, more so being that you post daily. I could never do it.