Monday, February 28, 2011

Talk about Cabin Fever

David spent most of the day taking pictures of birds from inside the window of the warm living room. This is a Varied Thrush.  Typical winter/spring bird for our area.  David has Black Oil Sunflower seeds in the feeder.  He put the feeder on this stump about six feet from the window, took out the screen and sits quietly by the open window until he gets his shot.

I actually spent time trying on hats.  I collect hats.  I love them.  I don't think I look good in them at all but I wear them anyway.  My head is really tiny and I can wear the same denim ballcap that my 8 year old grandson wears.  My hair is really really short right now, a silver mohawk actually, shaved along both sides and the back, longish along a 4" wide section of the top.  All my hats look different on me now.  Point is, who normally has two hours to try on hats???? It's a rainy, cold, winter day.  Cooking, eating, watching the rain and the birds, trying on hats.

Expecting guests so we made ribs, a dark meat turkey roast, cake, cinnamon rolls, homemade foccaccia bread with creamy goats cheese, cornbread, salad with Feta.  Enough food I may not have to cook at all for a few days.

Photo of Varied Thrush taken by David Lygren

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The first step in making GREAT cheese...

Is having happy goats.  These girls took advantage of some recent sunshine to come out of the barn and enjoy a little fresh air.  So "herd health management" is our current focus.

Most of these girls are pregnant (we hope they ALL are) and due to begin kidding in the next few weeks.  Today we have a work party scheduled.  The entryway into the milking area hasn't been used in a few months and has two inches of mud (actually worse than mud, liquified goat poop) accumulated.  We will scrape down to the gravel underneath and take wheelbarrow loads of muck back to the greenhouse beds.  Next month I'll rototill this into the soil after it's dried out a bit.  After the walkway is cleaned up, we'll begin bringing in the goats for prebirthing worming, yearly vaccinations, hoof attention and a shot of BO-SE.

We vaccinate within a few weeks of kidding so that the kids born will gain some benefit from the vaccine as well and then will require only two shots (at 2 weeks of age and then a month later) instead of the three shots normally required.  This vaccination is for enterotoxemia or "overeating disease" and basically helps regulate the naturally occurring flora in their rumens, and tetanus, an organism that will enter any open wound.  The worming is something we do four times a year.  Doing it now will also give the kids an advantage of early protection.  And the BO-SE is Selenium.  Selenium is a vitally required nutrient that normally comes from the soil through the vegetation they eat but our western soils are deficient so we must provide it for them in other ways.  David regularly gives them a mineral salt with selenium in it but we give them a little added boost via subcutaneous injections right around breeding time and again right before kidding.  It helps in the in uetero development of healthy kids and helps newborn kids have good muscle tone.  "Floppy kid syndrome", where a newborn kid just doesn't have the strength or muscle tone to stand, find mom and find the teat to nurse, can usually be traced back to selenium deficiency.

So, the first step in wonderful cheese, is literally, shoveling out the goat poop later today.  At least the cold will keep it from being too mucky.  Spring time on the farm!

Photographer, David Lygren, points out the male Maremma Abruzzi guard dog, Vito, in the back of the pasture, watching everything and guarding his goats.  David says he's back by the barn because he doesn't like the camera.  He's so wonderful.  lol David or Vito?  both.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

We are so excited to be in the new Corvallis Market of Choice.  It's amazing how much of our cheese they are selling.  We normally try to concentrate on selling at Farmers Markets because that way we can hand out samples, talk to people and answer their questions.  But after 16 years of vending at the Corvallis Farmers Markets we've handed out tens of thousands of samples.  That has paid off in our being requested ALOT at the new Market of Choice in their wonderful cheese department.

We'll be giving samples out at Market of Choice in Corvallis from 2pm to 5 pm on Saturday, March 5th.  Come see us there and taste the freshness of spring chevre.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Vito and "his" kids

Hi, this is my first post...

Over the years I've toyed with the idea of doing a newsletter, something to let our customers learn more about what actually goes on at the farm.  Unfortunately, what goes on at the farm is sometimes so overwhelming that I didn't have time to put this great idea into a real life readable form.  Updating to new smartphones, learning a bit about Facebook and working on a new webpage are this winter's to do items.  As I was doing that, my webmaster suggested a blog to be linked to the website...

I could do that!  I could manage that!  I could log in and take five minutes every few days to tell you about the baby goats born that day, or the new flavors we are trying in the cheese kitchen, recipes with seasonal ingredients.....  Add a few pictures.... dogs, goats, sunsets,  oh what fun!  Hope you all enjoy this.  If you are reading the blog, please mention it at the farmers market.... and please check out our website: