A Place For The Future Past


Goats!
April 27, 2007, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Community On The Earth

JoAnne,Goats,Roberta

Uploading a goat photo!  Donna, here.

That’s JoAnne checking out a goat pregnancy while Roberta watches. 

Nice barn, huh?



No Babies Yet
April 24, 2007, 3:06 pm
Filed under: Community On The Earth

Here at Dryad’s Rest, our little Nubian doe Lana grows bigger every day, and since the original due date came and went (April 1st) we have to assume that the first breeding did not take — so possible later dates would most likely (as she is an average goat) multiples of three weeks, with specific dates blurring as the days slide by. And since we did not start running our little Walnut until about three weeks after his arrival, that pretty much means it could happen any day — we must mostly rely on physical signs of readiness such as loosening of the tail ligaments, swelling of udder, dropping of the baby(ies). So daily I check her, running my hands over her gently as I coo and prod and press. She’s come to adore the examination, stretching her neck up and tilting her head up, looking adoringly up at me as her long ears flop back. Any day now.

The other goats have become a tribe, with Walnut taking the lead very seriously.

 Walnut  JoAnne with Walnut

Daily they will travel out on their own now to the lower field (which we have opened to them), with Walnut fussing over any stragglers. If the herd gets split he will race back and forth until he decides which half to herd back to the other — sometimes they have other ideas of course. It’s a comedy that plays all day.

In the gardens, the grapes are beginning to sprout — even the ones I brought from Algona (we were worried that they would not survive). The potato beds have been started, and since we like to do things in portions around here, the first third of the lower bed is planted. As the beds get finished (in the next few weeks) the remaining potato crop will go in, so as to extend the potato harvest). The second round of tomato plants are well started in the kitchen window — soon the nights will be warm enough to trust them outside. Out in the gardens the tomato beds have been started — the lower bed almost ready for the first plants. The asparagus is in full sprout but we might let this year go full into recovery and growth, and not cut the sprouts.

In the woods, the Village is getting cleaned of brambles, ash and alder, and the trails extended. I was able to cut straight on through to the far west side — happily there seems to be the remains of a road most of the way making the way easier than I thought it would be. And the places back there that I found, oh my! trails leading to beautiful little glens, a dry shortcut to the southwest corner meadow, and much more.

The horses are getting worked every day, even if it’s just ground work and manners. Progress is being made with the new mare, she is catch-in-the-throat pretty when she gets going! Costuming is continuing to come together for horse events later in the year….

Garbage area has been cleaned and organized, hooray! places for glass, plastic, aluminum, other metals, compostable, burnable.

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With the weather warming, the mornings and evenings are becoming a magic time — time to make a big mug of coffee or tea and sit in the woods. Listen to the wind play through the trees, the birds and frogs and insects. There must be at least three dozen species of bird out here and they are all in full spring lust mode, thumping and calling, whirring and singing and chirping. Time to sit back and listen…….



If Wishes were tractors
April 17, 2007, 5:11 pm
Filed under: Community On The Earth

It had started with both Emilie and I voicing aloud our need for some odd, esoteric but vitally needed smallish item (what exactly is evading us at the moment). So soon afterwards one appeared, as though by magic. It continued with a lost $20 bill reappearing in a stump and a couple of other small requests. All we needed to do was say “What we REALLY need is a ……” and the other agree and POOF.

It happened again, so Emilie looked upwards and said, “Tractor?” We looked at each other and nodded, um, yeah, we need a tractor…..

POOF

One of our new local friends is having problems with the county, he needs to get his place cleaned up and taxes brought up to date. In one of his old, magnificent old barns is old equipment, covered in decades of dust. Knowing he had been ripped off by “friends” before, I offered to help list some of the pieces on Ebay — checks sent directly to him, I’ll help him get the items boxed and shipped. So he offered us an old tractor (that will only need a bit of work to get it working).

Then, we wished for bee equipment — He also gave us a BUNCH of bee boxes and equipment — Donna? What should we do? They’ve been sitting in a barn collecting dust. Do they need disinfecting? Where’s a good place to set them up?

So, we will have to be very careful about what we ask for!

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In the greenhouse, lettuce and spinach have reached picking stage, and we often sneak away tasty leaves to add to sandwiches and such. Cutworm damage has slowed to almost nothing and the weather is slowly warming. Radishes are growing fast, and the beet bed is being weeded and replanted — some beet seeds are actually small clusters of beets, that need seperating to achieve full size. Sweet onions and leeks are doing well. More later….



Fast Goats
April 13, 2007, 2:03 pm
Filed under: Community On The Earth

It started as a way to get the goats to begin outward foraging on their own — they are capable of path cleansing I am unable — (I just cut. They consume) , besides, it would be very good for them AND save on the hay bill and..

THE WOODS ARE SPROUTING OUT THERE I CAN FEEL IT

They have many, many acres of blackberry and wildrose and salal and sedgegrass (the sweetgrass I will rescue and cultivate for drying and incense burning, cash crop!) to work through. Anyway, I would lead them out then disappear down one of my trails, coming back around and to the house, leaving them out there to munch away for hours at a time.
This time Calico would not hear of it. Earlier, she and Penny had found a way to squeeze their fat bodies under the cyclone fence where I found them happily munching on alfalpha (they could never break into the oats, that is kept safely in the house for that very reason — a goat will bloat very quickly on a bag of oats and die, horribly). As soon as they were ushered back they went straight to the hole to escape again but I got there first and fixed the hole.
So when I was leading them out later, Calico figured that if she followed me home, she could get through the gate with me and thusly get back to the barn (and that tasty alphalfa). I went a bit down the trail and turned to the left as usual, but Cali was hot behind me. I plunged into the woods, running now — wearing rubber boots that happen to be about two sizes too big. Across the open ground sections I was able to put out good bursts of speed but once I hit thick brush I was hampered by my boots and had to slow to a fast walk.

It’s amazing how fast a very fat goat can move. When I got to the gate she was right behind me, with half the herd behind her. The other half had gone back to the barn. I had to pause befor slipping through, breathing hard and laughing hysterically is hard to do. What a workout!

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Speaking of cash crops, I am hoping we will be a good site for growing morel mushrooms — those tasy treats so prized by local chefs and easy to identify. The topography feels right and so does the soil conditions in many places. And if they do not already grow I will experiment and try to grow my own — go shopping up the penninsula during morel season — A memory I have with my late husband Lauren — We went for a drive up and around Hwy 101. And near the Sequim area, folks will line up in their pickups and vans and sell out of their vehicles for a few brief weeks — I plan to buy a bagful and shake their spores where I think they might thrive.

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Now that things are strouting and blooming in the woods, identification of plants is an ongoing quest. The computer is a good ally there but sometimes I like to stop at a garden shop to actually look at a specimen. Yesterday we stopped in a smaller, older place (full of hard to get stuff, odd name, I’ll post it later) and found flowering currant — and it was like an electric charge — we have some! So now I will seek those out and decide if they need to be rescued — as well as move a few for cultivation.



Hard Work and Healing
April 11, 2007, 4:17 am
Filed under: Community On The Earth

At Norwescon, I was flogging the idea of people getting out and pitching in at the farm.

Hm!  Hey, Joanna — get some insurance, contact schools and give kids a chance to work their butts off, breathe fresh air, get run over by goats and officious cats, sleep like logs — and beg to come back.

Photos came out great.  I’ll be getting to DR’s Fearless Leader on a CD soon, and then we can start posting the cream of the crop.



Bugs and Plugs
April 9, 2007, 4:34 pm
Filed under: Community On The Earth

Much is happening here at Dryad’s Rest, the nursery most important and needed. All from collected lumber and supplies, Red and Em crafted a covered stall for the birthing pen (where Lana is the current occupant as we continue Baby Watch). We plan to take photos unless we get lucky and Donna returns for a visit first (hint, hint)…..
Did Norwescon for Easter again, and much excellent PR was done for the place. It looks like we may be the location for another movie, this one a small fan film (fans of Serenity/Firefly). Others want to possibly meet for black powder practices… Had a chance to connect with several friends who were interested in being part of work parties for woods cleansing and simple features made (such as an arena, round pen and rustic stalls). Spoke with a young costumer who wants to intern at Costumes, Period; others who want to connect me to folks doing projects and on and on…I stayed late Friday night but went home early Saturday evening — I am always concerned about my ressessive nercolepsy gene when making the long drive home. So while it would have been fun to stay and dance SIGH my main agenda this con was to do my best to entice (most) folks HERE to Dryad’s Rest…..
Spent most of Sunday catching up with a dear friend and the rest of the day repairing my makeup, I was crying with laughter half the time…

Monday morning dawns showery and chill, cutworm damage in the greehouse again. Computers are a wonderful resource, I had asked the bug pest questions (mostly flies and cutworms) of one of my goat lists and folks pointed me to Buglogical, Inc. (a WONDERFUL resource for natural bug control!). So, an order for nematodes and parasite wasps was placed immediately.
Also in the buggy department, the horses were looking too thin, regardless of the enormous amounts of food we are feeding them. So a fecal sample was dropped off at the local vet. Tapeworms. So they were dosed and their feed adjusted per instructions — and they are already getting sleeker. The extra daily workout is helping, too. Both horses are looking and moving better, Jennifer in particular — she’s going to be a fantastic eventing horse for someone! Being a Perch/Quarter cross she has the Quarterhorse rear and launches herself with amazing speed, while her size leaves you breathless that such a big horse can move so FAST.

In the gardens, the luneria is beginning to bloom while lily and peony shoots are emerging….



April, finally!
April 4, 2007, 1:20 pm
Filed under: Community On The Earth

No babies yet. Lana is a few weeks away yet I think, and while checking out the other plumper goats, I discovered flutterings inside Frikka — yay! Too early to be sure, but very promising.

Had very special company over — Donna and Roberta! We did the essential tour, taking them out along freshly cut trails, showing some of our favorite spots –Tanglewood Trail, Fairie Grotto, Misery Creek, the Money Stump, Dameon’s Tower, The Village area, plus many many others.

Donna took lots of photos, yay! I also took Donna out to the wonderful Rainbow Falls state park that is literally right across the road from us. At home, the greenhouse, barn, gardens, yurt area was peeked into and photos taken. Such a lovely day! And of course, right after Donna and Roberta left, we stumbled into yet another magical forest glen — it wasn’t hard this place seems to be loaded with them. More to share the next visit.

Weather is slowly warming. Nightly frosts are the usual, with days gradually getting slightly warmer. Buds are appearing on the fruit trees — yay! In the forest, the trees are waking. Also the enemies — blackberry bushes, among others, are sprouting — boo-hiss! Getting a work party in there soon will be on the agenda.

For a week we were blessed with Joshua, Em’s eldest grandson. Poor lad is struggling to deal with a horrible home situation at present — due to an unforseen string of happenings, for a few weeks Josh and his brother, mother and dad have been essentially homeless, living with a drunken abusive elder relative. For Joshua (at twelve) it has been the hardest, so Em and Red snatched him for a week while his parents struggle to get into their own place. Hehheh this place is a paradise for twelve year old boys — he was a dynamic power; driving the tractor, riding Chance, working hard all day long. At mealtime the usual whining and picking listlessly at his plate disappeared — he was eating big, hearty meals and sleeping soundly, his computer games (and the TV) idle almost the entire time. Magic? maybe not. But this place works on all of us much the same way.

After the week was up, he returned to his folks but with plans to return for spring break — provided he gets his schoolwork caught up. We are all looking forward to his return.