Everywhere you look on the Homestead this week, Spring is in evidence.
It’s almost as if the garden had one eye on the calendar;
“Hey, look: September the first! Spring must be sprung!”
Or maybe we were just looking for it in a bid to banish the mood of last week. It wasn’t that hard to find, though.
Sylvia is the latest coop resident to succumb to Spring fever, chicken style
and in the goat paddock, the girl’s girths steadily expand.
We watch these developments with mixed emotions. This promise of Homestead riches, both animal and vegetable, is incredibly exciting, but at the same time a tad daunting as we are reminded of the limit of our knowledge. We’re still searching for the best way to preserve our excess fruit, that is supposing we manage to keep the bugs and bogies at bay long enough to produce a crop at all, and no matter how gorgeous we think our broad beans are, you can be sure the multitude of passersby we chat to as we minister to the front garden know someone with better, bigger, healthier and better tendered legumes. The more we find out, the less we know.
No where is this more in evidence than with our goatie girls, and Miss Ruby in particular.
She is a beautiful specimen of pure bred saanen goat and all the wonderful dairy attributes of that breed.
She is also opinionated, flighty, feisty, and downright grumpy. All this antisocial behaviour raises a number of questions, along the lines of
have we done something wrong in raising our first kid?
why is she so stroppy?
doesn’t she like us?
and most importantly
how are we going to milk this uppity little madam?
But then Farm Girl got out her calculator, did a bit of googling, and informed us that Ruby is the goat equivalent of a teenager; “and you know what THAT means,” she added sagely. Hmmm…good point.
And The Bean Counter reminded us of the days we spent simply coaxing Geraldine onto the milking stand, followed by weeks of just sitting next to her, patting her and talking to her, building up the trust that finally resulted in the Homestead milk supply. Leia wasn’t the most willing of milkers either, initially. It took time and trust and, possibly something unique to her, a couple of choruses of the Rolling Stones’ “Goodbye Ruby Tuesday” before she acquiesced.
So, we’re going to get a head start on proceedings. From tomorrow it begins: the taming of our very own Homestead Shrewby; Miss Ruby.