This last week has been all about maintenance.
The Farmer finished demolishing the deck while The Renovator finished sanding, filling and repainting stage one. It’s going to be a while (and no doubt a great deal of plan revision) before the new deck is assembled, but for now we’re happy 95% of the homestead is sporting the same livery. The Renovator informs us that, all going according to plan, the entire Homestead will be in our preferred colour (Lambs Fleece – no possessive apostrophe) by the time he is once again donning his grown up clothes and spending his days moulding young minds. Happy days!
In the gardens, we have been busy reaping and weeding. The carrots have been de-nettled, another lot of tomatoes (this year we are trialing the Riesentraube – mainly because of the goat reference) and pepper planted, and the morning meal foraging round is taking us longer everyday. One of our favourite crops, runner beans, has just kicked off. Even those Homesteaders who don’t celebrate a heaping helping of buttered green beans with a light dusting of grated nutmeg (yes, my mouth is watering) love the versatility, freezability, and beauty of them. They can even make our back fence look almost pretty!
The menagerie has been pretty low maintenance of late. Our plan was to debloke the kids in readiness for a future as grass-mowers and pseudo dogs but, as often happens in life, things did not go as planned; the blokes are not yet man enough. Checking later to see whether Farm Girl had diarised the event for next week as instructed, I had to smile at her turn of phrase: Check on the kid’s bits. Succinct – and a little poetic as well.
A trial milking was also proposed and, after last years musical breakthrough, much thought has been put into possible milk-stand serenades. Unfortunately, Miss Geraldine was not having a bar of any of them. Abba was a definite no-go; also shunned were Queen, The Police and a Johnny Cash medley. The Goat Herd then suggested, after last years success coming so swiftly on the heels of Glenn Frey’s death, that our Divine Miss G may be wishing to honour one of the entertainers who have so recently passed. Not so’s you’d notice: David Bowie prompted a performance that would not have been out of place at a rodeo and the bruise received after the Princess Leia recitations (Help me Obi-Wan..) is now diminishing. “George Michael!” The Goat Herd then proposed. I was not keen. “Go on. What’s the harm in trying?” Thankfully I only got as far as “Well I guess it would be nice…” Before Geraldine decided enough was enough and shut up shop for the day by sinking down on her back legs. Milking is now a job for another day.
Today’s task, before we trotted off to Brighton for our shopping and community catch-up, was to introduce the prospective next generation to the ladies in the coop. Princess Nikita has done us proud with a fine selection of fertilized eggs (Barnevelders, Sussex and Barred Rocks) and, needless to say, the ladies we had identified as definite surrogate mothers had not a jot of interest and the eggs are now being presided over by a couple of the most feather-headed of our flock.
Some weeks are full of sparkle and some are like this one; just keeping the wheels oiled.