Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Spring...it comes.


I went off-farm today to get fudge making supplies in town and to return my library books. It's been very hazy today and is now threatening rain. I love it when it rains after a hazy day. The shoots of steam rise up off the mountains like wisps of souls escaping the earth.

The forsythias and daffodils went into full bloom without me knowing. My own poor daffies are little munched upon bits of green just clearing the ground. Goats love landscaping. Nothing seems quite as tasty as something planted by Momma's hand and lovingly tended. My lemon balm is coming up. This is, at least, one plant that the goats won't touch, but I love very dearly. I love the smell it leaves on my hands when I touch it in passing.

I'm looking forward to my first cups of lemon balm tea. I ran out of all of my dried tea sometime in mid-winter. I'm a big tea drinker. I hope the tiny wild mint that came up so prolifically last summer comes back. It's odd, but each year we have different wild mints. One summer we has do much horsemint that I could barely keep up with drying it for teas and making mint sauce with it. That tiny mint was much better for teas than the big leafed horsemint. It hides, close to the ground, and sometimes the aroma will engulf you when you are working the ground, but if you try to find it, you can't. It's like a fairy mint.

Vi-vi's eye corrected itself. So I suppose it was just a spastic entropion brought on by some small injury. She's back in the field with everyone else now. Her time with me has gentled her and she is now following the kid pack up to the porch for snacks in the morning and evening. Since she would not take the bottle, I had to hold Maggie and Pearlie for her to nurse. Mother goats don't take too kindly to strange kids nursing them. But now, Vi-vi feels quite entitled to nurse on whosoever she pleases. She follows me at milking time because she knows I'll hold the other mothers so she can take a long drink. Because of this, she has shot up in growth.

I now am working on Blanche and Rose. They will need to come and spend some time on the porch as well. Then my entire little doe kid pack will be gentled. Blinkin's triplets do not have the instinctual love of tummy rubs that the purely dairy bred girls do. This is something they will need to be taught so that they will enjoy being milked when they are big girls.

With Vi-vi off of the porch, I spent all of yesterday cleaning and de-goatifying the back porch. It was a relief to not have a sick goat back there screaming at me for once. I spent the entire day cloroxing and scrubbing down all of the wood and cleaning the dog crates out.

Unfortunately, I came down this morning to find it once more splattered with goat vomit. It was Phoebe's turn to be sick. She and BossyToe like to sleep back there. Phoebe doesn't seem to have it too badly. I mixed some maalox in her bottle and gave it to her to settle her tummy. Then hosed off the porch this morning. Again. I am distressed to find that a google search of "goat vomit" brings my blog up as the fifth entry. At least Fias Co farms has me beat in that respect.

But, I'm grateful to welcome springtime to the mountains. As I drove down the mountain I saw many gardens had already been tilled and disced. A bunch of new comers were doing some early planting. They had plowed up their kudzu patch and were planting something there. I didn't have the heart to tell them that the kudzu would overtake their little garden in only another month or so. The plowing would only break the roots and make more kudzu. Goats can control it, but they would need pigs to eradicate it.

Ah, well. Let them dream of new potatoes.

It will soon be time for me to do much the same.

7 Comments:

  1. Housewife said...
    Ooh, it started off so pretty like a lullaby

    But then the inevitable goat vomit came along.
    Jbeeky said...
    What do you make with all the goat milk?
    bluemountainmama said...
    i love the type of daffodil in the picture....... we had hillsides full of them on our farm in ky in the spring. glad to hear vi-vi's eye is doing better and you are getting a break.

    i tell myself that one of these days i'm going to grow and dry herbs for teas.....we'll see!
    BBC said...
    Nature doesn't take much of a break here, most things are green the year around.

    But those things that do take a short break are starting to bud again, spring comes early here and I mowed Helen's lawn yesterday.

    It was a very nice day, light rain right now, will top off my water barrel.
    Hayden said...
    kudzu eradicated by pigs! That's a new one to me.... do they go for the roots and get it that way?

    lovely detailed post. I planted a pot of spearmint this spring; hoping to have enough sprigs for mint juleps in time for derby. don't dare let it out of the pot! I let the applemint run, and the peppermint got away - but that one was an accident.
    Rosie said...
    Yes, housewife...goat vomit is evidently a sure sign of the coming spring.

    In an uncomfortable segue...

    jbeeky, I make yoghurt, cheeses, soap and fudge with the milk. Last summer, I had two of Betsy's prodigious milkers here and froze so much cheese and pickled so much feta that I was still eating it when the milk came in this year. I'm not doing much right now since the babies are still on the milk. So fudge is about all I'm doing at the moment. This will change in another month or so and I'll have to put all that milk to use.

    Yes, BMM...I'm very fond of those double daffodils too. They spring up everywere here.

    Yes, Hayden...a herd of goats can control kudzu over a two year period. But un-ringed pigs with their full routing powers intact can so some serious damage to the root systems of kudzu. I keep wanting to get a few shoats to bring up for the freezer but I hate the way they smell and I think they'd completely ruin my frog pond.
    Libby Spencer said...
    Rosie, the way you write makes me wish I still lived on a farm.

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