As I rest more than usual for my upcoming surgery,I’m finding time to catch up on reading posts on the blogs I’m following. Many are writing of the gardens they’re harvesting from while I’m in the thinking stage of what if anything to do with mine this spring.I’ve not any particular plans per say for the last few years of planning and putting in the plots have been spoiled by nature having it’s way of doing as it wishes not doing as I plan or hope for so I’m kind of in a limbo about this year’s garden or gardens though I would love to produce an abundance of cucumbers,tomatoes,corn,cabbage,okra,speckled beans,lima beans,green beans and anything I can preserve by canning.
Oh how I dream of a pantry filled with beautiful jar upon jar after jar of everything I’ve mentioned plus spaghetti sauses,stews,sauerkraut,pickled okra,pickles and jellies made from the watermelons,tomatoes and blackberries picked from the rambling bushes around the property.
I’ve thought of purchasing the goods from the local farmer’s market and starting my canning venture that way but with hopes of moving I place this dream on hold for now; waiting until we’re in Colorado to stock the pantry like so.
Though I still want a garden or gardens because I love the smell of the soil,the miracle of the tiny seeds producing the fruits of it’s kind and the thrill of from ground to table eating if not just for a season.
Being born and raised partially in Pennsylvania in a suburb outside of Pittsburgh and the other half in rural Oklahoma. I have taken to the rural life though I can live in either or town or city. I love raising my food and animals with some of of the animals being food. I miss having a milk cow for the cream and having fresh butter though I do enjoy the taste of goat’s milk and the ease of handling the goat’s and oh how I love their precious antics. I love goat’s plain and simple. The Nubian would be my all time favorite breed with their long flowing ears and their swaggering walk giving off the hippie vibe of the goat breed. Put a straw hat on a Nubian and you’ve got a picture to mentally remember for a lifetime especially if she happens to be eating hay and turns towards you with a piece dangling from her mouth with that “good ole country girl air about her” that you often see in the western movies portraying the typical country girl characters.
When I first started raising goats I knew absolutely nothing about them,I read and asked anyone who had goats everything I could. I did find goat raising a must be secret society because many I asked would not give out any advice except to purchase books or visit the library. Not even a veterinarian at the time knew anything about goats. Oh how times have changed since 1999-2000. I absolutely loved raising animals kidding was my favorite time of the year.
My first herd of four Does were bred and as I waited the gestation time I gathered all the information my little brain could handle, I gathered my kidding supplies and waited,so I thought…until I purchased 2 Nubian Does which unbeknownst to me were getting ready to give birth. Me being naive and not knowing nor was I told they were expecting. Imagine the shock when my 13 year old son came running from the barn yelling,” we have a baby born !!! ” I’m trying to calm his excitement in telling him we just bred up and have 5 months to wait, the entire time he’s saying, ” No Mom We Have A Baby Born To The New Red Goat !!!” I then became frantic as I ran to the barn followed by my 16 year old daughter. As we arrived there stood the proud mother and her little red buck who we proudly named Abraham. I read enough to make sure momma had a bit of sugar after she birthed,as I fed her one of the two oatmeal cream pies I grabbed from the pantry before leaving the house with the kidding box in tow, a goat book and a veterinarians book I stumbled across at a garage sale (God is Good !) Once there at the barn I had my daughter reading to me what I was supposed to be doing. After I dried the kid,tying the umbilical cord off with thread and cleansing the area with benadine I was able to give my attention to the new momma. As I fed her the second of the two oatmeal cream pies I apologized for my ignorance of not knowing she was with child and all the activity we created and of course not being there when she gave birth. As I kissed her she raised her top lip in pleasure ( I later found out what the raised lip meant) I explained we were new with goats, birthing and would appreciate her helping me in telling me when the other 5 Does were ready to give birth, with a raise of her head as if she understood everything I was saying. As months went on the more I read and became more at ease with the birthing soon to happen. As the time got closer I tried to stay close home to be there in case the mommies needed my assistance in birthing but of course there was some reason I had to go to town,isn’t that how things usually go? When the children and I returned home out of the barn ran Big Red the mother of Abraham yelling with all of her might,I then told the children, ” one of the mommy’s must have given birth.” Since there was nothing that couldn’t wait in what we went to town for we all started towards the barn with Red right beside us bleeting non-stop and as I rounded the corner there was a momma in postion with a hoof and the nose making their appearance. There I, my two children and Red stood watching the miracle of birth happening before our eyes with Red being the most excited of us all. There after Red did notify us of each birthing as they were happening. I can still to this day see her running from the barn to the fence bleeting out the arrival of a kid being born, her long Nubian ears flapping as she trotted to the fence in excitement. Several years later I lost Red soon after she delivered triplets who looked exactly like their momma. I learned a good bit in those few years of goat midwifery,the most vital was animals understand more than we give them credit for as I found out with Red’s announcement of each birth after I had requested it of her as long as she was with us.Red wore this same smile and greeted us with a raised lip,she was one of the most precious precious sweethearts on our little farm. We had at the time 100 chickens,14 goats,1 pot bellied pig and 2 Jacob sheep,2 Doe rabbits and 1 buck rabbit. Which many other animals were given to us because the people no longer could care or wanted to care for the animals given us. I would love to have more animals but my health does not permit anymore than our 3 dogs, 20 chickens and 14 ducks which when we move to Colorado it will only be us and our fur babies so I will have plenty of time to shop at the local farmer’s markets and fill our pantry with jar upon jar of endless jars of goodies. I then will devote my time and attention to blogging my life adventures in Colorado and my crafts as I learn to sew. Last year was my first sewing project since my freshman year in high school,at least I did finish my egg apron which is more than I can say about my school project all those years ago. Though we’ve yet to use the egg apron I can pat myself on the back for wanting to sew again, teaching myself at 59 years old is proof you’re never too old to learn. I’m so much better at hot glueing,handstitching or nailing things together but this too I will work at as long as I can see to thread the needle lol or I just figure I have enough table scarves,hot mats,oven mits or the simple sewing I will do because I seriously doubt I will ever make anything I or anyone could possibly wear but….one NEVER knows… I never thought I would raise chickens,goats,a pig,a few sheep or have 3 fur babies at one time but I have and do… This is what makes life an adventure…Never knowing what you’ll try next.
May your life adventures bring a smile to your face even years after you’ve had them. 😊