Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back to Work

After the lovely four day weekend, I am back to work.  Actually, I went back yesterday, but today actually felt like work.  It was the usual 12 hours away from home, but as the uncertainty about Dodie's due date, and my absolute lack of experience with sheep makes it worrisome.  I wish the previous owner had been more certain about when she was bred!

Today, I wrote down my goals for the farm: more cross fencing with water troughs and small shelters (partially for water catchment purposes so I don't have to haul as much water out to the back of the property), a small green house, a huge garden (with me somehow figuring out how to grow things that are not just cabbage or cabbage-like) - able to produce some dairy, vegetables, and some fruit.  They are nice dreams.

Right now, I would be happy if I can get at least one more bigger pasture for the sheep, and if my garden would grow SOMETHING this year.  Actually, that is not fair to the garden; I did get some beans and a mustard cabbage and a few tomatoes this year.  Getting the sheep, and the learning curve of it all, has taken what time I did have for the garden away, but I actually have enjoyed having them very much, so it was a good trade.  Now, though, I feel a renewed sense of determination and urgency about growing a garden!

I do have to say, I would much rather care for animals than fight against the kikuyu runner grass.  Pulling that out is like pulling out steel wire. It is actually amazing stuff, brought from Africa to feed cattle in the 19th century.  It isn't so good for the horses, but the sheep love it, and so do old Henry's cows across the street.  My horses can't live off it, but I know the only grain those cows get is when he is trying to catch them, and they look quite fat and happy over there.  Maybe the steel wire characteristic needs ruminant stomach to handle it!


Grandpa said...

All grasses with runners or underground rhizomes are difficult if not impossible to eradicate (last resort would be some systemic weedicide like glyphosate). Or get more goats or cows in to feed on them!

Faith said...

That makes sense, all the separate processes to break down the tough fibers.

You are like me, going in so many directions at once. All very understandable. That's how I end up in things. But it's different than just focusing on one things, learning 99% of it and getting it all down to a science, before moving on to the next. It takes so much time to do it that way, and being impatient to get it all going, it's hard to wait. I still don't. LOL

I love your plans for the place. There is something about self-sufficiency that just cannot be explained to those who have never really looked into it.

Loved all those lava rocks I saw at the beach in your last post. I kept thinking what a great thing for climbing, a pile of those would be automatic hoof trimmers in your sheep pen.