Lots to report since the last HH post. We’ve got slithering scares, miracle kids and lots of garden goodies.
My oh my, we’ve been busy! We haven’t had much time to do leisurely things, like take the dogs for a long walk in the back forty, which you might remember last post when Bubba saved us from a giant water moccasin with his ferocious warning barks.
It’s not that unusual to see snakes near the pond, where we were at that time, or along the creek. But I’m sure you can imagine my surprise finding them in the garden!
One copperhead under the squash, which I was lucky not to grab by mistake. It’s very typical of me to reach down without thinking as soon as I see something that shouldn’t be there, like twigs or weeds or dead leaves. Or, to pick a mature fruit, obviously.
Sometimes I don’t even wear my glasses to garden, or gloves, or shoes. Guess I’ll be re-thinking those habits now. Just as I reached my hand in, it registered, and I froze, and then laughed.
Hubby finds it humorous that I scream like crazy whenever I see a roach, I absolutely LOATHE them. But a snake, (beyond the startled OH!) even a poisonous one, not at all. I find them pretty amazing, and they’ve never bothered me (and I’ve had plenty of close encounters) or been aggressive, or been in the house. So I feel safe to just laugh and take pictures.
And then call over Hubby to take care of it for me. 😂
The other copperhead was just a baby, snoozing away on a swamp lily frond under the elderberry tree, kinda adorable-like. Here’s some perspective.
We’ve finally got all the onions harvested, now just the garlic is left. That will be coming out very soon.
The tomatoes are looking awesome, but I don’t want to get too excited, because that could change any day with little warning. I planted loads of tomatoes because last year was not a good year for them, so I’m extra anxious for a decent crop.
We’ve also harvested all the new potatoes and while not terribly impressive, it was a better effort than past years for sure. The secret did not seem to be growing them in containers, which I tried for the first time, but rather lots and lots of poop. I tried them three different ways this year, none of them particularly better producing.
We’re also getting loads of green beans, after a couple of bad years. And some delicious peppers.
So many green beans that Hubby’s just canned 13 pounds of them! Such a joy for me that he’s taken over all the canning, which I’ve always dreaded. I never even tried the pressure canner and I’m not wanting to even a little. He is quite methodical about the process and can accomplish a lot in a short time and without breakage, far better than any of my past canning efforts.
But I do really love the fermenting and am experimenting with it very successfully. I made a celery-mint paste that is surprisingly delicious and a gallon of radishes that will last us easily through the summer. Next on the to-try list is green beans.
A friend gave us half a dozen roosters, which Hubby quickly processed into freezer camp to save us from listening to the crowing wars for any longer than necessary. A handyman and a gentleman.
A couple of the roos were these little Bantums which became Sunday’s dinner—stuffed with rice and home-cured bacon, herbs and last year’s dried cherry tomatoes—and basted with ginger-melon marinade. Don’t be too off-put by their black skin and bones, they were delicious!
Also served with foraged chanterelles in cream sauce and just harvested blackberries over pound cake for dessert. Mmmm.
And the best saved for last this post, the miracle! In the last post it was Bubba who was the savior, this time it was Buttercup.
We’ve got two pregnant does, due the first week of June. Because of that I’ve been a bit weary putting the herd too far from the corral, but I did it anyway. They are such homebodies normally and always come right back to the gate after disappearing into the woods for a while. Sometimes it’s harder to get them to go out and forage instead of sticking their head through every fence.
Go forth and forage lazy goats! There’s acres of woods to eat, not my landscaping!
Except, only Phoebe disappeared into the forest that day. Alone, and so unlike her. She is the most herd-oriented of them all. She’ll start screaming if the entire group isn’t together at all times. If she was separated from her sister the first year, or her twins the year after that, you’d think from her incessant screaming that all hell’s broken loose. I’m sure the entire county can hear her sometimes.
But, silence. It happened about 3 or 4 pm, I suspect, that was the last time I saw her with the rest of the herd at the fence. We didn’t notice until it was time to put them up for the night in the corral. She was no where in sight, and we immediately went searching. We knew something must be very wrong. We searched until dark with no luck.
I went again the first thing the next morning. All the places I figured she might be holding out, having prematurely dropped her brood, waiting for them to get their legs, so she could bring them up to the usual gate. I walked all along the areas they frequent. It’s very easy to tell where the scrub gets thick again, compared to where they’ve eaten everything up to shoulder-height. I called out for her, listened for any responses or rustle of leaves, nothing.
After coffee and milking Hubby and I went back out together, along with Bubba and Buttercup. Shadow had to get left behind because the goats are still very weary of him. Bubba and I searched and called for an hour or so, nothing. I started to think the worst.
We went back and I was making some toast and cheese before heading back out again, so hungry. It was already hot and muggy and I was sick of slogging through the poison ivy and mosquitoes. I was stuffing a bite into my mouth when a very sweaty Hubby comes up to the window yelling.
“I’ve been yelling for you!”
He found her! He went far beyond where I’d stopped when he noticed Buttercup started weaving back and acting determined. He followed her and she stopped at a bewildered Phoebe and newly born triplets.
It took us another couple of hours to lure her back while carrying the triplets in a laundry basket across pretty challenging terrain.
But it was a happy ending and mama and babies are all doing well!
Ahh, the simple life!
Thanks for stopping by!