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Friday, February 20, 2009

dust bunny and lamb meat

I realize that most of my blogs are just a reflection about how fast time is flying. That's probably because whenever I sit down to write, I think - geez, is it 2/20 already? Holy crap! Spring is just around the corner.

Although right now, you would not believe that bright sunny days in the balmy 50 degree rainy spring could be anytime soon, these 20 degree-wind chilling through to the bone- days aren't going to last much longer... well, I hope.
We are keeping busy around here inside, but Pepper the puppy is really stir crazy with the winter blues.
The first dormant oil spray has been laid down on the apples, peaches, pears, and plums and I'm hoping that we'll have another mild and late frost-free spring like last year, although I'm not holding my breath.
Our seedlings are about ready for bigger pots as watering seems to never ending now and planting in the ground seems like a far off dream. I ordered a greenhouse online, a dream of mine to have a tropical oasis to hold me over through the terrible Ohio winters, but one day after putting it together, a terrible wind storm came by and put it in the neighbors field. I guess three inch stakes into not really frozen ground is not a good idea? Geez. The directions should have said that...
Rebuilding in progress.

A few of the garlic cloves heaved out of the soil during the two days of 60 degree weather and they have little roots growing in and a little green stalk poking through.

I am getting pretty antsy for this year's pigs. We had a lot of fun with them last year and they are completely and utterly delicious. The sausage cooks up perfectly for breakfast, the ribs slathered in grandma's bbq sauce were to die for, and the pork chops and bacon are divine. We cooked a ham in a cider glaze from our cider pressing frenzy and I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.
I also recently discovered a love for lamb meat as well. Believing firmly in the -try before you buy- theory, I decided to try a couple lamb steaks just to see if it was worth it to get some grass fed lamb this year.
The answer is easily YES as the sweet meat just melted into deliciousness with every bite. The question now is what breed to choose. Poor Crystal our lonely Jacob sheep has a new fear look in her eye as I just picture rack of lamb... although weighing in at about 40 lbs she probably will not end of up a dinner table anytime soon. We are working on spinning her wool and with a new Angora bunny from DustBunni English Angoras.

Now I am curious about goat meat and while Jason swears that we can't eat anything that we've already named, I'm wondering if it's an acquired taste or have I deliciously overlooked it like lamb, but nowhere around here sells just one goat steak. The butcher offered to sell me a whole goat to which I replied, no thanks I already have one.

We did recently pick up a fainting goat buck from NW Ohio. He is black and tan with a big beard and no horns. We named him Omar and he's still learning where the electric fence is and how it works. Every time he gets it wrong and leaves the pasture, Pepper is more than happy to put him back in his place. I did see him stiffen up once from excitement and we're hoping for some great kids with marbled blue eyes and delicious goat milk and cheese coming up soon.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My house is aliiiiive

It's hard to sleep now. Spring is rushing towards us at an alarming rate. The rain was patting the ice off the roof early this morning and the first step outside just squished in the mud. I love the smell of fresh mud after the rain and it seems like the grass takes a beating from which it will never recover from in between the frost every morning and the barrage of moisture from snow melts and spring rains.

My house makes noises at night. It's alive now with beer bubbling, rabbits drinking, quail hatching, and seedlings sprouting. My morning rituals are getting more involved now with spraying down the flats of basil sprouting in every window of the house and turning the eggs slowly warmed in the incubator. We added an angora rabbit to the mix just recently and we hope to have some of the best scarves by next winter... or at least some fiber to spin to get through the long dark days of January.

The sun is stretching across the horizon, the goats are fully utilizing their fenced off pasture and pepper is barking and chasing around everything that moves.

I know it's still February but with 60 degree days it's really hard not to think that spring is in the air.