The pig house is done! Now we just need our piggies. We have lots of new seedlings coming up so it looks good for the fall/winter gardens. With all the rain the tomatoes have slowed their ripening a little, and we had a few split. But we still had a good harvest for Saturday's market, as well as eggplant and cucumbers. The rain seemed to give our pumpkins a boost and gave the forest a much needed drink. You could see the change in the leaves the last few days; they seem greener and more open. We got two loads of wood chips from some neighbors; I am so excited by my huge pile. I use them for mulching around trees and perennials, for paths and for animal bedding. Our 7 year old (with the broken arm) just got a new cast made from a material from Gore-tex, which he can get wet and even swim in. It is lime green and he is thrilled.
On top of our piano in our living space, Brian has a huge stack of books that he reads every morning while drinking coffee, and sometimes during his rare breaks throughout the day. Right now he is reading: Eliot Coleman's New Organic Grower and Four-Season Harvest, Michael Ableman's From the Good Earth and On Good Land, Steve Soloman's Growing Vegatables West of the Cascades and Gardening When It Counts, to name a few. He is trying to learn as much as he can so we can grow more and better organic (not certified) food. He is also in touch with Oregon Tilth to see about getting ourselves certified. The way we grow our crops is inline with the standards, we just need to pay the fee and keep records about what we do and when.
Saturday mornings are always hard because we have to get up early to load up and head to the market. Brian loads the truck while I feed, water and milk the animals, and then we have to get three sleepy kids awake, dressed and loaded in the truck with something to eat. This morning our buck had snuck out of his rather secure fence and was at the gate to the girl goats. August is usually when the does (female goats) start to go into heat and the bucks (male goats) go into rut. Bucks are normally somewhat stinky and obnoxious, but when they are in rut they are over the top. Fences have a hard time holding them, they get more aggressive, they flap their tongues and flare their lips, and they spray urine all over their faces and legs. Seriously. So I had lots of fun this morning wrestling him back in his pen with his wether (castrated male goat) buddy. Goats are social animals and shouldn't be kept alone, so we have a wether as a non-stinky, non-aggressive companion for him. If he was with the does, he would make the milk taste "bucky" and we wouldn't be able to control the timing of their pregnancies. I really hope I don't smell like a buck today.