Blackberry Mountain
It's Electric! 06/27/2011
 
Having goats is very exciting but it is also very unpredictable which means that it takes a lot of care, patience, and hard work.  We bought Bella in May 2010 and kept her in a pen at night but she freely grazed our yard all day.  And she ate our bushes and trees and garden.  When we got Roses, in November, they grazed the yard together until one day they crossed to our neighbors yard.  Uh oh.  After that we had to start keeping them on "tie-outs".  We moved them to various parts of our yard so that they had ample food but unfortunately they still had little "free" space.  Now with three goats, keeping this up became a major daily chore.  So we talked about fencing for a while.  Jeremy put his mind and body to work and began preparing for his planned set up.  After a few nights and days of work when I was home we now have an electric fence.  It is one that we can expand and move as we wish.  Yes, they got shocked a few times but I believe they have learned their lesson for the time being.  Now we have three happy grazing goats and they have a lot to eat.

Note: The photo below is 2 month old, Mikey.  He's getting big!
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Sweet Summertime 06/20/2011
 
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Summer is here and it shows on our “farm”.  The garden is growing and producing its first fruits.  We are getting cucumbers, squash/zucchini, green beans, and potatoes.  These are piling up quickly so I started pickling last week and plan to start canning this week.  I have a lot of basil, mint, oregano, and perilla too.  I’m drying these herbs for teas (for medicinal purposes) and for cooking later.  Some herbs such as, chives and basil, will be frozen as well.  As soon as I get the right ingredients from the store I will make basil into pesto…green AND PURPLE this year.  All of this is so exciting but it also means BUGS!  Our corn is taking a beating from Japanese beetles so Jeremy spends a lot of time smashing them in hopes to keep more from coming.  Last week we picked our first blackberries.  We picked about 2 lbs during our first round.  Our land is covered with blackberries and that is where the name Blackberry Mountain comes from.  I hope to make jam and cobbler and freeze the rest (After eating a fair share).  It’s so great to be getting so much produce and being able to eat some now and store later so that we can taste the summer all year long.  Hard work in the spring and summer pay off!

 
Life Skills 06/06/2011
 
My favorite class in high school was Life Skills.  The course focused on cooking, nutrition, and sewing, and was formerly known as Home Economics.  My teacher was a sweet lady that practiced what she taught and we were able to learn a lot from her during our classes due her hands-on teaching approach.   When it comes to sewing, without her I probably would have never given it a thought.  Ms. Adams had her own small sewing business selling mostly hand made purses to ladies in the area.  She taught us her design and how to sew our own.  I was excited about my new hobby and sold a couple to friends.  I even became inspired to make my own design for my prom purse.  The design was simple, the purse was small, and it worked perfect for the evening.  Not much came from my sewing after that.  I remember stapling a curtain in my freshman dorm room because my roommate nor I felt the urge to sew it to proper length.  Luckily things have changed and my interest has been reignited.  My friend just had her first baby and I took her pregnancy as an opportunity to make my first quilt.  After mom suggested it, I decided to sew it by hand so that I knew each stitch and so that each stitch was full of love and wonder of the child that would soon be wrapped in the blanket.  Since then I have been very curious about sewing projects and basics.  I tried a few projects and have several more on my agenda for when I have a moment.  I am working with a Singer Promise machine that my mom bought me for Christmas.  This season is great for practicing because I can wear my results.  I am excited to be sewing again and plan to keep it up.  Its where I feel I can be creative and resourceful and those are extremely important to me.   I'll try to keep you posted with updates as projects come and go.