Monday, December 24, 2007

A Fine Whine

This isn't really an update on farm happenings so much as a whine about how the last couple of months of the year have gone. Just when I was getting caught up on things in November, my lap top (which I use for everything) was hit by a malicious spy-ware attack. For several weeks I was without a computer and it seemed as though every time I thought things were fixed, another problem would pop up or something wouldn't work the way it was supposed to. It's much more complicated than I'd like to explain, but for a couple of weeks, I was just frustrated with everything due to the computer problems. Several hundred dollars later, I have my computer back up and working, along with a better back up system, but I'm still having trouble every now and then just getting on my e-mail.

I finally added DHIA test results to the senior does and first freshener pages for tests done in 2005 and 2006. They only look right on Internet Explorer, and I've only gotten one to look right on Firefox. I've also noticed that lately when I look at pages on Firefox 2.0, there is significant image quality degradation. If any readers of this have figured out tables within tables for Firefox, please drop me a line.

And, since it is December, of course some major appliance has had trouble. Previous Decembers have brought us problems with our septic system, a ceramic stove top that shattered (we must have been out of the house when that one happened), a heat pump that no longer worked, and this December brought us a broken water heater. At the rate things are going, we figure we should start saving up for next December when either the fridge or the oven goes, since those are the only appliances we haven't yet replaced since we moved in.

And to end on a high note- kidding season is just around the corner! Sky should be our first doe to kid, and then we've got nine more scheduled to kid in February.

Hope everyone has a great whatever you celebrate and that 2008 is the best year yet for you and yours.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fall Update

Whew! It's been a while since either of us had a moment to post, but I think our schedules are getting closer to "back to normal" now.

To recap our summer: we didn't get to make it to nearly as many shows as we had planned to this year, due to a certain event swallowing up most of our time (and energy!). We're looking forward to attending more shows next year, especially since we should have more does in milk this next summer than we did this past year. I had decided at the beginning of the spring that I would not be doing 305 day milk test this summer in hopes of being able to get out and hike and camp more, and may return to testing next year. I was able to manage one weekend of backpacking in the Sierra mountains and may get to squeeze in a few more hikes.

A couple of weeks ago we finished up kiddings for the year, ending much the way we started with the arrival of a couple of buck kids. A grand total of 42 kids were born on the farm this year, and out of that we only got 15 doe kids. It was a rather disappointing year that way- last year we started off with lots of buck kids, but as the kidding season went on, we started getting more doe kids which helped get us closer to a 50-50 ratio. Unfortunately this year, we didn't ever get to more doe kids. We're in the midst of breeding for spring kiddings right now, and I am really hoping that we get better averages next year.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Angora Fire

I meant to publish this earlier, but wasn't able to in between shows. I took the girls to Yerington, Nevada for a fun weekend show- two AGS and two NDGA rings. On the way back, right before I started into the Sierra's, I saw a huge plume of smoke, which was from the newly started Angora fire. I took this picture of it once I had gotten through a good part of the Sierras- the view is from the Mormon Emmigrant Trail. The fire was only a couple of hours old, but this is how big the smoke plume was already. It took the better part of a week and a half to get the fire put out, and I won't be suprised to see more of these fires since we've had such a dry hot year already.

Monday, June 25, 2007

See us on California Country

A couple of months ago, we spent several hours over two weekends with a crew from California Country, a television magazine program of the Farm Bureau. They were filming a segment about how I make soap from goat milk, and how it is packaged and sold at the farmer's market in Davis. The segment finally started running this weekend and can apparently be seen on various affiliate stations and on RFD TV. I've heard from people around California and even Michigan that they've seen it over the last few days. Check your local listings- we're on during the second segment of the show, after a long piece about growing blue berries.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Like what you see?

We would like you to participate in the blog! It's hard to know who is reading it and what you like or what you want to see more of. So please leave a little message, greeting or just put your name down just so we know that people are reading the blog.

Madera show goes well for Sarah

We had a nice trip down to Madera, CA. for the CCDGA goat show. Our own little TX Twincreeks WDF Sunprite won Grand Champion Sr. doe in milk and Reserve in the second ring. In addition some congratulations go to Debbie Toomey for her Jr. Grand Champion doe CRF Castle Rock Snowflower winning in the second show. Yay!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Garden Photos

I told you I would post them. From top to bottom - Early Girl tomato leaf measures 18 inches, a look between a row of tomatoes (the cages are 5 feet tall), a broccoli head measuring 9 inches across and Polish garlic with Lapines cherrys. The tomato plants were started in the greenhouse the third week in March and planted the first week in May. Plants that started 6-8 inches tall are now 3-41/2 feet tall in just 37 days. Yes, we are going to have a great tomato year. If you are at the farm in the next couples of months, you may go home with some.

Happy June!

I can't believe that it is June already! Where is the year going?

We're in the midst of show season right now and it has been great seeing our goat friends, although I think the does are a little unhappy with how many shows they've gone to where the weather is quite a bit cooler than what they are used to at home.

All of our bottle babies are weaned as of this week. Yay! Bottle feeding a couple of kids is quite fun- when you get over four of them on the bottle at a time, and when they near two months old, they can get pretty pushy. I think next year we may invest in a lamb-bar/bucket feeder to shorten the amount of time it takes to feed all of the kids. We have two more does due at the end of the month, and then we're done until the fall.

We did a count the other evening of how many goats we had on the property and came up with a grand total of 51. Looks like the "For Sale" page may need some updating soon. This morning, we were looking out at the pasture where the does were up visiting the bucks (on opposite sides of the fence), and with about 40 of the goats in one place at the same time, it did indeed look like we had quite a herd. Since the goats are so small, it doesn't usually look like we have that many of them, but this morning it did.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Interested in goat shows?

Show season has started so trying to get a hold of us on any given weekend will be tough at best. If you are interested in goats, want to know more about showing them, milking them or just want to hang out with us, check out the website for the most up to date information on goat shows in Northern California. The weekend of May 19-20 we will be in Placerville and Memorial Day weekend at the REDGA show in Santa Rosa.

Early Spring good for garden

With the longer days we are enjoying it's been really nice to see the garden and the trees around the property looking good. The almond trees have a bumper crop of nuts, biggest we have seen yet, the apple trees are happy with no pests or infestations to deal with, and the vegi-garden has really come around. We planted 140 strawberry plants Feb. of last year and we had a small crop of fruit. This year with the runner plants filling in the open spots the strawberries are coming out of our ears! The garlic plants are looking really good and the tomotoes received new 5 foot tall cages to stretch into. Pics will be posted this week.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

New kids on the farm

It's been a busy week for the stork making deliveries to the barn. "Mootza" had twins mid-last week with a boy and girl. Then yesterday, "Sunsprite" decided to kid early with triplets, 1 boy and 2 girls. Yeaaaa! Of course not to be out done by her sister "Mootza", "Rella" kidded today with twin boys. Yes, you are not seeing things they are named MootzaRella like the cheese. All mommies are doing fine, kidding was pretty easy and we won't have more new kids for another 3 weeks.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

First goat show of the year!!!!

We just came back from Plymouth, CA. after enjoying 2 goat shows put on by the local goat club. We only took four girls but the results couldn't have been better. Sarah showed (Lost Valley Infinity) in both of the shows and won Grand Champion Sr. Doe both times! So now she is a pending ARMCH (Advanced Registry Master Champion) making our herd just that much better. Also of note, Shelly Young of Sly Farms Nigerians took one of our girls she bought last year, Castle Rock MB Lullaby, into the ring and won Jr. Grand Champion Doe. All and all not a bad weekend for Castle Rock Farm.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Post from Andy

We're still trying to figure out this blog thing a little, so I'm publishing a post for Andy....

Welcome to our first blog. If you don't know about us, we are a little farm in rural Vacaville, California. We have Nigerian dwarf goats, the smallest of all the dairy goats, a couple of llamas, chickens, a "victory" garden, a small orchard and full time jobs too. We aren't quite sure how this blog is going to go. Will it be political, goat talk, farm talk or just the occasional rant? Tune in to see.

Welcome to the Blog!

Andy and I were talking the other day about setting up a blog for the farm, and here I've gone and done it. Here we'll update you all about things that are happening around the farm, along with occasional random musings about farm life in general and pet issues of interest to us (and hopefully you as well).

I am a big fan of blogs and read a handful just about every day. This won't be updated nearly as often as my favorite blogs, but the plan is to have at least a few posts a month. Andy and I will both be writing on the blog, and we'll look forward to seeing your comments back to us.