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“A Post About Today, January 11th”

After a very white Christmas, the weather has turned again to rain and the earth to mud.  Strong green blades of grass are erupting all around me.  It’s surreal!  In between bouts of rain I get to stake the goaters out for a refreshing munch of fresh green grass.  In January, no less!

The first blades of green grass are coloring the meadow

I bet they’re grateful not to be weathering another 6-month winter with sub-zero temperatures!  I’m still on the fence about it.  I miss the snow, the cold, and the silence.

For Christmas I started a new greenhouse.  It is nearing completion now and I will have photos soon.  I worked every day during that beautiful, calm week of frigid snow.   I had cut a heap of lumber several weeks prior, so I dragged them to my building location and worked on measuring and staking out where my posts would go, contemplating how I wanted to frame it in.

Anything I build is going to have to come out artistic, there’s no two ways about it!  I plan on bracing my East wall with a rising sun made of C-shaped branches cresting over the door, with the sun’s rays bracing the length of my rafters.  Beside the door and below the sun will be the silhouette of a snow-capped mountain, and below that a flowing river outlined by curved character sticks.  On my West wall will be a large crescent moon of C-shaped branches, cresting over a naked tree (2-dimensional, made of spliced together branches), beside a mirror of the snow-capped mountain on the East face.  Another door will border the mountain peak.

Nova watches, amused, as I begin construction in the snow.

Naturally the interior will be braced “normally”.  It’s all well under way.  I hunt through the marshy thicket for “DDD” trees and branches; “Dead, Dying, or Doomed”.   I have no desire to take healthy standing trees right now.  Thankfully there  are gobs of old dead maple and alder that haven’t started to rot yet!

With the greenhouse nearing completion, I’m beginning to plot  out my 2022 garden.  What can I even expect from a growing season over twice as long as I’m accustomed to?!  You bet  I’ll be growing pumpkins and watermelons!  My squash and gourds will be at the rear of the greenhouse garden.  I will train and trellis them up through the wooden braces.  As this greenhouse is protruding off the front of my tiny house, the giant squash leaves will serve as late-summer shade for my home.  Amongst them will wind pole beans and cucumbers in ample quantities.  And in front of the squash will be trellised tomatoes.  On the ground amidst the upwards-wandering chaos, holy basil will grace me with its sweet perfume all season long while beets come and go around  them throughout the season.

My outdoor, exposed gardens will host a wide variety of other good garden stuffs, of course!  Each will be plotted and planned in due time.

Rüma and Aroyu greet me, eager for a chance to go eat fresh grass!

In the mean time, I’m riding out a lull in milk  supply.  Tisl and Rüma are due to kid in March.  I dried them off for Christmas to give their bodies  a nice long break before kidding.  I believe that  one of the reasons for Rüma’s birthing complications in March 2021 may have been milking her too long into her pregnancy.   To be sure, I stopped milking much earlier  this time around.  While I’ve kept milkers  in the past, I’ve never actually lived out this cycle in full; breeding and milking.  I’ve read 1,000 differing opinions about when to dry a doe off.  Opinions range in extremes from drying off as soon as a doe breeds back, to drying off 2 weeks before she gives birth.  Ultimately the health of the doe in question is likely to be the dictating factor in what she can endure and sustain.

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