NO VACANCY!

JAZ Farm is officially full up.  There is no vacancy and no more room at the Inn – unless you want to sleep in the camper!

The farm is set up in sort of a “U” configuration.  Permaculture dictates that you lay out your place in zones: the house area being Zone 1, the parts of the homestead that need daily attention (like gardens and livestock, etc, thus the shortest walking distance away, being Zone 2, and Zone 3 being things that require less attention, like the orchard and pasture, etc.  We call our daily routine in zone 2 “doing the stations of the cross”.  Go outside and deposit compost, walk over to the coop and get eggs, take care of the boy goats, tend the pigs, and make sure everyone has food and water and is healthy and happy.  Then take a walk around to the west to feed and water the donkeys, then the turkeys, then the girl goats.  After breakfast, go out and work in the gardens.  Do it all again in the evening.

As of today, all the stations are full again!  After having a conniption because my piglet supplier had forgotten me and promised an entire litter to one person, she called and admitted she had forgotten and felt really bad!  GOOD!  Evidently, she has a new 4 month old girl spawn.  Remembering back the 24 years ago that happened to us, I was willing to be a compassionate grandpa figure.

Anywho, she held two little piggies back for me.  As usual, with farm things, I didn’t expect to be getting them today.  At 2:00 this afternoon I found out they were available.  At 5:00, they were in their pen!  I scrambled to rake out the hut, lay down fresh straw, get to the feed store to get something for them to eat, and get water in one of the buckets.  Then off I went in my little POS run around car with a dog crate in the back. Got there ok, and it is always fun to see the mom who sprung ’em.  As usual, she was the size of a Buick and endowed in a way that would make Stormy Daniels blush.  Would guess momma sow to weigh in at 6-700 lbs.

We were also going to get a “gilt” (baby girl pig) to keep for future breeding, but the breeder didn’t have one due to forgetting about holding them for me.  But, after seeing her pregnant future mommas, she told me that there will be many available around the end of June.  We aren’t in a hurry and that should work out fine.  Considering the scarcity of pork that is on the horizon, I’ll take what I can get.

These are the youngest little guys we’ve had (6 weeks).  Today was weaning day so they have never been away from mom before.  If you have ever done the rhyme “This little piggy went to market, etc., etc.” The one that is the little toe:  “Went Wee Wee Wee all the way home”, must have been made up by a farmer.  They SCREAMED all the way home.  I think I need to go to an audiologist.  We’ve experienced it many times before, but there is something about a freaked out pair of baby pigs, in a dog crate, in the back of your car, that really drives the point home.  SQUEAL!!!!

So JAZ Farm is full up.  The tally is thus:

  • 2 and sometimes 3 bipedal humanoids
  • 2 Labrador Retrievers.
  • 2 Barrow piglets (castrated males)
  • 2 Nigerian Dwarf boy goats (bucks)
  • Two donkeys
  • 3 Nigerian Dwarf girl goats (does)
  • Half a dozen Bourbon Red turkeys
  • 35 laying hens
  • 26 broiler chickens
  • 8 turkey eggs cooking in the incubator
  • Depending on the day anywhere from 2 to infinity barn cats
  • Half an acre vegetable garden and a work in progress fruit and berry orchard

That ought to keep us plenty busy.  If you need anything take a number and we’ll try to act like we are concerned.  Leave a message, someday we’ll get back to you.

Tomorrow I’m going to have to go out and rig up one of the dog fences around the pig hut.  These little dudes probably don’t even weigh 3 pounds at this point so they can likely squeeze through some of the fence holes.  They are secure enough for now, but once they get over being freaked out, they will start exploring.  Right now they are even shorter than the lowest electric wire 12 inches off the ground..  Thank goodness they grow fast.

Here are some initial pictures-  Not very good ones as they kept trying to hide under each other.  They weren’t feeling too photogenic.

PS:  Zina found out we got them and drove all the way out here to see them, just walked in the door.  Could have predicted that one!  Let the worrying and fussing begin.  She loves the creatures!

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The Retreat Discovery So Far

Just a meme update.  No farming or collapse stuff.  Just this.  Wouldn’t put it out there if it wasn’t a big deal.  If you’ve gone through it yourself, just remember – You went through it.  You didn’t cause it.  It wasn’t your fault.  If anything, you were one tough S.O.B.  After all, you are still alive.  That, in itself, is something of a miracle.  Stay strong.  If the retreat does nothing else other than  affirm this, it was worth it.  The world is psychotic.  To be awake in a world that slumbers it’s way to it’s death, is enlightenment.

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Back On Track

The ground is relatively dry, the parts for the nine new beds are done and moved into the garden, so it’s time to get the man in here with his semi and dump me some planter’s mix.  Thank goodness for tractors.  All that lumber is durned heavy!  This is the first day in a long time that I haven’t driven a single screw.  I forgot what it was like to not be all scratched and bloody at the end of the day.  There’s always tomorrow though!  Zina and I put on all the other hail guards this past weekend and they look great.  Just in time for spring thaw!  Looks like we will be in the upper sixties for the next 10 days.  Melt off shall commence.

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The boys are loving the warmer weather too!  Donkeys LOVE to play tug-o-war.  Pretty spry for a couple of old farts!

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A Taste of Winter

Fall is finally hear.  The absolutely soul crushing heat has finally subsided.  You will never hear me complain about cool and cold weather.  I may get sick of snow after awhile but I hate excessive heat, especially humid heat (which, fortunately, we don’t get here).  Having the temps even get down into the mid-80’s later this past summer seemed heaven sent.  Now that its been in the 60’s, I’ve been in my element.

The weather is weird now though on a pretty regular basis (cuz nothing is wrong, nothing urgent to see here).  Yesterday we were in the mid-sixties.  Today, with a storm racing out of Canada on the now completely broken Jet Stream, we have two inches of snow on the ground and the high will be 27 and tonight it is going down to 14.  A thirty to forty degree temperature swing in one day.

So in amidst the canning yesterday, Zina was busy outside getting all the eyeballs and stomachs all situated for the impending early onset of winter.  The turkeys were fed and watered, the goats got fluffed up straw in their huts to hunker down in, the chickens are closed up and the donkeys are all dressed up in their winter coat finery.  This morning she went out and checked on everyone, broke open the waterers and just made sure everyone was cozy.

Next Tuesday is supposed to be 60 again.  Ever get the feeling we are totally screwed?

 

These are the sweetest boys on the planet.  Ain’t they cute!?

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