Tuesday, July 01, 2008

That was fun!

Some friends of ours have a farm (or acreage anyway) up in Pinnacle, and Mom and Colin and I went up there today to see it.

They were babysitting some baby goats and they're planning on buying one of them. They've got 25 acres of land, 3 goats, 2 dogs, 2 cats, maybe 30 chickens, and a steer.

I didn't really think about how dirty I might get, so I made sure I wore tennis shoes, but I just had on a nice (as in, not old) t-shirt, and capri pants...and the hoop earrings that I wear a lot. Well, we get there and Mom's friend says, "Oh, I though maybe Natalie was just dropping you off, she's all dressed up with her pretty earrings and everything!" Hmm...not a good start. :p

I should have worn some old jeans or shorts, an older t-shirt, and some less dangly earrings. And possibly some sort of slip on shoes...but I don't have any. The goats were obviously having fun with this clueless stranger...they chewed my shoelaces, chewed the drawstring on my capris, chewed the hems of my capris (because they were right at mouth level!) and stood up and got dirt on me. Luckily dirt was all they got on me...

It's in situations like that that I realize how much of a city girl I am...if I was used to it, I'd have no problem dressing for a farm, in fact I'd be quite happy to wear totally practical, sturdy, clothes that I could get dirty. But I'm not used to that. :\ LOL!

The baby goats were so funny! They'd randomly jump sideways in the air; it was so cute! Our friends also have three older goats.

So we got to see what chickens are like...they're okay I guess...they're practical anyway; you get eggs and chicken from them. Dad's really not sure that he wants chickens...he just really isn't terribly fond of birds, and isn't sure he wants a bunch of chickens in our backyard.

Mom's friend suggested we try beekeeping. When I first heard that, I was pretty sceptical because I'm not very fond of bees...or rather, it's not so much the bees, as that I don't like getting stung! But the bees are sounding better and better all the time! You don't have to do much to them, and they don't require lots of fencing, housing, feeding, breeding, and other misc. work like other farm animals...it sounds like you pretty much leave them alone unless you want honey or have to move them. (Granted, I haven't researched it any, so I'm not sure about that, but some of the kids at church are studying bee-keeping and that's what they said.) But with all the animals our friends have they have to do a lot of stuff with them, and it sounds like a LOT of work.

So, basically, I think I'd rather expand our gardening endeavor, and perhaps get some bees, and maybe chickens. But it seems to me that the best use of the 1/4 acre (minus the house) that we have, would be to grow more vegetables and fruit. For instance I want to grow more of what we've grown before, but also grow blackberries, broccoli, carrots, kiwis, maybe some grape vines, and also maybe some potatoes and onions and stuff. I wonder if these cranberries would grow in North Carolina? They say they grow in zone 7. Ooo, and a bush apricot! Anyway, that sounds like enough more work to me, and at least we'd be getting food out of it.

Here are some pictures:

Me with one baby goat, Comet:

Two goats, Comet and... Blondie?:

One cat (Spice) and the two baby goats, Comet and Fireball (I want that cat!):

Ferdinand the steer...Ferdinand is an awesome name for a steer!:

Anyway, that's what we did this morning! I realized that I never really get outside much anymore, unless I'm working in the garden or something. When I was a little kid, I would play outside all the time, and I still like to be outside, but I just don't have as much I can do outside, and more to do inside. Like, I could take a book or my knitting outside, but then I'd just be sitting there and it also gets hot pretty fast. So if we had a bigger garden I'd have a chance to be out more. In the meantime, I'll...I don't know. Do a bunch of yard work?

I got some fabric for the other side of the apron I'm going to make, I also went to Goodwill this morning after taking Dad to work and found some silverware. We needed more because we always run out of silverware when we have company.

Now I need to go out and water the garden because I didn't get it watered this morning. And then I think I'll lie on my bed and read if I have any time left. Ooof. I don't like being on the go all day.


rebecca said...

Awww! Baby goats!

Since you were going to sort of share the chickens with G&G, can you also use their yard for gardening??

Natalie said...

Uhh...I don't know that I want to. I'm not sure I want "green stuff" being picked out of my garden and put in salad! lol! :p

I'm kidding, I don't mean we'd be stingy with what we get, although I didn't plant enough this year for much excess except for the squash. We'd share with them...in fact, they'll probably get some zucchini and yellow squash when it takes off! *hee-hee*

Grandma just has different gardening techniques than we do...especially regarding what you do or don't put on plants. We put hardly anything on our plants, except for Sevin dust and insecticidal soap, and we also use weedkiller on the poison ivy, but she doesn't like to use anything on the plants...which is why she has peaches on her peach trees that get wasted because she won't either spray them or thin them.

And we have enough room in our yard for a LOT more garden space.

Wow, that turned into a bit of a rant/long explanation....oops.

mandolinartist aka amanda said...

Sounds like you guys had fun! However, I am not sure why you went all the way to Pinnacle and did not drop by King to visit yours truly! (I guess the baby animals are cuter... and more fun...) Hope you didn't run across any highways... :)

Natalie said...

Because it was lunchtime! We did go right by the split towards 66, and I pointed out that junk shop/cafe to Mom, but we had to get home and eat. If we'd had time, we would have stopped! Nope, no highway running!

I'm getting more familiar with those roads up there. For instance, the road to get to their house turns into Volunteer road which is one of the roads you go on to get to camp.

Will said...

LOL @ goats chewing! Next time that happens just kick them. ;) Bee keeping is actually not that much work, the hardest part is if your hive is strong making sure they have enough supers and then extracting all the honey when the time comes.

rebecca said...

Haha...that was a long list of "green stuff" for her to choose from, too! :P

I was using basil the other night and cracking up about it...

Natalie said...

Hmm...kicking, that might have worked! :p I'm not sure I would have wanted to kick their goats though, especially since Colin had already picked one up and tried to carry it around on its back...and of course, not many sensible animals are terribly fond of that, and this goat was no exception! Poor thing...

So have you kept bees, Will?

Ha-ha, Rebecca...basil. You should use some parsley too!
Yeah, that was a lot of stuff, we could end up with broccoli, or grape leaves, or kiwis in the salad next time!! Hmm...actually kiwi might be good. And broccoli's fairly normal.

abigail t said...

Ferdinand IS a great name for a cow. I wonder if they got it from that childrens book about a bull named Ferdinand who liked to smell flowers?
I love goats! We have two, goats are just about my favorite creatures.

Natalie said...

Oh yeah, I like that book!

I'm afraid I don't quite see the point of having goats (unless you like goat milk)...but they are awfully cute! And they supposedly eat poison ivy...that's always good! :D

abigail said...

Yes, we like their milk. And they eat pretty much anything :D

mandolinartist aka amanda said...

No prob... I would usually be able to feed you lunch, but I just got to the grocery store today since we returned on our trip... We have been creative with dinner the last few days!