Monday, May 30, 2011


If it weren't for the veggies and fruit, I really would have no use for summer. I'd skip it all if I could. The bugs, heat, sweat, watering, poison ivy, and dealing with hoses. There is none of this that I love. What almost makes it worth it is the tomatoes, peaches, fresh peppers, basil, tomatillos, corn, squash and parsley that makes its way to the table.

Last night we had a very late dinner of roasted chicken and veggies. I had found some inspirational new potatoes at the market and added my own tiny carrots, beets, turnips, fennel and onions and popped them in a way too hot oven and we still ate near 11. Which is what happens when you work until dark. Why is it that delicious roasty things come in a season that you don't want to roast? This is what I am saying about summer. Inconvenient on all fronts....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Season of Laundry

At this time of year there is much to contribute to the never ending and insufferable mountain of laundry that the SB and I produce. First, the temperature fluctuates wildly during the day. You can go from needing long sleeves, pants and socks in the morning to short, tank and sandals in the afternoon. Necessitating at least one change of clothes. Add in that you are sweating and stinking up your clothes. And that just about everything that we do outside involves mud, water, hay or poop and you can see where this is going. Then there are the work clothes. If I could hire out one indoor task it would be laundrypluscleaningthefreakinbaseboards.

The goats are growing and getting a wee bit chubby I think. They are full tilt on the hay but have not given up the bottles. We are weaning them down.... Tomorrow I think we do away entirely with their mid day meal. Nice how I eliminate the one that I am not home for.... I let the SB suffer the loud displeasure of the goats. Him and the neighbors. By the weekend they will be used to it. And I can sleep in another 10 minutes.

LBD is going on her third round of antibiotics. She still has a lump in her foot. It isn't getting any worse, but it isn't getting that much better either. The last bit really needed to ripen up on its own time, so we are trying to be patient. I talked to the vet today and he said his partner suggested using Preparation H on it. Another vet has told us that we should soak in epsom salts and hit it with Benadine every day until it "drains". There is both comfort and frustration in the fact that the "experts" are just as scatter shot as I am on this.

Flea beetles found my tender eggplant plants if 34 seconds flat. Planted corn and squash this afternoon. I think that counts as getting something done.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Renaissance Hombre

So yesterday was sort of a crazy day, as are most around the Urban Farm in the springtime. The SB though, decided that he might just merit the title Renaissance Man after the day. He spent a big portion of it designing and building the goat house. The difficult part being the pyramid roof with the cupola that is planned (you know, the one that allows the light to come into the middle of the building and fire up the chandelier in the middle of the day). Not so straightforward in the rafter department. Not revolutionary, mind you, but it takes some figuring. Add to that an (at least) semi successful foot surgery on the Little Brown Duck (LBD) and you have a day of many colors here in Woolen Mills.

The surgery. Oi. We captured the duck late in the day and decided to give it another go on the bumblefoot. The foot was progressing in that the bumble was getting a large scab on the bottom and a tough outer ring. The SB poked and carved at it a bit until something came out. Um. Dis.Gusting. It was an evil looking thing. Like a booger from the nose of The Devil Himself. Tough like cartilage and with nasty fingers poking out in all directions. It bled quite a bit, but getting that bit out was a big step in the right direction. There may be more there, but we are giving it a few days to sort itself out before we try anything new. When I came home from work I gave the duck some antibiotics and tried to get some Blukote on its foot, but I couldn't subdue its feisty three pounds of protest (at least without doing damage) so I called it a day and let her spend the rest of it in the garden with free access to the pea shoots and spinach.

All in all, progress on many fronts. I got the tomatoes in the ground (FINALLY) and still have to plant lots of peppers and eggplant. And okra. THAT definitely has to go in soon. But the garden is heading toward its first lull, at least in the greens department. Though now that the spinach and cabbages are on their way out, this year's chard is coming on, so we should be ok for a while during the wait until the peas and zucchini start making a showing.

The wee goats are growing up and are now more interested in eating than in lap sitting. Which is truthfully something of a relief as I was beginning to wonder if having two forty to fifty pound goats in one's lap was really a good way to spend the summer. They are still adorable and love to be petted and will still climb in your lap, it is just between foraging now.

Monday, May 2, 2011


I talked to my vet today. He admitted being "invested" in the duck cure. I like that in a vet. He even called around to get me a better antibiotic set up. You see the ones I got were pre mixed and for use with mammals. Avian species apparently metabolized differently so we need to give her a lot more per body weight. But since the stuff was already diluted, it meant that we were trying to give her 3 ml twice a day. OK, that probably doesn't seem like a lot, but when you are holding a squawking duck down at 6:20 AM, it seems like a lot. Especially as a lot of it ends up on the person delivering. So the pharmacist at Meadowbook (who rocks) mixed up a stronger dosage. I think he also added some glycerine as it is a little thicker too. To keep it from running out of the bill so quickly.

Over the weekend, the bumble developed an honest to goodness scab that could be removed. We hoped that removal of the scab in combo with some swimming would help things along, but it looks like we are going for another surgery tomorrow afternoon. I think this one will be successful. It is easier to see now where the best place to make the incision is. Cross your fingers for us.

I have been dreaming of wee duck footwear to keep the foot "clean and dry". I don't think I am going to be able to craft the stylish duck sandal I have in my head, but we will need to come up with something. And if we do get it out, there will be an end to the swimming for a while. Which is too bad as she does enjoy it. Especially because we add copious amounts of spinach to the bathing water, which is a favorite way that ducks eat. Gag.

The garden is about to hit that awkward in between stage where the spinach and arugula is bolting but the summer squash and beans have not yet matured. I think I will have beets and some mustard in the interim, but it is kinda hard to tell right now. Looking forward to cool week ahead to keep the greens from bolting.