We just finished up our very first kidding season!
::Cue the excitement and relief::
Now that we have four happy healthy babies goats on the ground and our numbers went from three goats to seven overnight, I feel like we can all breath a little easier.
Bonus points is that all four of our new additions are doelings!
Looking ahead our plan is to retain two of the four and reinvest into an additional senior doe for the coming season.
For anyone looking for two ADGA registered doelings from good milking lines, check out this page as it will be updated shortly with pedigree, photos and purchase info.
<< ALL our animals are well socialized. :)
Baking bread is one of my favorite things to do. There's something in the sweet simplicity that by mixing together a few basic ingredients you get a deliciously hearty food to use for a wide variety of meals.
This recipe from the book Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin has become one of my standbys. It is simple to make, has good flavor and has an assortment of uses.
From Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin
5.5 cups bread flour, plus 2.5 tbs. for sprinkling
1 envelope (2.25 tsps.) active dry yeast
2.5 tsps. salt
2 cups cool water
2 tbs. cornmeal
3 cups ice water
Mix 5.5 cups flour, yeast, salt and water in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the dough hook attachment mix for 2-3 minutes on low speed or until the dough becomes elastic.
Leave the dough in the bowl and cover. Let rise in warm place (approx. 70 degrees) until doubled in size or for roughly 4.5 hours.
After the dough has doubled, scrape the edges of the dough away from the bowl and into the center, gently releasing the air inside. Sprinkle your work space with 2 tablespoons of flour and remove the dough from the bowl, forming it into a ball. Shape it into a rectangle then divide into four equal strips using a dough cutter or sharp knife.
Roll each piece to about 18" in length. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick baking mat (I use a couche cloth and gently fold it to create four "wells" in which to place the bread) and sprinkle with cornmeal.
Cover, and allow the baguettes to rise in a warm place (at least 70 degrees) for one hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a small pan in the bottom to preheat. This will be used to create steam during baking.
Using a sharp knife or bread lame (I've also been known to use scissors) make four diagonal slashes in the top surface of each loaf.
Place the baking sheet with bread in the over, add 3 cups ice water to the preheated pan and quickly shut the door to create steam.
Bake for 35 minutes or until lightly brown with a good crust.
Remove and cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes before slicing.
Our garden is in full swing...and so are the weeds. Somedays I feel like I garden more weeds than flowers and vegetables. I guess that harks back to perspective on what actually is a weed. By definition, a weed is any unwanted plant. I know this, in part, because I took a complete course in Weed Science at the University of Florida in my third year there. Yep, Weed Science is indeed "a thing".
Anyways, I digress...
In combatting these thorny, creeping, aggravating interlopers of the garden, I have a few favorite tools to help keep them at bay.
Item 1. The Ames Action Hoe - This is another gem I learned about while at university thanks to Dr. Buhr. Unlike a conventional hoe that is basically a shaped, non moving piece of metal at the end of a long handle, the action hoe has a hinged double edged blade like the shape a stirrup that the user can shuffle just under the soil surface to remove small weed seedlings of the roots. By lopping off the leaves from the roots you are eliminating said weeds' ability to grow in most cases. This tool works best for removing weed seedlings rather than mature plants. It also provides minimal disruption to the soil as compared to a conventional hoe.
Item 2. Mud Gloves - I first discovered these at one of my favorite local seed shops. Sadly, the owners retired and closed just this past year. Thankfully, these gloves have withstood all my abuse and have not needed a replacement. They are cool, keep most of the dirt out and the loud colors are hard to miss when I set them down, then forget where I left them. They are fairly thick, nice for when I accidently disrupt the fire ants, but stay cool. The synthetic leather palm safeguards against the extra thorny weeds. I have also tried their cotton/latex gloves and the Gauntlet Gloves, used for rose trimming, both of which have held up well and fit great! Hands down, Mud Gloves for the win.
Item 3. We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines and Kids. This sweet narrative from Jo herself is a wonderful reminder that as gardeners, though we may be alone in our gardens, are not alone in our challenges as gardeners. EVERY garden has weeds. But, just as we all have challenges, we also have the triumphs too every time we get to harvest the fruits of our labor. We Are the Gardeners is a delightful read for young and old whether you have a few patio pots or many acres.
Of course in the long game, it will be great to find the same "balance" in our part of the ecosystem as those in the new Hulu documentary The Biggest Little Farm, but, until then, I'll keep ripping my weeds one at a time.
Hey there! I'm Katie. This blog was launched in 2019 to help other families in their horse-ing, small farming, and homeschooling endeavors. Join us on this amazing journey!
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Please note, these are experiences that have worked for us and do not represent the opinions, knowledge etc. of a professional. Please view full disclaimer here.