Friday, November 20, 2015


This is Castro - a purebred Boer goat buckling, April born, that I picked up from a local breeder last night.

The 5 doelings I got in the summer are all mixed dairy breeds but I am only looking for enough milk for family use, so I decided to get a meat breed buck to build nice terminal market kids. ('Terminal' meaning none of the offspring would be kept for breeding stock.)

Coolest thing...

This is the coolest thing.

One of my neighbours at the(fabulous) Owen Sound Fine Craft Show was a banjo maker.

I consider that pretty cool.

But what's really cool - he makes them out of recycled cake tins and baking pans.


It's a race

It's a race to get the barn cleaned out before winter.

Porky and Bess are doing a pretty good job rooting - turning everything over and eating all the bits and pieces of hay and grain these find mixed in the bedding pack.

Still, they're not going as deep as I thought they were, as I found when I began to shovel out each section as I moved them on to each subsequent section.

What they root is very easy to clean up - like peat moss really. But the lower layer that they didn't get is very thatched, compact, and heavy.

That lower layer is about 18" deep. It has a brutal crust on the top, which is why I expect Porky and Bess didn't root it. Using a sod spade with a sharped edge, I have to jump on hit quite hard 5 r 6 times to penetrate. Often even that won't do it and I have to chip at it first with the sharp corner of the spade. That crust on top is basically like the rings on a tree. It signifies the pack from two years ago, while what Porky and Bess rooted was the past one year's accumulation.

I built the barn almost 25 years ago when I had my first 10 sheep. I didn't have a tractor then, and didn't expect to have more than 10 sheep so I didn't design the barn for tractor clean out.

Lambing on pasture for so many years meant very little build up in the barn. But with increased coyote pressure I've gone to barn lambing which translates to a lot of pack building up. Solution is likely to get a few pigs every year instead of every other year.

Meantime I'm getting a pair of arms like an 18 year old.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Tagging up some 11th hour knitting of Koigu socks for the Owen Sound Fine Craft Sale this weekend.

Truck loaded last night while there was a break in the rain. It's pouring right now and I'm on my way shortly to set up for the show. I hope the rain stops while I unload!

Jonah knows something is up. They ALWAYS know...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Owen Sound Fine Craft Christmas Show and Sale

Chicken Upside Down Cake

Last year I built a chick coop in one corner of the barn.

Under the roost I've got two XL Rubbermaid tubs that catch most (er, much of) the poop. The plywood panel on the face of the roost is held in place by just a few screws, for easy removal.

Last week I did a thorough cleaning out of the coop in preparation for the coming winter. The Rubbermaid tubs were full-to-overflowing and I was sure they would weigh a zillion pounds and be difficult to move.

To my pleasant surprise, they weren't very heavy at all, and I wasn't sure why. Poop is generally pretty heavy!

I carted the tubs to one of the vegetable garden plots and dumped them.

This is one full tub's worth, dumped upside down.

Only the top 6" (the bottom in the picture) or so is still poop. The rest is thoroughly composted already - virtually high test peat moss.

I guess the plastic construction of the tubs created a good composting environment.

In my sheltered life I think this is totally cool! Next year this is the patch the zucchini, cucumbers, squash and pumpkins will go. I know they will appreciate my Chicken Upside Down Cakes.

Building a Sock

Pictorial: building a sock, from start to finish...