Monday, April 26, 2010

Milkstand

An old table, a piece of roof-gutter, a few slats and two dozen screws can make a very practical milkstand.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cherries blossoming

Salt

Plants that goats do not eat

I was looking for flowers to plant in our garden but wanted something our goats won't eat. Therefore I googled on plants thats goats do not eat. Conclusion;
1) What you do want them to eat (for example nettles)
2) Concrete flowers (however they will climb on it).

So far we only grow babygoats in our flower beds.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Night frost


Yesterday I earthed up our early potatoes to protect them from freezing but now it seems warm enough to move our tomato and pepper seedlings outside.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Will be blossom

The calm after the storm


It is nice and calm on our camp site field.

Vegetable garden layout

Compleet books are written on this subject vegetable garden layout. I call the layout of our garden 'organic'; it is not planned, it develops during the gardening season. There are only a few things I keep in mind:
- crop rotation (especially for the nightsade familly)
- soil quality (our soil is very heterogeneous) in relation to what different vegetables like
- most beds will be north-south so plants get good exposure to the sun
Apart from that it is not planned or designed. The main paths just wide enough for a baby buggy and the bed are as long as the slat of wood I use for measuring. The smaller paths have the size of a spade. And the beds are one rake wide.
We have the luxury of have a large vegetable plot so we don't have to use every square centimeter. For those less lucky, have a look at the picture of this Tyre Stack Potato Patch. Great idea! Instead of making ridges you just add tyres and soil...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Be aware; watchgoat


Be aware, this farm is guarded by Smurdy!

Potatoes and other vegetables




Ratte d'Ardeche have been planted. I used small tubers from last year's harvest. In the future I would like to grow some more varieties like Roseval and Charlotte. Time to organise a 'tuber-swap'with Eveline and Johan.
Thanks to the nice weather peas, broad beans and onions are growing well.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Living fence finished

Never ever again goats, dogs, geese or a 300 kg horse in my vegetable garden. Today I finished the living fence; horizontal is a mix of alder buckthorn and willow, vertical into the soil I planted hazel and willow twigs. It is not very pretty however the idea is that the vertical branches will sprout and form a living hedge. Arnold made a nice wicket-gate.

No animals destroying spinach (left) or carrots (right).

Goat management

Goat management ; a contradiction in terms. You can hardly manage them - they manage you! Today we have nice weather again and goat mothers with babies have been directed outside, however they (the mothers) complain; they prefered the situation that the food was brought to them...
Now I only have to make a milkstand and milking can start within two weeks!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pouring rain

It is dirty weather for two days now and it will be raining at least another two. Last year we were begging for rain (because of our Christmas trees) and now we are complaining....

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tinus

Today we welcomed the twin little Tita and big Tinus, daughter and son of Sarah and Smurdy, on our farm.
All births were without any complications and the new mothers are behaving wonderful.

Tita

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tata

My nieces with their goats.

'Our' goats are actually from my nieces and they have decided that the first kid born would be for our daughter. They had already choosen a name for it 'Tata' a word which will be easy to pronounce by Katinka.

So here she is, born today 9 April; a beautiful white she-goat 'Tata'.


Getting up - - - Isn't she a beauty?

First sips of milk.

Please don't tell my neighbours


Belana ready to be planted.

Gardening season in this part of Slovakia starts on the first of May. Everything, early vegetables, late vegetables, is sown on that day. Potatoes are planted even later, after the Ice Saints (11 - 13 May). So putting them in now is commiting sacriledge. I did the same last year (on the 8th of April) with my Belanas and Scarlets and got a wonderful crop of very early potatoes.


Ratte d'Ardeche and Vitelotte Noir have started to sprout but will be planted later together with the variety Viola.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Banished

With his girls heavily pregnant, Smurdy our billy goat has been banished into his own paddock. We do expect his offspring to come in any moment. Smurdy will be sold or castrated to avoid inbreeding. His successor has already been selected. A beautiful cream collored 75% Anglonubian 25% Slovakian goat.

Kleine Kokette Katinka


Kleine Kokette Katinka is a famous Dutch song
of 'De Spelbrekers' (1962);

Katinka
Every morning, at half past eight
We meet Katinka
Red bonnet and blond locks
Bright yellow shirt, blue skirt
But she trips silently beside her mum
That's why all the boys who long for her, sing

Little coquettish Katinka
Now, look round for once
Sneaky over your shoulder
Your mum doesn't see it, so come on
Little coquettish Katinka
Are you maybe shy?
We really want to see for a moment
A glimpse of your tip-tilted nose

Every morning, sun or rain
We meet Katinka
Heels tick-tack on the sidewalk
Short skirt with narrow cut
But her look doesn't betray no or yes
That's why all the boys who long for her, sing

Little coquettish Katinka
Now, look round for once
Sneaky over your shoulder
Your mum doesn't see it, so come on
Little coquettish Katinka
Are you maybe shy?
We really want to see for a moment
A glimpse of your tip-tilted nose