I know, I know, rain has been a reoccurring subject lately, so bear with me as I mention rain again!
It rained pretty steadily from mid morning yesterday with a few breaks here and there during the day today. Checking the gauge this morning, we received a decent 3 inches from this latest storm. The weather man is predicting even more rain this weekend and into next week. The last part of March and beginning of April sure has been a soggy one. Surveying the garden this morning, I realized it’s hard not to be amazed how much the plants grew and filled in just overnight.
There’s something magical in spring rains that give the plants a boost that no amount of water or fertilizer could ever do. The only negative thing about this latest storm is that it’s knocked off quite hundreds (sniff) of teeny, weenie avocados off the tree. But, that’s nature’s culling for you, so what’s there to say. Fortunately, the forming peaches and apples fruits are a bit stronger than the delicate avocados and their fruit set hasn’t been affected.
Rain, being rare in So Cal, makes local headline news. Seriously, the local networks gear up for “storm watch.” Of course, coverage is needed when there’s flooding or for the mudslide prone areas due to recent fires. But when they start interviewing people on the street about what they think of the rain – please. And some folks, get this, say they are tired of the rain! Apparently they haven’t a clue how much we need rain in the arid west and how much it means to people who grow food. To them rain is just an inconvenience and not to be celebrated.
We picked a bunch of sweet snow peas today. The cooler weather has certainly helped the cool weather crops which suffered a bit from the unusually warm (hot) January and February. The garlic crop is up and looking good! The wildflowers on the median are starting to bloom – bright orange California poppies, deep red scarlet flax and more.
Yesterday and part of today was an indoor type of day. The guys brewed some biodiesel in the garage and did a bit of other work there.
For me it was a good day to tackle a few unfinished projects that have been sitting in my knitting baskets. I’ve started to put together all the brightly colored granny squares that I crocheted awhile back. I laid out all the squares into a decent, symmetrical pattern and today will be crocheting the squares together. It was also time to clean up and organize things that have gotten away from us in recent months. We even cleaned up and organized the files on the computer. Jordanne’s been organizing her goat folder and putting together an order of necessary supplies that we’ll need to properly care for the goat.
Getting Our Goat
The reason we are opting for a pygmy goat, instead of our first choice the Nigerian Dwarf, is that with our small property we don’t think it’s fair on the goat. Before getting any animals, we want to make sure this set up is best for them – not just for us to have another animal. Jordanne is particular about keeping animals humanely and making sure they have enough space and not caged/crammed into a small space. As for the African Pygmy Goats, they are very small in size, averaging 15-20 inches tall at the shoulder, and they provide small amounts of high quality milk . We don’t drink much (any) milk anyways so this animal will be more for eating up the green waste and for fertilizer purposes than being a milk machine. When we get more land our choice would be to get a few of the Nigerian Dwarfs. We had a regular sized goat when we lived on the 10 acres in Florida, her name was Molly Jo and, boy, was she a stubborn girl, er goat! We got her too old and ornery and mischievous in her ways. With this goat we hope to get, she’ll be holistically raised and trained.
The Pygmy Goat is hardy, alert and animated, good-natured and gregarious; a docile, responsive pet, a cooperative provider of milk, and an ecologically effective browser. The Pygmy goat is an asset in a wide variety of settings, and can adapt to virtually all climates.
…Feeding and housing requirements for Pygmy goats are modest: a draft free 8′ x 10′ shed furnished with elevated sleeping and feeding places will accommodate four adult animals. An attached outside enclosure with at least 4′ high fencing will provide the fresh air and exercise these active, fun-loving goats need. They are very sociable and are happier in a herd atmosphere or with another goat as a friend. A basic diet of roughage in the form of legume and grass hay, bark, brush, and dry leaves [may need] to be supplemented.