Climbing me looking for dinner.
Friday marked the week's end for us. The kids and I ran into town for goat hay and ten pounds of raw wool. The wool will be cleaned and blended with Angora into roving and yarn. I can't wait to offer it for sale in our Etsy store. Rabbit wool from my own bunnies, Sheep wool from a neighbor raising an endangered breed and a small family mill in my state. I've raised the bunnies from babies. I know the shepherd. I've shook hands with the sheep. I'll drop it off in person; discuss with the owner the best methods and blendings in the spring.
It feels good to support local. It feels even better to be part of the process.
My friend and her family came that night for a weekend visit. I'm not used to hosting overnighters as my previous house wasn't size accomodating. They've bought land just down the street and plan to start a self-sufficient farm like us. Nine kids and four adults somehow fit in for two nights without fighting. The first night, excitement was riding the kids, like the eve before a holiday but so much more because it bounced between them all and back again.
Saturday they awoke with much more energy than the parents, siphoned from some magical place inacessable to grown-ups. I wish I had a tenth of that bottled. I'd be rich. Or at least not quite so tired. After some errands, we started putting up the fence around the pasture. This was built for a horse farm with a beautiful wood slat fence running the perimeter. A beautiful fence that goats would walk right through. My shoulders and arms feel leadened. Tired. Old.
In two days we ran wire fence between the posts, anchoring in between for a little extra goat resisance, pounding in three-quarter inch staples by hand across some two hundred plus feet and four feet up. We'll need another 330 foot roll plus a good chunk of a third before it's ready for the animals. We hadn't even had to sink the posts since the pasture was already there, I can't imagine setting that up from scratch. PX90 has nothing on farm work.
I decided today was the day for breeding the rabbits. At breakfast Duncan got a mate. The weather has been stable with warm days and cool nights. I think the last of the frosts is behind us even if the almanac warns into March. Florida hates the cold and shrugs it off like a thick coat as quick as it can in lieu of flip flops and mosquito repellant. I'm hoping when Flora builds her nest there won't be any question further question of cold. This will be our first litter even though we've owned rabbits for over a year. Today was the first time I thought of kits and had no doubts. Sometimes you have doubts or worries and surge on through, other times you just sit and wait them out.
If all goes well, come May we'll have fluffy white baby rabbits for sale.
The rabbit area and chicken coops got mucked out and spread on the garden. Tomorrow Blake is coming back over to finish the tilling with his horses. I'm trying hard to hide my giddiness behind the stoic expression of something more than a novice. I don't think it's working very well. Then the post pounding starts. More wire will get stretched; rabbit-proof fencing this time. I have sprouts starting green life in yogurt cups, lettuce and strawberries from the farmer's market waiting for more room to spread their roots. Even more seeds are on the way. Tri-colored pole beans, strawberry popcorn and turnips, buckwheat cover crop, white radishes and heritage lettuce. The garden will be a wonderland by June.
Leeloo went off-leash for the first time today. I'm marvelling at how well her training has turned out over the course of just one short week. She sat, she came, she played. Tonight, we went out together off-leash again without a hitch. She's like a new dog. Even if she did gnaw the corner off the guest's sheet. I suppose we can't all be perfect.
Tonight I'm ending on a high note. Yes, I'm tired. Yes, I ache worse than the time I stupidly signed up for a personal trainer at Bally's. The house is a mess and the list of things to do didn't really go down at all regardless of the near endless work of three days. But I'm pleased.