"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Things That Are Going Well

Reading back over the last month or so of blog posts, I noticed that it seems as though life on the farm has been one long bummer lately. That is not the case. It's actually been pretty nice around here, and for everything that has been going wrong, there are at least two things going right. So to set the record straight, here's a list of things that have been doing quite well, thank you:

1) The weather: The weather has been idyllic lately - ranging from the high sixties to the mid seventies, with an occasional foray into actual "hot" territory of nearly eighty. Light breezes waft the puffy clouds about the blue sky, and the mountains have made several stunning appearances on the northern horizon. It's warm enough that the kids have spent a lot of time splashing about in our inflatable pool, and I have enjoyed watching them and reading a book while I herd the goats.

2) Flowers: The blackberries are in blossom. The white clover is in full bloom and the red clover is just beginning to open. The tall buttercup is everywhere, and the lupins, california poppies, and shasta daisies cover the roadsides. Bees are everywhere. It makes me ridiculously happy to see bees - bumble, honey and mason - crawling drunkenly from blossom to blossom.

3) Fruits and Veggies: After a long cold spring in which the only thing on offer at local farmer's markets was some anemic salad greens, there is suddenly a profusion of produce. Last saturday, I observed with great joy that the first strawberries were on offer. There were also snap peas, greens of all descriptions, carrots, baby beets, and various fresh leafy herbs. One of the locals at the farmer's market in Ferndale is a new trade partner this year, and I brought her some delicious cheese in exchange for a bagful of goodies, including something new to me: garlic scapes.
I was thrilled to discover these beautiful and scrumptious vegetables, which I sauteed in butter and tossed with pasta and goat cheese. Speaking of goat cheese:

4) Cheesemaking: I have enjoyed a series of successes lately. I bought some new cheese culture and it is terrific, making a very creamy and tangy chevre. My trade partners love the red pepper chevre with basil, and so I've been making a lot of that. Other notable triumphs include dill and caraway seeded cheddar and a mistake-made-good that resulted in a wonderful smooth-textured white stretchy cheese. I have been enjoying the beautiful cheese press my husband made me for mother's day.

5) Animals: with the single exception of Django, who had to be put down for a positive CAE test and general ill health, all my animals are in tip-top condition. The other does are plump and glossy, pooping pellets and giving enormous quantities of milk. The baby goats are growing like weeds and spend their time head-butting and describing fabulous arcs across the landscape. Rosie and Poppy are in perfect health, getting just the tiniest bit fat on all the green grass. They have their sleek summer coats on and shine mellowly in the sun. Poppy has started ground training with a local girl and hopefully soon will be better mannered.

6) The Kids: Are off to a good start on summer vacation - running around like wild animals, climbing trees, digging for worms in the garden, and playing with their new bunnies (bought as a consolation after Django's demise). I have deliberately left summer fairly unplanned, and so with the exception of swimming lessons and one long-weekend trip to Victoria, we are looking forward to an extremely lazy summer vacation, with nothing more strenuous than perhaps a day of clamming down at the beach, barbecues with friends, and afternoons at the U-pick farms gathering berries.


Jennifer AKA keewee said...

Yes indeed, I can see that things are going well. I say, unless we have a set back or two, then it is hard to enjoy the good things.
Have a wonderful summer.

Penelope said...

Get as many garlic scapes as you can, their season is short! Throw them in the food processor with a generous amount of olive oil, make sure you have enough to cover them when you transfer to a jar. They'll keep like that as a pesto of sorts for a month or so. Use it as a base for salad dressing (just add apple cider vinegar or lemon) or as a rub for chicken or steak, in place of garlic for ANY dish you would use garlic in, and it will be brighter, greener and fresher in flavor. They're my favorite.

Penelop said...

Keep in the fridge, that probably goes without saying.....

Aimee said...

good idea Pen, I remember now that fantastic dressing at your house with that scape pesto. Hopefully there will be more today!