Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spring is coming!

I'm anxious for spring! Can you tell?? I don't mind winter too much, but I do love spring.

You can tell that spring is getting close, because we are having babies born left and right! Mostly bulls, but that's ok right now. We're hoping to have more heifers later on. We're really not into the busy calving yet, that comes in about 2 weeks. Starting the second week of March through the end of April we have about 30 cows due to have their babies. I like this time of year because of all the babies. But it is a lot more work! Bottle feeding that many babies can take some time! But we're excited to have the milk coming in. We've been down to only 23 cows milking, and that just barely pays the bills.

Some baby calves. Both pictures were taken in 2005. The bottom picture
appeared in an article on Artisan cheese making in the Ohio Magazine in 2005.

Emily had an exciting (and freaky to me) find the other night in the barn. I was pushing hay into the cows and Emily started screaming "What is that in the hay!" Ok, it scared me, a lot. She continues "it's a mouse, no it's a rat!" Then more calmly..."oh...maybe it's just a turd..." Then I heard the squeaking noise, and told Al to turn on more lights so I could see, we moved the hay gently, and there lay the biggest bat I believe I have ever seen in our barn. His teeth looked pretty mean too! Scared me because Emily had just been playing in the pile of hay. Now, I know how to scare her.... (I'm so mean!!!), but she'll start climbing around in the hay, and I'll ask her if there are any bats. She stops in her tracks and gets a weird look on her face!

This is not Emily's bat that we found in the barn, but one that we found in our garage about 2 years ago.

We had some timber buyers stop in and walk our woods, giving us estimated prices on our timber. Unfortunately, timber prices are down. We'll probably have to settle for less than we had hoped, but that's how it sometimes goes.

The timber buyer that stopped in today did buy some cheese! We love to have customers stop at the farm. It don't happen too often, we live two miles from town on a dirt road, and this road is mud right now! Can't blame folks for not wanting to venture our way.

I'm getting our supplies all ready and going over my list of things to do before we make our first batch of cheese for 2009. We're getting excited!! I'm pretty much all set, much better than last year. I've got plenty of our starter (culture), rennet, salt, antibiotic testing stuff, and supplies for our PH meter. I think I'll be more organized than last year! I hope to add at least one more cheese this year. We'll see how adventurous I get, I think I said that last year.

We're working on our taxes...ugh!! I usually don't mind it, but this year it's a pain! I've been working on them at our kitchen table, and little Miss Emily likes to sit with me and she talks and sings non-stop. I know that I have had to re-add columns about a dozen times. LOL

We had our federal and state inspections for the year/winter. It's for the year with Federal and the winter for the State. The state will be back in this spring again. We scored 100 on both, we are pretty excited about that. Now, our State inspector will be in for our cheese house soon. I don't mind it a bit, they usually have some helpful bits of advice.

Now I am off to do some laundry in my new washer, since my old one kicked the bucket on the same day my dishwasher was fixed. Go figure... I'm almost afraid of touching anymore appliances.

This is an owl that came to visit us back in the winter of 2001.


~Kristen~ said...

LOVE all the pics....except the bat!!! ewwwww!!! :-)

marnie said...

Congrats on the inspections!!
Didn't expect any thing less from you guys.
It's going to be a good year for you...I can feel it!

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