The City Girl Farmer


Donk’osses
September 28, 2008, 8:32 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Ralph Moody’s books about his life growing up in Colorado at the turn of the last century have been some of the unexpected benefits of home schooling.  I have “had” to read several of his books aloud as part of “school” and I believe that his stories have played a role in strengthening our confidence in our ability to solve problems without the benefit of “experts.”

In one of his books he tells a story of staying with his grandfather in New England.  His grandfather is cantankerous (to say the least) and does things the “old” way and never wants to have anything to do with newer methods.  At one point he complains about the word “mule.”  He goes on about what a stupid word that is for an animal that is a cross between a donkey and a horse.  He suggests that they should be called donk’osses.  Makes sense, right?

Well we have some donk’osses right up the road from us and I thought I’d share them with you.

Mules up the road

Mules up the road

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Meet Moses
September 27, 2008, 10:30 am
Filed under: Cats | Tags: , ,
Moses

Moses

A few years ago, I had a weak moment and let my daughter adopt a cat from a local rescue.  She promised that she would take care of feeding, clean-up and vet bills.  How could I refuse?  A cute kid AND a cute kitten—I had no chance.  Since then, my son has often pointed out what an unfair parent I am since I would not agree to having him do the same thing.  It wasn’t because I loved him less, it was that our house was getting full.  We had a dog, two cats and two rabbits with 1400 sq. ft. of living space.  Now that our house is twice as big PLUS 40 acres outside, I could no longer refuse.

Moses arrived when he was 10 weeks old and he soon had me wrapped around his paw.  He is very outgoing and friendly.  He’ll chirp at you and when you pet him he purrs that loud kitten purr and he acts as if everyone loves him, even the “big” cats.

Evidence that Moses thinks everyone loves him

Evidence that Moses thinks everyone loves him

He will tackle them just to get attention.  Usually Sam (the Siamese) will begin to groom him and then you hear the kitten motor turn on.  That’s all it takes for me!  The sweet little baby can have whatever he wants!

Moses and Sam

Moses and Sam



The First Farm-Related Problem
September 26, 2008, 1:17 pm
Filed under: Goats, Tools | Tags: , ,

Here’s a problem we never had in our little city home.  Other people’s goats.  Not long after we moved in, my son rode his bike  up the road past our neighbors with the goats and much to his dismay, they followed him home.   He tried several times to get them to go to their own home but to no avail.  He finally came home, goats in tow, clearly frustrated that he couldn’t get them to stay on their own property.  By then he was smelly because the two bucks had rubbed up against them.  I cannot describe the smell of intact male goats.  When you are downwind from them you can’t finish inhaling.  It is a different odor than skunk but it affects me the same way.  It’s also easier to get off the smell of buck than of skunk but its BAD.

My husband came to my poor son’s rescue having, as most fathers do, the solution to my poor son’s goat problem.  He then proceeded to lead the goats home.  A few times.  He finally gave up and came back, stinky and with goats in tow and suggested I follow in the van and pick him up when we had the goats near their own property.  Voila!  Problem solved!

I had Thomas (my son) take this picture with his cell phone and there are a couple of things to notice.  The small 4 legged animal next to Jon (my husband) is Cocoa, our lab-border collie cross.   Cocoa is not a small dog.  She weighs about 45 lbs.  The three animals following them are the goats:  two bucks and a doe.  They are HUGE.  I am not sure what our neighbor keeps them for but we never see any kids and two of them are no good for dairy purposes.  They are either there to keep the grass down, feed the coyotes or for meat.

When I told our neighbor we were having problems with the goats showing up at our place and that I feared for my future garden, he offered us this solution.

Cattle prod

Cattle prod

I had never seen one before, but by the time our neighbor showed up, I had studied up on cattle prods on Google.  I knew where to buy them, both online and locally.  Now there’s something I never dreamed I’d know anything about!  Next time those goats come around, we’ll be armed and ready.  I’m still planning to electrify the fence around my garden when the time comes.