Good Evening y’all, Lori here from McDowell County West Virginia where the weather is nuts and so are we.
Let’s start with a few updates from the last blog. The other two female pigs had their babies, one had 4, two died, the other had 8 and all survived. The second goat finally had her kid, a pretty little girl, and Bless our hearts, we got the llamas. We had 7 chicks hatch, two didn’t make it. We also got 17 rabbits to add to our menagerie. We have already sold 4 piglets, and the 5 surviving chicks, which raised 107.50 for the program and 107.50 for the food pantry. More piglets will be sold once they are ready to be taken from the mamas. We also sold some seeds, and made 8.00 for the program.
We had our Planning and Planting classes for our 6 new families, they were represented by 10 people. DJ has gotten all but three spots plowed for people, the rest will be done Monday.
The weather put us a bit behind schedule with the plowing. We had some technical difficulties as well. one of the plow shares on the plow attachment broke and we had to order a new set. Earth Tools is awesome and got them to us in two days. We got them changed out and the pull cord snapped in half. We changed that too and got back to it.
We ordered the bees and hives for our participants, and they should be here before the end of the month. We finally got to pick up the fertilizer last Sunday, we got a friend with a horse trailer, and had our truck and utility trailer and drove to London to get it. We got a ton and a half for our program, half a ton more than we originally were going to get, we picked up a ton for Linwood, and 3 tons for High Rocks. We will be delivering to High Rocks on Sunday, and Linwood will be getting theirs as soon as they can arrange it. Five and a half tons of fertilizer, no wonder we’re pooped. Oh and we picked up our 200 T Posts as well.
The participants have been coming to pick theirs up. They all tell us they are so excited. One of the ladies told me she was so thrilled to be doing this that she plowed up her front yard too.
We finally managed to get some seeds in the ground at the center, we are only a few weeks behind our participants. We have a group of 50+ junior boys here from the Blue Ridge Episcopal School in Virginia. They finished cleaning up the beds at the center, and planted all kinds of seeds, they even purchased some potting soil and flats of flowers to plant in some of the tires we have piled up. They built another raised bed on the parking lot, started running fence for a new goat lot, scooped a lot of poop in the animal pens, finished the quail pen and built a ramp for a lady that lives in the mobile home park. They also sorted a lot of clothes at the center. They were a huge help in getting our garden spots going since we have been tied up with our participants. There is nothing better than willing and energetic volunteers that really care about what they are doing. We still have 3 more areas at the center to plow and till, then we should be set. We can’t wait to get our tomatoes and things in the ground. The group planted lettuce, radishes, beets, peas, kale, and a bunch of other greens and some herbs today. If we get the one area plowed and tilled before they leave tomorrow, they will be planting the cabbage and broccoli we started, and some Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
Here’s a little craziness to round this blog out a bit. We, meaning I decided we would get the llamas, which I’m still not sure why since I am allergic to their wool. They are supposed to be good guard and companion animals for goats, and we can also sell the wool from them. They can also be trained to let children ride them. We had been planning to get them a little habitat set before we had the people bring them to us. Yeah well that didn’t work. They were in a hurry to bring them so they could turn theirs out into their pasture and convinced us that we could put them in with the goats and they would be fine. WRONG! They came up to the center with them in the horse trailer and got ready to unload them, we opened the gate for the goat pen and they hooked the rope to the halter on llama number one, there was quite a commotion going on in the trailer and the one guy came out with a bloody head because the llama decided to knock heads with the feller and bounce his head of the trailer. The finally walked it to the goat pen and put in in there. Our poor little goat was looking at this thing like “What the heck is that thing”. Llama one is calm now so they brought llama two out, and it went much smoother. They are now both in with the goat and just looking around and eating hay. Now Fred the dog decides it would be a good time to bark at these new things. While we were standing there watching them and the goat and trying to shut the dog up, llama one jumped the dang fence, we didn’t know they could jump that high, so we were stunned for a second. Before we got our wits together llama two jumped the fence and they both took off down the drive way. DJ and the two guys that brought them took off after them, all I could do was laugh. They run right down through the trailer park, the people that were outside didn’t know what to think. They did manage to catch one of them, but haven’t caught the other yet. It has been hanging around on the mountain above the trailers, and when it sees anyone that was involved in it’s relocation, it runs off again. We’ve got the one in the gazebo for the time being, we may need an 8 foot fence to keep him contained. People love coming to see him though, and he has calmed down and don’t mind being touched now.
We are looking forward to our Regional Meeting on the 20th in Alderson, and are hoping that winter is finally done with us for real.
Until next time, happy planting!