HOW TO FILL A NURSERY: 27 DAYS, 200 BABIES

You might ask why we scheduled two hundred babies in less than a month? Good question - we'll ask the bucks. In the autumn, as the mature does come on heat, we introduce our bucks to separate groups of the does. Coltrane, Bruno and Billy Idol were all new on the farm, and the last two were barely the size of the yearling does. We weren't sure how appealing they would be to the women. We didn't see a whole lot of action. Seemingly, though, the nights were sizzling. The bucks were efficient, perhaps a little too efficient: wham, bam, why hello, ma'am.

In these same three weeks Carl, our dairy plumbing expert, has repaired the stainless steel pipe that crosses from the milking parlor to the dairy and replaced the milk pump in the parlor. We began our new routine of once, not twice, daily milking. Although most of the milk is being slurped up by the babies, Salud will try to make the first batch of ricotta today, ready for the weekend. And if not, then very soon!

Meanwhile, we're fixing the farm kitchen drainage and installing a flush lavatory in the small garden shed just beneath the hayloft. This involves exciting trenches across the garden. We hope our farm dinner customers will enjoy the elegant comforts of their new bathroom.

Hardworking shack: chicken coop, then garden shed, then bathroom

Inside, we have added a splendid refrigerator in the farm shop, the first step in fitting a kitchen suitable to prepare hot soups and drinks to add to your picnic lunches here on the farm. Check out the alluring full-size cheesecakes, party-sized Monet cheeses, big pots of plain chèvre and the farm kitchen's new harissa and kiwi nectar.

Kiwi nectar on scones for tea time

Donkey presides over the oldest kids, who are now in the run alongside the farm chicken coop. She clearly enjoys the attention from visitors on tours. Each morning begins with a huge bray, deafening the rooster's effort. Then she gets to nibble my own garden, before the gardeners get snippy, and scratch herself under one of the fruit trees, before spending the day in the run.

 

 

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