Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Weekend Round-Up: Goat Husbandry

If you thought last weekend's truck-drivin', skeet-shootin' time in Weaverville was odd for a so called "urban girl"...brace yourself! Rob and I headed out to the heartland again this weekend. We went to Fresno to celebrate Rob's Mom's birthday.

We arrived Saturday morning on a sunny, warm day. Rob's mom, Ellen, is a large animal vet and the family has a mini farm with a pond, about 30 goats and some horses. One of the goats had had triplets just a few minutes before we arrived and we helped to clean them off a bit. They were adorably wobbly but a little slimy. There were about 11 kids under a week old in the "nursery." After just a few hours of being in the world, the babies are already so cute, fluffy and playful.

At 5:00, we all spruced up and drove out to the "Tower District" in Fresno for dinner and a show. The play was pretty well done considering how small the theater was and they had free cake during intermission. If you are ever in Fresno, this is the cool neighborhood to visit :)

The next day, we had a big breakfast at home in the morning. The weather had turned much colder. Rob and his Dad did a little archery in the yard while Ellen and I read inside. Just when we were about to leave, we noticed that another goat had given birth just a few minutes before. We all dashed over to grab the babies, clean them up and move them to a private shed. Rob helped make a nest for them out of dried grass. That little tan guy was the one I carried :)











Once the new family was settled in, we left for our drive on the blossom trail in the rain. It was remarkable to see all the ruined citrus crops from the big frost a few weeks ago. A lot of the farmers had picked the bad oranges and just left them on the ground to rot. The peach, plum and almond blossoms were very pretty though. At one fruit stand I bought a ten pound bag of blood oranges for only $5!











We had pizza for lunch in Reedly, visited Granny's farm briefly for some birthday cake and had a quiet night back at the house relaxing. The next morning, we all had breakfast together and helped with chores before heading back to San Francisco.

Our friends Jackie and Scott had stayed in the apartment over the weekend with their visiting friend, Rajive. I had time to wash and put up all the fresh lettuce and greens from Fresno and to start a blood orange sorbet (I'll post the recipe later) before they made it back home. I used the sorbet to bribe them into staying for dinner. We walked up to Alamo Square, of Full House fame, before eating Ethiopian on Haight. After the guests left, I had a very restorative "spa night" with a long bath, nail painting and face scrubbing.









Whew! Another fun country weekend full of new experiences. It was so neat to help with the kids but I've had my fill of goat placenta for a long while. It is very good to be home!

7 comments:

love.boxes said...

Miss Em.. You look just so pretty out there in the orchard with all those heavenly pink blossoms. And, you are a good sport because I don't think I could do goat placenta even once. But, the babies sure are cuties. How does Rob's mom feed that many goats? My friend Jen had one on a half acre, but she had to sell him because he ate everything!!! Everything in sight, you just can't see how one little guy could eat the whole yard, but he did. :)

MissEm said...

They feed the goats alfafa and grains along with grazing. Most of the year, they don't have as many to manage and feed.

Marissa said...

We have snow in Salt Lake--those pink blossoms are lovely!

jordan said...

You guys crack me up with your adventures in the country.

Oh and by the way, we are supposed to view your upstairs apartment.

MissEm said...

Yay! That is so exciting! If that one doesn't work out, the apartment across our back drive is also open :)

Sara said...

love the blossoms!!

love.boxes said...

I didn't know that goats ate alfalfa. My husband was raised on a cattle ranch. His family raised beef cattle and farmed alfalfa. I never got a chance to see the babies be born, but I did get to see them a few days after. Baby animals are so fun. My mother in law has related instances where it was still so cold in early spring that my father in law would put a new calf in the basement to keep it from freezing.