This past week has been quite busy. Tuesday, Miss Storm spent the morning in the birthing pen and around 5:23 to be exact the first baby bubble appeared. A beautiful brown buckling and then quite quickly after that his cute little brother - mostly black with a brown and white patch on his head. I cleaned Miss Storm up, milked out some of her colostrum to give to the boys and settled back to enjoy the miracle of life at the farm. One hour and thirty minutes - to be exact - Storm laid down to deliver what we thought was her placenta. Nope...not at all. A baby bubble and the cutest little guy ever joined his brothers. I might add that all these little guys came out in the perfect nose and toes presentation. Such a nice gift for our first time kidding here at The Simple Farm.
We started into a routine with these guys while waiting for Sweet Marie to kid. One day before her due date, while feeding the triplets, I noticed clear signs that Marie would give birth within hours. She wasn't particularly happy about going into the birthing pen, but once there she settled down baby talking, laying down, standing up, drinking, eating and groaning - a lot.
By 2:30 p.m. I saw the first bubble. I looked and looked in that bubble and didn't see what I thought I was supposed to - a little nose and some front toes. Anita, my birthing partner, took a look and then we looked at each other. Not good. It was a tail. From all we'd read, you don't want a tail. It makes for a very difficult birth.
The thing I'd feared was the thing I had to venture into - and that was gloving up, lubing up and slowly inserting a finger, then another and then another - until my hand was inside this poor girl. The goal was to find both of her feet and make sure they were her feet and not another kid. I had no clue how slippery and slimy it'd be which made it incredibly difficult to grab onto anything.
Time is of the essence when a doe is in hard labor and your hand is inside her. I asked Anita to take over and she was able to find what we were needing and gently - ever so gently with Marie's contractions pull out the first baby - a doeling! Unfortunately, because this little girl was backward and it took so much time, she swallowed a ton of fluid. Anita and our daughter, Candace worked and worked with her. For a bit of time she seemed like a limp dish rag. Finally, though, after working and rubbing and patting and turning upside down and repeats and whispers of prayer for God's mercy, she pulled through.
In a short time, this little girl was joined by her three brothers - all entering the world the wrong way. What an experience we had. Six boys and one girl added to the farm. We're so happy for each of them and especially that all have lived.
It feels good to report that all are thriving and doing well. I posted pictures over here of our new ones.
It's been years since I made jam and jelly. Quite frankly, it's been some time since I've spent much loved time in my kitchen. Farming the Cactus Rd. property has necessitated that I redirect time, space and energy to being outside, seeding, weeding, harvesting and creating sanctuary in those places. Time's also spent with our dairy goats and the care required for them.
We're seeing light at the end of the tunnel in settling some of the areas on our farm and I'm looking forward to returning to and spending more time in the 'hub' of our home - my kitchen.
A week ago, I spent hours in the kitchen. I'm talking lots of hours. I got this whim to make organic peach jam - not only for my family but to sell at our farm's market on Thursdays. Our young five peach trees are quite enough so I made the trek out to an organic peach farm and brought back a ton of yummy peaches!
Sealing that last jar was such a wonderful sense of accomplishment I decided to make one batch of a jelly my mother used to make when I was a little girl - Mint Apple Jelly. I searched and searched for what I felt was the perfect recipe and then snipped mint from my potager and then proceeded to make what I think is some pretty amazing jelly.
Farm life is a full live. I've discovered over the past sixteen months that it's a good, hard, rewarding life that isn't for the faint-hearted.
Lately, I've found myself a tad faint-hearted. Two of our dairy goats are due anytime and supposedly 50% of the time one has to help the process of kidding.
I become faint-hearted every time I think about gloving up and gently inserting one finger then two and then my hole hand possibly up to my elbow - into my doe - so that I can rearrange tangled kids. At one time or another, every dairy goat owner has to blindly figure out what head goes with what feet or if what is being felt are hocks or knees. I forgot that I signed up for this experience when we made the investment in dairy goats.
Another thing that makes me faint-hearted is that all this is possible at 2 a.m. We anticipate our first farm kidding with Miss Storm.
Breakfast is such an important meal of the day because it's the one that has the potential to start the day off right. There's something good that happens when the senses of morning come alive with freshly ground brewed coffee along with signs that the griddle is heating up for my favorite buttermilk pancakes. It not only stirs the physical senses but the heart ones too - it says, "Someone cares for me."
Often, I'll make a double batch of my favorite buttermilk pancake recipe. I've tried many different ones, and always come back to this one found in Martha Stewart's Comfort Food Recipe Cook Book and mostly I will add fresh peaches.
In case you want to make some comfort food and see a big smile on your families face - here's Martha's recipe from her Comfort Food Cookbook.
Martha's Buttermilk Pancake Recipe
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbl. sugar
2 eggs lightly beaten
3 cups buttermilk
Tbl. + 1/2 t. unsalted - melted butter. ( I tend to use either salted or unsalted.)
Then, combine the dry and the wet ingredients. This is key: don't whisk the batter until it's smooth - leave lumps and un-moistened dry stuff.
Add a thin covering of butter to your pan. This batter makes about 9 6" pancakes. I always double this as left over batter refrigerates well for a few days.
Gardening has taken me to places of the soul often where no other earthly space of refuge can. I meet God in my garden. This morning, my friend Jill posted one of the most beautiful garden blog posts that I've seen in awhile. Kristi is a neighbor and in Jill's words, 'she's brightened up the whole street with her dazzling new flower bed.'
On this beautiful Friday morning, I thought it'd be a fine thing to share it with you. Do read the whole post, especially the poetry. It'll warm your heart on this Mother's Day weekend. And, when you see what captured my heart, please let Jill know how it captured yours. Go HERE.
I have become a suburban farmer and a dairy goat herds woman who loves everything French. I am make jams and tons of goat milk caramels which we sell at our suburban farms market. I love life, my husband, my children, the littles that surround my heart and because of all this and much more - I can't help but worship my Creator.
La Maison et le Jardin blog, its content and all its photos are property of Lylah Ledner. All photos are my personal property and have been taken by me unless stated. Please don't copy or use without permission.