Life has been going at about 80MPH lately – and it all was leading up to the big social event we had on Saturday: the 2nd Annual Winter Gathering … it is a time for all the vendors, volunteers, patrons and friends of Orange County HomeGrown Farmers Markets to get together to eat, laugh, talk, play music and generally have a good time. Of course, this was also my big introduction to the larger group of people and a chance for me to meet many in person. Miles, the newspaper guy was there, and took pictures of the “installation ceremony” that took place. Too funny – I was “knighted” with a small shovel, and took an oath to serve…all with comedic elements! So many hugs and well wishes: I can’t imagine feeling more loved or welcomed into a community…
The night before, Tye and I finally went out on a ‘date night’ and went to Dinkys, an Amish auction. Woo-hoo! We came home with one bottle baby lamb which we named Lucy because she’s a redhead, one Boer doe, which we named Ethel and 3 feeder pigs (still working on names for them)! Can you say BACON!?!
As if this weren’t enough fun – FuN- FUN! We went out on a double date with my brother and his wife on Saturday night, too! Big trip to the ‘big city’! The guys went to Harbor Freight while we gals made a wondrous pass through Hobby Lobby, followed by dinner at an Asian restaurant (laughing so much that we didn’t mind the quality of the food), and then a trek through to a large store called Meijer. Like a Super Wal-Mart on steroids, this place had everything from garden supplies to Parmeggiano-Reggiano (the real deal) and Irish White Cheddar. In fact, the cheese selection brought a tear to my eye. It might not be The Cheese Board Collective in Berkeley, CA, but it was the largest selection I’ve seen to date since moving here.
Sunday was warm and clear – spent the day in a sleeveless tee-shirt as we did work around the farm. We got the pigs moved into their new habitat so they can start tilling up the garden, as well as set up a place for Lucy and her buddy Ethel.
Our dairy goats are due to have babies this month; and our Dorper ewes should be having babies shortly thereafter. Chickens are producing at a rapid rate: Tye is collecting eggs 2x per day and we are pulling 11 to 12 eggs daily! The turkeys are laying about 1 to 2 eggs, every other day. We’ve found a shearer for the llamas, and will do a full body shear in May (hopefully) to clean them up, and then next year we should have decent fiber to work with.
But as you know: if you’re going to dance to the piper’s tunes, eventually you have to pay the piper his due. Thus, all my socializing and frolicking landed me with a bit of the ‘ick’ that is going around and has cost me a trip to Indianapolis today. But I don’t regret a minute of everything we did – and if I had to do over again, the only thing I might change would be…nothing! After all, by having to pay the piper, I’ve managed to slow down enough to share all of the latest happenings with you.