Friday, October 15, 2010

Our Kids' Book

As you know, I will photograph just about anything on the farm. Goats breeding, goats birthing, poop....

I pulled out just the warm, fuzzy ones and turned them into a kids' book. You can read it here and buy a copy on if you are so inclined.

No plans yet to make a book of the goat sex and poo photos.
...just sayin'.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sing-along with Blue Heron Farm

This morning, Christian came into the dairy today singing a ridiculous new song that made me want to share our sad, sad history of bad made-up songs with you. I probably should apologize in advance.

For us, it started back when I was doing the Stupidest Job on the Farm with more regularity. One day Doralee was eyeballing me & the food from atop Christian's skateboard. For reasons still unclear, it made me get the Smith's Girlfriend in a Coma stuck in my head. But instead of girlfriend in a coma, I heard "Chicken on a Skateboard." I never got past the first couple of lines, but I never could do SJOTF without singing it a little. ...or rather a little of the song, a LOT.

...Chicken on a skateboard, I know - I know it's serious....

I don't remember when, but some months later, I finally shared it with C. No point in keeping that kind of crazy to yourself. I think I embarrassed us both. But succeeded in getting it into his head.

Many months later, we learned we were not alone. Our friend Eric has a pet monkey named Mick Jagger. (Long story - don't ask.) When Mick gets bathed - which is pretty frequently - Eric sings him, "Wash the Monkey". You know, to the Peter Gabriel song Shock the Monkey.

Then, when Mick gets dried off, he is apparently treated to a jaunty rendition of "Funky Towel". Eric swears that Mick really enjoys this.

It is a comfort and a sadness to know our affliction is shared. Christian told Eric about Chicken on a Skateboard and we bathed in the knowledge that we were charter members of a small, weird club.

Anyhoo-- back to this morning. C announced that in the grand tradition of singing warped Peter Gabriel to your animals, he had a new song for the pigs.

Pig Time.

He started in with..

I've got the whey, you're drinking it.
It's gonna make you grow, yeah!

We both cracked up like mental patients and then went about our dairy work. Until I couldn't stand it anymore and belted out:

Your ham's getting bigger!

You're thigh's getting bigger!

Anyway, that's all. I defy you to not sing one of these little ditties for the rest of the day. It is a sickness. It is hard to cure.

I'm gonna watch you grow, yeah!

Friday, August 20, 2010

You’re Doing It Wrong!

**spoiler alert** If you are a SCTGC member, this is this month's article. So don't read any further if you want to have a mailbox surprise.

This is an oft repeated mantra at our farm. “You’re doing it wrong!” We tell it to the ducks who want to eat the cat food, or to the dogs who want to eat the goat poop, or to the pigs who knock over their whey bowl. “You’re doing it wrong!”

But the queens of doing it wrong are the goats. And I don’t know if this is all goats or just our neurotic friends the Nubians – but once they decide something is done a certain way, it doesn’t really matter what you tell them. They are convinced that their way IS the right way and it takes an act of God or an equally bizarre new behavioral obsession to get them back to doing it right.

Exhibit A: Sweet Feed. Sweet Feed is our nickname for Carrie Underwood, our first goat to make doing it wrong the new doing it right. Carrie would wander away from the stand when the milking was done and look for an open bag of sweet feed to pillage. Mind you, we don’t feed Sweet Feed. We had an open bag ONCE, for the pigs. One winter, when we were low on whey. Two years ago. She still looks pretty much every day. Most times she plunges her head into a bag, she is disappointed to find just used teat wipes. Occasionally, however, she finds an open bag of beet pulp, so fat chance we have of breaking this habit.

Exhibit B: Sunday Driving with Elle Mai. Recently Elle decided she should exit the wrong side of the stand – away from the exit door - and just kind of hang out there, in the far corner of the milk parlor until we grab her and push her out. Sometimes she wanders a little, sometimes she just stands and contemplates life. Aimlessly. Sometimes she actually forgets about her new meditation spot and exits the stand like she is supposed to – but only sometimes.

Exhibit C: Jade. Jade is a big dumb love. She could do it wrong every single day and never make me mad. Which is good, because she does it wrong almost every single day. Somewhere along the line, Jade decided that she could not get on the stand without first going around front and eating some of her feed from the front side of the bucket. Completely moronic, but it’s Jade. So, Ok. Maybe I accept it because she doesn’t dally. She eats until we tell her to do it right and then she goes back around and jumps up in the right place by herself.

Most of our oddball behavior manifests in the milk room, though there are definite strange quirks outside the parlor, too. Penny Lane, for instance, likes to drink horrible little stagnant puddles of water from the bottom of trashcans or utility carts. LeeAnn likes to drink from the air conditioner unit, a drop at a time. These events almost always occur less than 20 feet from a full, clean water bucket.

What can I say? These girls – they are the cray-zee. And mostly I love them for it. Oh – and one last example. See how the girls in the photo are all lined up nicely in a row?? Now look under their feet.

That was their hoop house.

You're doing it wrong!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An Evening with Terroir-ists

My brother just reminded me I suck at blogging. Guilty. I am great at keeping Facebook up to date, though. If you haven't friended us there, please do so.

But here's a blog-worthy thing: We're havin' a party.

An event, really. Here are the details, stolen from our Facebook event page. (Told you!)

Join Blue Heron Farm, the Houston Dairymaids and Retreat Hill Winery & Vineyard as we eat and drink where our food lives.

*Texas cheeses by Blue Heron Farm and others, as represented by the Houston Dairymaids

*Wines by Retreat Hill

*Dessert tasting by
Chantal Duvall and Dragana Harris

*Music by Westbound

*Goat hugs by the ladies of Blue Heron Farm.

Sunday, September 19, 6-8 pm * Blue Heron Farm * Field Store, TX
Tickets are $25 and, per the ornery folks at the TABC, are exclusive of wine.
Wine will be available as a tasting, by the glass and by the bottle, but must be purchased on-site, directly from Retreat Hill.

For tickets, email Lisa (
or buy them from Blue Heron Farm at the Farmers Market.

The girls like wine, but please don't get them drunk.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Playing with Picasa

Neat. I just found out that Picasa will make photo collages. Here's one of the turkeys.

So we sold 8 poults, set mama free with the other nine and are now down to six. :( We think she lost three in the tall grass on their first outing. But the good news is, she seems more careful now.

The duck hatched out four little ones. But lost two to a big ol' snake at the pond. :( We're down to two - who are locked up with mom in the coop until they can move a little more adeptly. And that, we hope, is that for poultry this season.

...except for the guinea nest we just found with -- wait for it --

26 eggs.

Oy. I hope to return to GOAT blogging soon.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fertile Fowl Alert

Muscovy ducks hatching right now. The coop is full. I have no idea where we will put them. Ah, fecundity. It makes me smile. Photos when the hatch is over.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More turkeys!

Turkey Lean hatched out all six of her eggs!! I found her sitting in her nest with her babies tonight when we went out to milk.

We tried to relocate her and all the kiddoes to the coop, but she wasn't having it. We put the poults in with their cousins (All of whom are STILL alive and thriving, BTW) and Aunt and hope they will get adopted - so far so good.

Here is the first photo. I sure hope that Aunt Shadrac doesn't notice that the new kids are all spotty. :)