Thursday, April 30, 2015

Stud service

We just got this email from a fellow goat ranch that enlisted one of our bucks, Chief, for stud services about 5 months ago. The first of her does had this beautifully marked kid yesterday. Way to go Chief!  #mininubian


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bathhouse

The bathhouse (or apparently doghouse) is finally just about framed out. Looks like the sheep are on their own as all 4 of the "guardians" are taking the day off under this thing. #homeimprovement  #anatolianshepherds

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Cleanup crew

Some may think this is kind of gross but it is really just one of the fascinating duties that livestock guardian dogs provide. We have anatolian shepherds and great pyrenees dogs living with our sheep and goats to protect them and their babies from predators like coyotes, mountain lions and even eagles.

When a lamb or kid is born, the dogs will stay close and as soon as the afterbirth drops they are right there to clean it up. Aside from being highly nutritious, it is believed that this is done to remove any trace of the birth that may draw predators. Cotton, our great pyr, is pictured here shortly after yesterday's lambing.

I am always amazed how the sheep will happily lay in a big pile with the big white dogs but completely freak out when they see a border collie. Just like knowing how to patrol in teams and being able to judge threats (including watching the sky for birds of prey), these LGDs are uniquely bred for function and usefulness. #lgd #greatpyrenees

Friday, April 24, 2015

Lamb!

Mike was out working the dogs and one ewe just wouldn't come down the hill. Guess why? Moomoo's mom Fifi had him last spring, another boy last fall and finally had a girl to keep this morning! #stcroixdorpercross

Chirp

There is some serious chirping going on in the rafters  our entryway. # nature #ranchlife

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Grapes

You can't live on the central coast and not grow a few grapes. These will be nice if we can keep the birds off of them. ##backyardorchard #ranchlife

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

So long

This morning we said goodbye to our intern, Melissa. She arrived just before Christmas and has been a tremendous help here on the ranch. She's making her way down to socal with her banjo and backpack to hustle her handmade jewelry at a concert and is then on to parts unknown. Take care Melissa and stay safe.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

Brutus

Just delivered, our new workhorse. An ATV with a hydraulic loader on the front and power dump box on the back. #polaris #brutus

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

First offering

First ready-to-eat offering of the year from the orchard has arrived! #blueberries #superfood

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Fennel

Our little patch of fennel is coming along nicely.  While delicious in salads and slow roasted, we like to eat raw, dipped in a bit of olive oil, and sprinkled with sea salt as a digestive.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Goldfish

Is anyone else using goldfish in their stock tanks to keep the algae and mosquitoes down? #lowtechsolutions #westnile #cleanthegreen

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bite

FYI not all gopher snakes want to be friends. #donttrythisathome #nonpoisonousbutgrumpy

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Rain

Raining all morning. Too late to save the green pastures but every little bit helps. #californiadrought #ranchlife

Monday, April 6, 2015

Foxtails

When city folk come for a visit and go for a hike in their sneakers. #foxtails #misery #theresareasoncowboyswearcowboyboots

Ruckus the Omnivore

Ruckus is our most curious of eaters.  I was passing out chard to the goats when he bounded upon me and grab a stalk from my grip.  At first he thought it was a toy, but then he got a taste of it and was hooked.  He loves his fruit and veggies just like the rest of us!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Thirsty

That rascal McMurtry aka Scout cuts in front of me every time I fill my water bottle. #shelties #whatsalittledogspitinyourcanteen

Friday, April 3, 2015

Honey

Our bees are thriving so today we added second supers to all the hives. #rawhoney #honeybees

Birthday Girls

Yesterday was feisty Pip's birthday...and today is Matti's birthday. These two girls, along with Clarice are the girls who started it all for us. They are our original 3 and will always be special to us. Happy Birthday girls!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Raised beds

Our intern's pet project this spring has been a series of  terraced raised beds just off the outdoor kitchen. These 10' beds are built into a previously unusable hill and are nicely shaded from the scorching afternoon sun by the house. She has a completely automatic drip watering system and a hinged pvc tenting apparatus that allows quick access but keeps pixie and the chickens out. Well done, Melissa!