We have our first farm-bred goslings! Two of the geese had already abandoned their nests when the one in the middle of the foundation hole hatched eight goslings on Tuesday. All six grown up geese are ecstatic. We are too.
We think we’ve figured out what will get us four clutches next year: 1. Toulouse geese need more than a foot of water to mate in. The geese are happy with six inches, but the eggs won’t be fertile and 2. The geese lay on the ground and picked a very wet spot to nest in. I picked up several light eggs that probably started to develop and then drowned. Next year we plan to pen them in a dry spot with a heated cattle water tank. This will also let us collect the early eggs which we can sell or eat ourselves. Geese live about forty years and we’ve heard that Toulouse in particular don’t take well to inbreeding, so our current goal is to get our current flock breeding reliably before we think about expanding it.
Ella Mae is unfortunately no longer with us. Lisa will write about that anon.
We have Danny on mowing duty. We have a lot of edges where grass is finally growing, mostly unfenced, mostly small. So we’ve been tethering him in each patch for a few hours to a few days depending on size. He seems to like it, as well he ought compared to the balage he’s been living on. He does have a spectacular ability to get himself tangled though.
Speaking of balage, our hay guy has 100 bales left from last year. We’re buying them, at a discount of course. That should get us comfortably through the winter. Of course we still need dry hay for the horses as well.
The primary time sink continues to be the garden. All the beds from last year are planted. We’ve added another 90 feet of raised bed. 65 feet have 65 tomato plants in them, the rest have strawberries. The tomatoes are planted through black plastic, and like the strawberries are very very happy. I’ve milled all the logs that John the Logger left us in 2008 and I have 162 feet of 6×6 to make more bed. We have many plants in flats in the hoop house that need homes. We don’t have the soil immediately available, but we have a backhoe and need stock ponds.
Lisa has also planted 6 flower boxes on the main deck, and 6 boxes of lettuce on the upper balcony. We need to pick up more potting soil before we do more window boxes.