Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pasture Pastimes

Part of our livestyle entails limiting the entertainment that we purchase and instead creating our own fun.  To this end, Calvin and Johnny designed a 5-acre maze in the pasture.  Calvin was the primary designer, creating his plan on paper.  He and Johnny staked out key points in the pasture, and Johnny created the maze with Helen, our riding lawn-mower.  This Friday we host our annual homeschool end-of-year party, and will invite all 19 kiddos to partake in getting lost in the weeds.  After this Friday, Johnny will quit mowing this and appreciate adding that extra hour back to his regular farm work.   

A couple of times each week I walk my goats.  This gets the goaties out of their enclosure and allows them access to much more varied forages.  Plus I get a kick our of leading them around.  They know all the sweet spots rich in clover or lespodeza or acorns in the fall.  And they get to actually browse as goats prefer to do. 

The latest addition to our home entertainment system is a donkey.  I have long yearned for a ridable donkey, and this weekend serendipitously made my dream a reality.  A fellow vendor at the farmers' market had been trying to find a new home for this young man for some time (thank you Cara!).  He is broke to ride and was used as a pack animal in the recent past.  He is very affectionate, tame, and snuggly.  Johnny is off to town today to get a halter, a bridle, and hopefully a bareback pad.  He came with the dignified name of Atticus.  He seems especially fond of Calvin, so we'll soon be fighting for turns to ride Atticus to the mailbox and to check on blackberries and the like. 
Speaking of which, now is the time to go blackberry hunting.  I've already made 16 pints of jam, a cobbler, froze over a gallon, etc.  While many are still red, there are pockets of huge, sweet, ripe ones.