Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A New Kid on the Farm!

Yesterday morning around 10:00 we welcomed Martha's new kid to the world! When I arrived at the farm a few hours earlier, Laura warned me that it would happen soon, so to keep an eye on the goat while she and Mari headed to an appointment. As I was getting ready to bring food to the pigs and chicks, I looked over at Martha and saw another tiny head peeking up from the grass! So much excitement and wonder bubbled up inside me, and I immediately called Laura and Mari with the good news.

Needless to say, the birth trumped everything else on the to-do list that day, and we spent hours observing the new duo, making sure he was nursing and she was getting water and grain. Martha did a fantastic job, and she is doing well post-birth. The new kid is a boy, with gangly legs and light brown hair. As our vet Allison said, baby goats have an unfair amount of charm! (Katie)

Katie's call came with the good news and I rushed home. What a delight to see this little buff bundle. Martha stepping right into her mama role, licking him dry. Katie briefed me on what she had observed. Over time it became a concern that he hadn't yet milked. We took shifts watching and stepped in to try to orient the little guy but the right things weren't happening. Ultimately we milked Martha and Katie calmly held baby buckling while we tubed the vital colostrum (special milk of the first hours) into his tummy. Phew! A short while later we placed him on her teat and he got it right. (Mari)

I was the last to meet our cute bundle of fluff. He is all legs! I am in awe that Martha managed to smoothly give birth to all of those legs. She gets major points for having a simple, uncomplicated birth. We can only hope most of our animals follow her footsteps. He is still working on mastering feeding..but eventually he finds the right spot. Not bad for his first 12 hours. And we are all so excited to have a new little one on the farm and to add Martha (in a few weeks) to our milking team. (Laura)

The Name: Marbles, because game names are the 2009 theme and Marbles was a favorite game at Mount Vernon during the Washington's era, apparently especially for the young slave boys. So Martha's (after Martha Washington) new kid is to be Marbles, a favorite game of her era.

Stay tuned for more stories, photos and videos of Marbles!

Here is a video of the kid's first steps!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Kale Cake Anyone?

I know what you're thinking: it looks like an angel food cake, but it can't's green! Well, perhaps angels do eat kale. After all, it is good for you. This leafy green is a hearty crop that can grow in the early spring and into early winter. It is packed with vitamins A, C, K, and E (an antioxidant), and it contains calcium and iron. But the most amazing thing about this vegetable is it's sulforaphanes and indoles, which may help protect against cancer! Besides the amazing nutritional value of kale, it is incredibly versatile. You can cook it like spinach, put it in eggs, casseroles, salads, stir-frys, on pizzas, and anything else your imagination comes up with! Maybe even cake...

All of this excitement over kale comes after a long afternoon of blanching and freezing it for the winter. After months of growing and harvesting the crops to eat fresh, we are now in the processing, canning and freezing mode. I have to admit, it is so fun to play in the kitchen after a hot morning of chores, fencing and weeding. And when we find ourselves in the middle of winter pining for green, all we'll have to do is open the freezer, turn on the stove, and heat up the kale!

here's a good website for more information on kale: