Monday, May 19, 2008

We have some new arrivals on the farm - Miniature horses! We've always had horses (or mules) on the farm - generally, a motley assortment of equines that for some reason needed a new home. I can remember a retired barrel racer, a jumping mule, and a few just plain horses and ponies. The last 2 we had, some of our long-time customers remember (and still ask about). They were old and mellow, and didn't actually want to leave the farm, so we took down the fences and let them roam at will, like really big dogs. But the last one passed away several years ago, and Donna has been waiting for the right time to get a horse or two on the farm again.

Well....a horse or two somehow turned into 3 adult miniature horses, one with a newborn baby, and the other two due to give birth!!! (The dark brown one in the top picture is due any moment now!)

Here's mom and baby. The baby is about a month old and is SUPER funny! She leaps, jumps, cavorts and generally has a fantastic time racing around being cute. They had names given to them at their old home, but, they don't seem to know them, so we're just taking some time and learning their personalities and figuring out what their names will be.

This beautiful girl has bright blue eyes!
The inter-species introductions were most humorous. For those of you that don't know, we have a total of 5 dogs that freely roam the farm, (2 are Maggies and 3 are Donnas), and a Canadian goose named Beaker that also roams at will, not to mention several (okay, lots) cats. Everyone generally gets along. Sometimes Beaker chases the cats, and sometimes the dogs chase Beaker, but it's all in good fun, no real harm is intended - it's mostly about pecking order and sheer onery-ness, I think. Oh, and Beaker thinks he is a person or a dog (we're not sure which), and does not identify in the slightest bit that he is a bird.

Anyway, most of the dogs are very large, and the horses are very small, so there was some initial inter-species confusion during the initial introduction. The picture above shows Ollie, a 110 lb mastiff mix, sniffing noses with one of the new minis. He sorta figured out she wasn't really a dog, but....the baby horse is only about 30 pounds, and prances around playfully. For the first day or so, all the dogs were trying to initiate playfullness with her in typical dog fashion - stomping paws, play-bowing, and racing around like dorks. She of course did not understand these strange motions. The baby horse thought they were really weird horses, and the dogs though she was a really stupid puppy. Everything has been resolved now, and Ollie and the baby have figured out that they can play games where she races around the pasture and he races around after; it's quite cute.

I have been VERY remiss in blogging; I'm sorry everyone! This past week we had a few days of nearly perfect weather. Mid 70's, sun, slight breeze, no bugs - just amazing. This set of pictures was taken May 12th. Here is our little orchard - BLOOMING! It's very exciting; some of these trees are 4-5 years old, a few were planted last year, but they are all blooming and doing really well. In ths little patch here we have wild plums, chokecherries, whiteflesh peaches, sour cherries, and a few kind of apples. I'm really hoping for a great fruit harvest this year. I also planted rhubarb, and jostaberries, and hope to put in currants and gooseberies too. Also my friend Jill gave me some garden huckleberries - they're funny litle plants, they look like tomatoes (are indeed related to them), with fruits that look like blueberries. I plan to mostly use them for dyeing.

Here is Donna's woodland, looking gorgeous! This is right outside the front door of our shop, and a little to the right.

Here are the herb plants we have for sell. We sell them through the month of May, then plant what's left.

This is not in our orchard, but it's a beautiful crabapple tree with HUGE delicious crabapples. We did not have any last year, due to an untimely frost that nipped all the flowers, but the year before I made oodles of jam and crabapple butter. yum.