I’m back…blogging from our new home and farm in Ephrata, Lancaster County!
I’m sorry it’s been a while but it’s been a wild, crazy, hectic ride the last few months. We moved our entire family and farm across the state of Pa. Without missing a beat of milking, bottle feeding babies, playing midwife and birthing babies, renovating two houses, packing and then unpacking, putting up fencing, building pens, trimming hooves, and homeschooling. Also add cleaning, cooking, and laundry! UUHHH…I’m sooo tired!
Coming home again to Lancaster County has been wonderful. Far better than I ever thought it would be. My family and friends have been stopping on a regular basis which I just love. It is not uncommon to have a barn full of family here at evening milking…everyone from brothers & sisters, nieces and nephews, parents & friends. What’s even better is they all just pitch right in and help us out.
The goats are doing well. I still have 2 more to kid within the next 4 weeks. I currently have 118 goats on our property which has kept me very busy. They love their new barn and loafing area. They first day we let them out into the pasture (which by the way is filled with mixed grasses, clover, and alfalfa that stands taller than they are), they ran all the way…hopping, skipping, jumping, and fighting over it. Yes, fighting! Even though there is 10 acres of it, I guess they were afraid someone would take it all way. They spent the entire day out there. When it was evening and time for milking, they wouldn’t come in! We had to go out and herd them back into the barn! As they were walking into the barn, I noticed their stomachs appeared to be ready to burst and their chins were all grass stained. They milked so well, they flooded the line which is a very good problem to have!!! After milking, they walked into their living area, took a long drink, and were fast asleep before the next group was brought in. By the time I was all done milking, 118 goats with grass stained chins were snoring loudly. Yep, my girls love Lancaster County too!
We are milking on a line now. Twelve at a time is far better than one at a time. I also love flipping a switch and having everything clean itself! It’s comparable to washing your clothes by the creek bed with a washing board and a bar of soap vs. loading them into the washing machine, hitting a button, and walking away.
Our first milk pick up came and went without incident and so has every one after that as well. They come every three days to pick it up. Each time they come, we have more milk in the tank for them as the girls are enjoying their pasture and getting more comfortable in their new home. We have more goats coming the end of the month and a few more after that. Our goal is to have 100 milking before fall.
I’m still unpacking and working on projects but for the most part the renovation of the house has been completed. If I never have to paint again, it will be too soon. I’m so very sick of scraping wallpaper, sanding, and painting! It did turn out great though and I find myself in awe of it all. I just love all the wonderful aspects of living in a home built in 1714…the deep window sills, the tall windows, the stone walls, the original cabinetry, the built-ins, the original wide plank flooring, the walk-in pantry, etc. etc. etc.
I also love the long driveway. We have to ride our 4wheeler to the end of the driveway to get our mail…yes, it’s that long. I love the fruit trees in the front yard…apples and sour cherries, seeing the girls in the pasture behind our house, seeing the fields just recently planted with corn in the front of our house and down our driveway (which by the way is already sprouting up). I love my milk house, milking parlour, and barns. I love having a paved driveway which means less mud and dirt in the house. I love my laundry room…yes, my laundry room! It is as big as most people’s livingrooms.
I love the old fashioned soaking tub in the upstairs bathroom as well. What a God send it has been after a day of working hard on the farm. I crawl in their, lean back into the hot water that is up to my neck and let the aches and pains fade away. I love the giant farmhouse kitchen too. Most people walk into my kitchen and are shocked at it’s size and beauty. Nothing fancy…but all the original cabinets, woodwork, wainescoating, and style. Everything preserved just as it should be. It is so big that I have room for a rocking chair that sits by my hoosier cabinet. My special place to sit and drink a cup of coffee before I begin morning chores.
I love having my family close…just a quick drive down the farm lane and across the creek to my sister’s property. No one in our immediate families is more than an hour away. A lot of mine is just a 4 wheeler drive away.
I love the diningroom which is now filled with all my antique furniture that was handed down to me by a favorite aunt. I often think of her when I’m in there putting things away or sitting at the table. My sister Lori walked in and admired the room and said, “This house was made for your things. It all seems to fit just perfectly”.
That is just how I feel…Like I “fit” just pefectly here. I’ve come home again!
So I’m still really super busy putting the home and farm together but I’m getting there. I still have the home and farm in Wellsboro for sale as well. I’ll be glad then it sells and having the burden of two properties 4 hours apart to care for are behind me. I’ll try and post pictures of the new farm when I have a moment to breathe…right now I’m off to the barn to clip hooves…or in other words…to give goats their pedicures!