Garden of Ethan

  (Ada, Michigan)
A growing hobby farm in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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August update

I am now milking two does, twice a day.  I was present for both deliveries, and these little kids are a blast.  We often play, "Hop on Pop" on the lawn, where I kneel down and they jump on my back.  When they were just days old, I would lie on my back and they would curl up on my chest.  I tried milking one of their moms with them around, and ended up with a little billy standing on my shoulders as I squatted and milked.  I have a milking stanchion, but don't use it yet.  I don't bottle feed the babies, as the does have enough for their single kids, my family, and all my interested neighbors and friends.

My hens continue to go broody, and it is a good thing, as I have foxes practically living in my backyard.  They hunt all hours of the day.  My smaller, slower chickens are all gone, but I have many of the flightier teenagers still.  Full grown ducks are too much for the foxes, and the geese are safe of course.   I have to continue to adapt to my environment, or rather, watch natural selection alter my flocks.

The greenhouse produced wonderfully, and I learned a great deal.  I have tomatoes planted directly in the ground inside it for late harvest.  I plan on planting greens to harvest all winter.  This summer has been very busy, but often things get so beautiful, I just have to sit and soak it in.  It is a good life.


February 2009 update

My sister and niece helped me pick up our two Saanen dairy goats from the breeders, and we are looking forward to their babies in May and July.  Ten chicks hatched from our incubator a week ago, and I am adding goose, duck and a variety of chicken eggs every few days.  I just ordered a second incubator, as I am practically stacking eggs in my current one.  I am collecting about 15 green, brown, and white chicken and duck eggs every day.  My brother worked with a neighbor on getting our new greenhouse ready to go.  I have broccoli, eggplant, tomato, pepper, and viola seedlings growing well in the house under lights.  My other brother is getting our maple syrup stove ready, as we may begin harvesting and boiling down sap next week!  It is a busy and exciting time of year.

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