27 June 2008

Learning Curve.

acre = amount of hay a man can scythe in a day

schmacre = amount of hay a schmuck scythe in a day

one schmacre <<< one acre

I'll get the hang of it. I'd better. Because while our tractor is the kind you can hook a sickle bar up to, it's also the kind that runs on oil.

UPDATE: I am, in fact, getting the hang of it. "Before and after" pics soon.

16 June 2008

Best. Agricultural Movie Line. Ever.

You know what they do to these cows? They cut off their tits. They do. Zzzt, gone. Bye. Only leave four. Four tits fits the machine. It’s wacko. Why not make machines that suck eight titties, eh?

Speaking of milking multiple titties, I now have as many goats as I have kids. And yet I do not have as many kids as I have goats. Because some of my goats are moms. Hey, you'd be easily amused too if you were as brain-dead as I am. I feel like I just ran a weekend-long caprine birth marathon. Because I did.

Speaking of cows, Rosebud the Bruiser (bred shortly before this vid) has an udder like one. And because she's been separated from her babies (she kept trying to head-butt them), before long we'll be getting two ginormous milkings a day all to ourselves, once babies are off the bottle, i.e., off milk for good. Quite unlike Daisy's baby, Hyacinth (who was bred shortly before this vid), who was never separated from her mom and nursed right up till the day she started nursing her own, which she now does beautifully. Much to our surprise, since in every other way she takes after her aunt Rosebud, probably because her aunt never missed an opportunity to give her young niece a lesson in goat-fu.

In other words, we'll be filling the pool with goat's milk this summer. It should be good for the skin. Like the soap we'll be making from it next year. Unless cheese comes first. Which it will if we can't find a spot for the pool in the shade.

07 June 2008

Coming Home to Roost

Here's the official story. My question is: Has anybody raised the possibility of foul (or should I say fowl) play? In other words, do the chickens want their lot back? Or at least their own parking space, as in days of old?

In 1915, a movie pioneer named Carl Laemmle bought the 230-acre Taylor chicken ranch on the north side of the Hollywood Hills. He set up a motion picture studio on the ranch, but he kept the chickens. Laemmle figured movies might go out of fashion, but eggs wouldn't.

To help defray the cost of movie making, he decided to sell tickets to people who wanted to see his movies being made. He charged them 25 cents, which included a box lunch with chicken and egg salad sandwiches. The spectators watched from bleachers where they were encouraged to cheer the heroes and boo the villains. The directors told the crowds that the actors usually did a better job if they were given noisy encouragement. Of course, the movies being made were silent. As the spectators were leaving the studio, they were offered a good deal on eggs and many bought.
Maybe they could give the territorial clucks this house on Colonial Street. Only seems fitting. I hear that something like 95% of hens prefer Desperate Housewives over these chicks. There's something about Teri Hatcher they seem to relate to...

Cooking With Gas

Petrol, that is.

Actual horsepower may be our destiny. Our friends at Cold Brook Farm have horses now; "Astonishing animals," said the city boy. Though our eleven horses don't eat all that much, so for the moment, it makes sense.

Fun fact: James Watt used a (strong) Dray horse working a cotton gin for 8 hours and estimated an average of 22,00 foot-pounds per minute (which he then increased by 50%) to create the horsepower-unit. The 50% increase was based on the output that he expected would eventually be achieved in the future by robot (i.e., auto-motive, or to use Mr. Watt's term, "horseless") horses.

06 June 2008

Another Canuck Talks Turkey

From Paste Vision (a podcast on Paste Station [on Paste Magazine]):

Ellen Page: I've been kind of obsessing about being self-sustainable [laughs nervously] before the shit hits the fan?

Josh Jackson (Editor-in-Chief): That's a nice place to be.

Ellen Page: My friends and I have been thinking of buying a farm and becoming self-sustainable.

Diablo Cody: That's a good idea.

Ellen Page: You're welcome.
This was in December, shortly before Not-Juno was voted Best Picture of 2007. Wonder if Ms. Page has made any progress since then. Wonder if she’ll actually do it at all. She doesn’t live in the desert -- she still calls Halifax home, keeps herself “grounded” there -- so maybe she’s actually familiar enough with reality to find farming (i.e., health, beauty, etc.) attractive. Somehow, though, I have a feeling that nobody (not even Ellen Page) is going to make any drastic changes in lifestyle until the shit hits the fan.

Then again, maybe it already has. Or is. A little at a time. Making a kind of steady spray. Sorry. They’re spreading manure down the road.

Lessee, so on The Hollywood Farmer Scoreboard now that’s a Brit and two Canucks, one talkin’ the talk and one startin' to walk…now how about an American celeb? Otherwise I might start to suspect I really haven’t hit upon the newest Hollywood trend…