There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground

I borrow the title of this post from Sara Teasdale's poem. It describes some of the most noteworthy and telltale signs of spring.  She then moves into the idea of the world without humans, and how no creature nor plant nor any other organic thing on the earth, nor the earth itself, would know that we were gone. 

While we remain, I will stand by and name this season as spring all the while noting it's characteristic phases and recognizing it's many faces in the flowers, leaves and creatures that begin to show themselves. I will wait out spring's mercurial nature, withstand it's freeze and completely bask in it's occasional warmth. 

And as it goes with spring, there has been so much happening! And even while we are happily running around (sometimes feeling a little hectic, but mostly happy), attending to all sorts of everyday and spring time tasks I know that we are on the brink of an even busier time.  Late spring and summer and their accompanying bounty of growth will come quick and steady and I guarantee that we mostly won't be ready for it all.  But we'll run along with it nonetheless and try our damnedest to keep up. 

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We have had many a visitor these past weeks: Andy's folks, my folks. We went to the edges of China Lake to see it iced over for the last time, visited with the animals and walked long around the farm. Much thanks for such great help with construction, spring cleaning indoors and out, and many hours washing bottles and dishes in the dairy, and lastly, much thanks for the good company.

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Ducklings! And so much duckling love.  These are the sweetest, softest little creatures. 120 is the number of the day with these ducks. 120 at the moment, with another 120 coming this Wednesday and an additional 120 coming later in May.  We'll mainly be wholesaling them to restaurants but are also happy to take orders for individuals, too.

With the parents came the onslaught of Easter treats. There were actually multiple baskets of candy.  My mum also made her signature frosted butter cookies, appropriately shaped like ducks because, as it turns out, we have a lot of ducks right now.  The parents were enamored of our brood and my father insisted that they all have names. 

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And piglets! We were three days pig free before we got this batch.  These ones have seemed particularly tiny and adorable to us because our previous group of pigs were over 300 pounds last we saw them. These little ones love milk and feel just medium about whey from our yogurt.  Like everything right now, they are growing fast and thriving. We'll be moving them out to the woods behind our house in a week or so. 

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The ducks are actually growing right before our eyes. They graduated quickly from the big box in the back room to the brooder house outside. In a week or so they, too, will be in their range pens on pasture, scant as they are, to eat what they may find growing on and living in the ground. 

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And last but not least, our latest addition: seven friesian sheep we're looking after for a few months for a neighbor of ours.  This is the new view from our front stoop.  We're glad to have these quiet, friendly creatures. Though they're all happily chewing cud in this picture, I know they're eager to get out on the slowly greening pasture behind them. Soon, sheeps! 

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We have had really great feedback about meat & dairy from the Milkhouse, and Andy and I are so grateful for the continued support.  Thank you!