Animoolz and Humans #6

It’s been way too long since our last #Blissfarm update. Sooo, what’s been happening?

Co-dependency central

I’m not the only one who wants their animoolz to love them unconditionally. Unfortunately cows and goats are not dogs. Fortunately apple and pear season found us in abundance. Bread is animal heroin Fruit is the new animal heroin. This is how it works.

I feed them fruit and they resentfully allow themselves to be patted. You call it co-dependence, I call it quid pro quo. It started with a couple of spoiled apples from our small trees. Then there was a damaged peach I stuck in Rosie’s mouth. I wasn’t sure how it would go. She sucked and sucked, her thick, grey muscle tongue flapped around her face, she gagged a little. I was beginning to think I was causing her slow death, when she suddenly spat out the pip. Completely cleansed of fruit. It was on.

There were more apples and a bag of baby pears from colleagues. Then the Other Girl brought a tree’s worth of apples over. There were so many, the bag broke and the fruit tumbled down the driveway causing a mad scramble. And so the afternoon feeding frenzy began. No encouragement in the form of mooing across the paddocks was required. Three cows and three goats would arrive on cue and stare at me through the window each afternoon. The bull calf unfamiliar with convention and less affected by the boundaries between humans and animoolz would move things along with an abrupt and deep ‘Moo!’ Okay, I’m on my way!

Cows can eat a full piece of fruit, but calves and goats need them sliced in pieces. There are also certain wrangling capabilities required to keep cows occupied while feeding the smaller herd members the slices to avoid someone something being bucked. There’s a pecking order.

How does my garden grow?

Fine thanks, I believe they’re called zucchini, or discovered late, marrow, and then there’s The Lovely Deputy’s tomatoes. He has an abundance mentality. Here’s a quick dinner for next season, unless you’re still going. If that’s the case, then God help you.

Rub a bowl with garlic. Use a mandolin to thinly slice some zucchini. Chop some tomatoes to the size you fancy for the size of the tomatoes (we had A LOT of cherry tomatoes which were perfect halved). Add those ingredients to your garlicy bowl with some torn basil, lemon zest, cracked pepper, a tiny little bit of salt and sugar. Boil some pasta but make it spaghetti or fettuccine and break the pieces in half. Drain that pasta leaving only the dregs of the cooking water. Throw around a good part of goats cheese, breaking it up and allowing it to melt over that pasta. For the record, I tried ricotta and a little feta, blah! Toss all that goodness together and throw it into a warm bowl. ‘DINNER!!’

We’ve also done zucchini muffins, frittata, bake and kimchi (delicious on sangas). Oh, and tomato sauce, chilli sauce, tomato passata and slow roasted tomatoes for the freezer for later.

Natural birth

Incubusator, thy name is Satan! Okay, that might be an overreaction but after 21 months, the chickens REALLY came home to roost. Daughter of White Chicken was broody. I admit I didn’t respect her henliness. I booted her off those eggs and ate them… the zucchini bake amongst other things. Then she was joined by Daughter of Light Brown Chicken.

It looked serious. It was appropriate they be given the opportunity to co-parent and bugger me they did. Three weeks they had to produce the goods and three weeks it took to find the first hatchling. The girls delivered 12 to us. Our first natural births.

It’s oh so quiet

Be afraid. ‘Silly goats where are you?’ Silence. Hmmm. Initially the cows had ram-raided the coop in an attempt to get to the hay, but it was the goats who were successful and had achieved unhindered access to hay and chicken pellets, which incidentally are bad for them. I stared at them through the door and they stared back. Hay bales akimbo, the chicken feeder empty and thrown from its perch to the floor. Chickens pecking randomly. It was chaos.

Three miniature goats jumped to the top of the brooding boxes and stared down ignoring my pleas. Did you know that goats are the most stubborn animoolz in the world and if they see an opportunity they’ll seize it and resist you? I shook my head in disgust and left it to the Lovely Deputy to sort.

Dad, there’s a cow outside my door

It’s not something I ever expected to hear but there we were in bed at an hour appropriate for farmers. Skater Boy whispered through the door. We shot out of bed. Me in my nightie and thongs to find the moolz. The Lovely Deputy to find the breach. This is what animoolz get up to when you’re not paying attention.

The two cows and bull calf had found a little space to squeeze through, trundled past the two bee hives, miraculously without knocking them over, had eaten the sole surviving hay bale in our car park, rubbed their noggins against Skater Boy’s studio and were waiting at the paddock gate to be let back in. The closure to the episode at 11 pm (don’t judge me, I have roosters) included standing in a massive, fresh cow pat (the thongs, don’t forget the thongs), letting the goats out while trying to get the cows in (they would take any opportunity to create havoc those ovines) and almost being stampeded (Hey dude with the apples, I’m down here in the dark in my thongs and the cows are going MAD!!!).

For more on life in the country – Animoolz and Humans #5

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