Sorry, to my regular readers, that I have not been a regular writer recently. Too much farm math to keep up with.Ohhhhhhhh! you groan, as you hoped that algebra was a bad horror movie from middle school, not something that actually occurs in life, let alone on the bucolic farm.
But, this time of year is when we finish winter projects and start spring projects. This includes cutting wood for future wood stove heat. Wood is calculated by the cord, or 4’x4’x8′. Then there were those dozen or so gourds which we grew last year. The gourds dried over winter. We scrapped and sanded the skin off, drilled an entry hole, then painted them. Then there all the packets of seeds we ordered which need to be allocated to different planting areas. And, for annual flowers there are trips to the green house, etc. Well, all of that adds up to N hours of labor to keep the flow of the season going. Every N hours of labor on the farm is N hours of time not available to be in the cyber world.
Now, as to 2×3=9, that is how goats multiply. Or, if you want to shreak at the dreaded algebra word equation, each of three does has twins, how many goats do you have. There you got it. Our three does had twins, so we had 9 goats a month ago. Okay, the correct equation would be (2×3)+3=9, and you know why I did not pursue higher level math classes in high school.
But, farm living also has the reality of subtraction.
One of our does had difficulty dropping her milk for a couple of weeks. Kids (along with calves and lambs in those branches of livestock) need to suck their mother’s milk within the first 24 hours in order to get the colostrum, which contains important antibodies to kick-start their immune systems. One of the kids of this doe did not drink milk and died by the next day. The other must have gotten enough colostrum because he survived. But, she was not producing milk, and we had to bottle feed it with milk-replacer (basically dried milk that we would mix up). After a couple of weeks, we gave him to one of the FFA students who wanted to raise a goat and was willing to take the time to feed it a couple of times per day.
Thus, we are now a 9-2=7 goats. And, we are back to milk production, which is filling our refrigerator with home-made yogurt, cheese, and whey.
Of course that brings up another farm life math issue of time. Anyone want to get up at 5:15 a.m. to milk some goats? This is a true goat-rodeo every morning, getting the does onto the milking stand in the right sequence, while keeping the kids aways.