Friday, October 12, late:
Permission has been given to enlarge the garden at the monastery, and rather than employ plow and tractor we have fenced the two pigs S-4 is raising for sale on the seventy or so foot swathe where we want to break sod. They have begun work immediately, and when we took them some cracked corn at dusk they had already turned a good deal. A purchased round bale of last year’s hay is enclosed with them, as food, as amusement, as shelter – pigs will burrow into a round bale and nest there – and in the spring it will make mulch for sod potatoes. The Spanish thistle we saw there this summer should have no chance against the pigs’ rooting. Until the cold descends in earnest and we grow tired of carrying water in buckets these two pigs will reside here to ready the garden for next spring.
Baby announced her most recent heat with a single moo and a reduction in milk supply and we called the A.I. technician. This time he was available, and brought what he tells us is COBA’s best quality Jersey semen. In three weeks we will be on the watch to see whether the breeding took, or she goes back into heat. She is a good cow and we hope her next calf will be like her. Isabel, seven weeks after being bred, went into heat again. If this latest breeding – this time with Angus semen, with the hope of a beef conformation in a high-butterfat milker – doesn’t take, we will milk her while her supply remains up, then dry her off and run her with the steers until June and breed her again. We would not like to lose her good genetics without getting at least one more heifer out of her.