Saturday, July 25, 2009

City Girl Hits The Farm...

This past week, we have had our niece (great-niece, actually...) staying with us on the farm. She has visited a few times, but this is the first time she has actually been here without her parents.

We picked her up last Saturday, and took her to a tractor show. She had a LOT of fun - especially when we came to the corn shelling displays. She kept shelling until she had filled a five gallon bucket.

She needs to come back when I have some ear corn....

She's been bored a few times - what 11 year old isn't - but has been having fun doing things with Aunt Deb and even with me.

One of the first things she learned was how to milk a goat. I showed her, then used her finger as a goat teat to let her feel what she had to do.

She was a little puzzled at first but then I used an analogy that every pre-teen can understand.....

"Think of her teat as a WATER BALLOON...."

For some reason, that hit home and the light bulb came on.

Now, most people, when they are first learning to milk, struggle to get a squirt from the one holding the milk. Not so with Jazmine. She kept at it and was getting good, steady streams in no time flat. We even tried a second goat. She mastered that one as well.

I held the hind leg of the first goat because we weren't sure if she would kick or not, since the hands on her teats were new. It turned out that I didn't need to - Annie stood just fine.

Learning to Milk

Here is her turn at milking Sassy. Note that she is using her LEFT hand.

Learning to Milk

I'd say it was pretty durn good for the first time.

She also had fun feeding the chickens and collecting eggs. At night, she helped with getting the milk goats into their stalls, feeding them and saying good night. She has been a really big help in the barn.

On Thursday, I decided to let her have a turn at driving the 8N.

We drove around awhile with me sitting behind her on the seat until she got used to how the tractor steers. I taught her how to take off and stop, and how to turn.
Then she was ready for her solo. This is her checking things out before she takes off:

Jazmine On The 8N

She has been help in the house, too. She joined in when we separated milk, then made cheese.

Of course, she was right in there when Deb made cookies and brownies....

On Wednesday, we took a trip to Nebraska City to go through Arbor Day Farms. If any of you are unfamiliar with Arbor Day do a Google search for it and Jay Sterling Morton. Very interesting reading.

It was hot, and tiring, but a fun day. We even managed to visit a person with goats on the way home and bought two that we had to pick up on Thursday. It meant another trip, but the two goats will be nice to have.

It's been hot in the afternoons, so we haven't been doing a LOT of heavy work outside. Instead, we have been playing UNO, and a couple of other games.

She's quite the card shark, too...

She has to go home soon, but it has been fun having her here. She's learned a lot while she has been here.

Maybe she'll be able to come back next summer.....


  1. Looks like she has had a real good time. I think you have too.

    Kathy T

  2. Galen and Deb, so glad you and your great niece had a fun visit to Arbor Day Farm. Come back again anytime --- maybe this fall for the corn maze or apple picking?

    Plant trees,
    Arbor Day Farm


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