Watermelon Cider on Tap!

From stinky mess to success in a few, short months!

Remember when we sacrificed one of our 50lb watermelons last summer? (click the link to see that post).

For the longest time, the fermented liquid smelled like rotten watermelon. But we kept faith by decanting it a few times to let the various odors dissipate.

Now we have this almost clear, potent cider that tastes better than a Jolly Rancher!

Since tomorrow is the first day of Spring, we are a little concerned it won’t last ’til summer. 😂

Precipitation and Goat Kid Prep

There’s been a bit in the news about snowfall and precip, but we had more rain in 2016-17 and 2018-19. (See chart inserted below). No flooding here, so far. The creek is running higher and longer without flooding than any time since we’ve been here. I think that is because we have had MANY days of rain, but not super-intense rain all at once.

We spent a number of days this week getting ready for this season’s goat kidding! We didn’t do baby goats last year, but this year we are expecting about 10 new kids if all goes well, starting in a week. “Getting ready” means creating some new pens and getting the goats used to going into their new spots. It usually takes 3-5 days to get them trained to go to new pens. (That’s not without its hazards … I got rammed last evening that resulted in some MCL trauma in my left knee … hoping it’s only a sprain).

So these days we live for the goats — creating new pastures and fences and pens, even taking body blows from them! But they really help keep the forest like a park and we love those baby goats!

Stay tuned.

Fencing the South Parcel

A number of years ago, we fenced the main parcel of Two Bucks Ranch so the goats could graze it to minimize fire risk.

The goats have that well-grazed now and they are a little bit crazed looking for more brush.

Well, we have a seven-acre parcel in the 2020 burn scar that is just full of sprouts and all kinds of thick fire potential.

Problem is: It has never been fenced on the south side and the old fence on the east side needs to be re-done. It is also rugged and steep.

Yesterday we spent the morning marking the south boundary with string, clawing our way through a 45-degree incline covered in downed, burned, dead trees and a head-high wall of new tree sprouts.

Below is view of the ranch and parcel boundaries. Yellow is the boundary of the ranch (both parcels). The red line is where we are now attempting to fence the south parcel. Everything south of the orange line burned in the 2020 North Complex fire. The burned part on our main parcel is from CalFire purposefully setting a back-fire to stop the advance of the main fire. All the burned area in the south parcel (red line boundaries) was from the advancing wildfire.

That southern-most point is 321′ above our house, so steepness is a grade of about 45%.

We used electric fence to set up a temporary grazing area in the burned area to be fenced so the goats could get in there now! The pregnant does are REALLY hungry! One by the big pine tree and two gray ones center right.

How Our Precipitation Looks Compared to Other Years

This is our favorite go-to when we want to know how our water year is shaping up:

We haven’t beat our yearly average yet, but it’s better than 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

We are nowhere near the record year that almost broke the Oroville Dam spillway.

We do think Lake Oroville will completely fill this year and that they will eventually have to release some water through the new and improved spillway.

Happy One Month, Bijou

Today the little gem is 1-month old!

Cute as a button … but we don’t have her comfortable enough with us to walk toward us and get her head or neck scratched, yet.

She’s a beautiful little heifer.

On occasion, after she’s laid down for the evening, she’ll let us slowly creep up to her and scratch her on the head. That’s how it starts!

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