Andrew's Blog

A City Boy Making His Way in the Country
June 2011

Mea Culpa!

Sorry for the lack of blogging, but I’ve been away. Away for a respite. No spa, or European get-a-way. Just Gettysburg, some antiquing, sleeping, and eating a breakfast cooked by someone else. What a treat! Being back is great, don’t get me wrong. But someone, please, shut the dogs up, clean my floor, and does anyone out there know how to cope with a brain-damaged goat?

Bob Evans is chewing on my foot right now. Isn’t that sweet? And Leon the goat, bloated from eating too much food, was rushed to the hospital. He’s fine. Just ignore the open wound on his side that’s bubbling out stomach gases. Oh, and because of the gases increasing in his blood stream, he may have brain damage. Wow, leave for a few days and nothing stays the same.

A rabbit, or that nasty groundhog, came and ate all my lettuce and kale plants while I was away. I guess I didn’t need them. Roughage is for whimps! So I’ll plant something else. I just bought some peanut plants in Gettysburg. Who grows peanuts these days? I guess I do! And maybe some more tomatoes. You can never have too many!

I’ll be sure to make up for my blogging absence this week with informative news and updates on Leon the goat. (He needs eye drops because he doesn’t blink as much as he did before the bloat.) Oh, and we have a booth at Pride this weekend. And we’re selling jam. The announcement is soon to come. Mmmm, blueberry butter. Close your eyes, and it’s like you’re on a vacation. Just watch what your goats eat while those eyes are closed!


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Let it be so. Open the Whitman Room.

The Whitman Room has opened. A suite – with separate bath, hallway, and outside patio seating area with beautiful views of the llamas. It’s our third room, joining the Walden and the Barbizon. It’s simple, with marquee furnishings. Treasures of the highest calibre adorn the Whitman, like the buttercream roses on a Sylvia Weinstock cake.

We’ve had a few guests already experience the room. With three windows facing the evening’s sunset, you can relax in bed and unwind after a busy day of site-seeing, before heading into Granville for a memorable dinner.

Tomorrow we’ll also be unveiling our llama viewing area. A raised deck, with adirondack chairs. A perfect location to enjoy a glass of wine and watch the barnyard antics. Tonight we stood with some friends for 20 minutes and just watched Bacon follow the alpaca around the yard. Snorting, smelling, and grunting up a storm. Like Charlotte’s Web, only without the Yoda-like spider. And our pig isn’t such a pushover. Bacon has confidence. He owns the barnyard.


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Surprise, it’s a girl!

Imagine my surprise this morning when I went to feed the animals and found a baby llama in the field. Not walking, just laying. Don was at church. I told the guests…as I needed to tell someone…and then called the vet. No Shirley McClain this time. I was calmer. The farm life has made me zen.

After talking with the vet, and texting Donnie to get home ASAP, I let things be for awhile. Soon, she was up on her feet. Nursing. We’d been told this was mother Daisy’s second pregnancy. Her first baby may be being raised by Rick and Steve, her gay llama uncle and his long-time partner. But, while sometimes absent minded, she is proving a competent mother. Let’s see how she does over night.

This really wasn’t, but it was, a surprise. We were told Daisy was pregnant. She was due in early April. But, as April passed, and then May, and now June, we were unsure of her with-child status. But here she is, baby Rose.

The other llamas really couldn’t care. And the ram? He smelled the Rose and then moved on to the hay. He doesn’t care. No one seems too. Just the way I like it. Even Onslow, the baby daddy, has been kind and sweet. No one on the other side of the fence seems to mind either. But they have their own drama. We got a pig this weekend. His name is Bacon. And, believe me, no one – and I mean NO ONE – was any too happy to see him. Alarm calls were sounded with a ferocity unseen since the London fire of of 1666.

Oh, and we also picked up 2 alpaca today. We agreed to take them before Rose arrived. Now it seems a bit much. But they were in a desperate state. Their owner was going to sell them for meat. And while I haven’t seen alpaca burgers on any restaurant menu lately, I’m sure Alpo would make use of them. And so we have them. Bacon wants to play with them. They just run away.

A busy weekend at Orchard House for sure. But fulfilling. And with our third room open, game room almost complete, and the tomato plants exceeding expectations, we are looking to the summer with hope and joy. Take a second, sit, and smell the Roses. There may be a hint of barnyard, but the promise of tomorrow will envelope your palate.

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Don’t be sad baby.

Life isn’t horrible. Don’t be sad. Sometime’s, it gets hard. Money can be tight, and baby dragons will grow up and set your house on fire. Unfortunately, animals can get caught in the midst of personal struggle.

Orchard House turns it’s back to no one. If your parents can’t afford to keep you any more, we’re happy to open our doors, and our hearts, to you. If you haven’t lived up to expectations, don’t worry, that was just one person’s idea of who you should be. It does, in truth, get better.

Orchard House will be welcoming 3 new residents to the farm this weekend. I dare not share their identity, half for drama, and half because they haven’t arrived yet. One of them ┬ácomes from a family that I speculate, merely speculate, imagined he would remain small forever. (P.S. he’s big now.) The other two come from a family that loved them but doesn’t have the financial means to care for them properly. If you can help, you should.

We need to get a third pasture installed for our new arrivals. But it’s only money. We can’t save everyone, but when you have the opportunity, you should. I go back to my fake mentor Oprah, who I believe always quotes her real mentor Maya, who states, “When you know better, you do better.” Sure I’ve been selfish in the past, we all have. But if I have to drink cheap wine, and enjoy stay-cations, but help a destitute animal in the mean time, then so be it.

Come to Orchard House and feed someone an apple. It may be the first they’ve ever had! And I hope, if given the chance, you can help someone in need. Whether he walks on two feet or four, when you know better, you do better. And stay tuned, as this weekend promises to be eventful! So cheer up sad baby, the world is a great place, and at Orchard House, your apple sauce is homemade. And it’s delicious!

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