Aaaah! Spring! It’s that time of the year when flowers are starting to bloom, trees are budding, the grasses are greening up and the garden is calling.
Now is the time to start moving manure from the barn up to the garden plots and to start tilling that “black gold” into the earth but this year things will be a little different in one of the plots. We have decided to grow potatoes for markets. Soil preparation for these beauties does not include manure as an amendment..so there will be less hauling than in years past. Can’t wait to see the lush green plants starting to pop up!
Each market season we have noticed that Spinach and Carrots are limited, so to do our part in answering the call for more of these foods, we have increased our garden area to add several raised beds for carrots and a second garden spot for spinach. Then of course there will be the usual cast of characters..tomatoes, okra, cukes, squashes, eggplant and lettuces.
On a different note, all of chickens seemed to be loving the warmer weather and longer days already. We have eggs everywhere! Our chickens are totally free range so as a result egg collection closely resembles an Easter Egg hunt each day. That’s OK though it is worth it when we are able to put together a carton of eggs that look like this…
Thank you girls…
Next on the list for our Spring “to do’s” will be sheep shearing. That’s always exciting too..when we get the chance to see what this years growth looks like. By the winter being mild, it doesn’t look like we will have the usual bumper of wool. We will be adding Cashmere this year to our fibers available. Friends of ours are getting out of the cashmere business but they still have 10 goats that need to be combed..so yes, I volunteered to do the combing. Payment for this job..we get the fiber! There will be some pretty cool rovings and yarns available in the fall!
Maybe I’m wrong..look at all that wool!
Well that’s all for today. I’m afraid if I keep writing, I’ll wear myself out.
OK, here is the list of all entries made on our Blog and Facebook:
“Boom Boom Pow” – Black Eyed Peas
“Linus and Lucy” – Charlie Brown
“Firework” – Katy Perry
“Bad” – Michael Jackson
“Sheep Go To Heaven Goats Go To Hell” – Cake
“You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” – Leo Sayer
“Born This Way” – Lady Gaga
“Bad Romance” – Lady Gaga
“Who Let The Dogs Out” – Baha Men
And the Winner is!!!
“You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”
(submitted by Mugsy via Facebook)
Video Coming Soon!
For those who did not win this giveaway..there are other places you can find our Natural Nesting Balls to purchase.http://www.breezehillfarm.com/ordering.aspxAlso, in Richmond VA…The Great Big Greenhouse and Yardbirds.
Hear we go! This is Gryffon (aka Scrap). He is the little goat buckling born a week ago this past Sunday. Being a musical family here, we have decided that Scrap needs a song all his own. Once he has a song, we will add that song to a video of Scrap doing what little goaties do and create his own music video! His song can be any type of music..even Christmas music. It should be fitting of a little critter that at this point weighs about 8 pounds and has enough energy for 5 of him.
So we need for you all to come up with a song. If we choose the song you come up with..you will win 2 of our new Natural Nesting Balls. See one for you and one to give as a gift! You must live in the US to enter this giveaway as we are covering the shipping as well.
So go to the comments for this post and start listing the song you think will best work for Scrap. At days end tomorrow we will go through your suggestions and pick the song that we feel best fits Scrap. Please make sure I have some way to contact you to let you know that you are the winner. We will take care of the shipping details later.
This is just the perfect time of year to offer a giveaway, so I’m working on it as I write. It needs to be something exciting that lots of folks will participate in and the giveaway should be something that everyone would love to have times 2 so the other can be given as a gift! I will iron out the details today..so look for something tomorrow.
Things are going very well at the farm. We are fielding orders for Nesting Balls and Dryer Balls hourly now and hope that everyone who receives them as Christmas gifts will love them as much as we do. Though they are very simple items a lot of work does go into their creation..starting with raising the animals. I have the best producers in the world out there in the field growing fiber so that I have the materials I need to create. Three cheers to the SHEEP and GOATS this morning!! Speaking of, I should get down to the barn and feed them.
OK, that’s it for today. Be looking for the giveaway announcement tomorrow!
It got pretty exciting around here this past weekend. Not only was it the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend but we had an addition come into the world at the farm. Several months ago we purchased a bred LaMancha doe and her due date was in mid-September. Well mid-September came and went and no baby. We had to rearrange our world (where Goat Shares were concerned) and begin a quest for a freshened doe. Without going into a lot of uninteresting details..we didn’t find one. Then Sunday morning hubby went to the barn to check on everyone and feed. He came back to the house and announced that “Jojo” had kidded!! Obviously, the breeder had really messed up the breeding date and now we have a fresh doe and a beautiful little buckling. Don’t you just love a happy ending story?
Is he too cute or what!!
Many people have asked me where they can find our new natural Nesting Balls in the Richmond, VA area. These have taken on a life of their own and we love it. Right now the list is short but growing everyday. As everyone knows with Fall Line Farms Co-op..you can find them listed weekly on the Co-op. They are now available at Yardbirds in Gayton Crssing Shopping Center and starting this weekend at Primrose and Persimmons Antiques in Goochland Courthouse, VA. If you cannot make it to any of the events we will be at this Holiday season, these are a few places you can find them. Also, you can always contact us at email@example.com to order direct through us. OK, enough sales pitching for now.
Friday evening was so peaceful and relaxing. We spent time visiting with each other..discussing the week and our plans for the weekend. I started taking care of the Quail and hubby made his way to the barn for evening chores. He had been at the barn only a few minutes and he called me on the phone. This usually means one of two things..something is wrong or there are new babies.
Happily, it was the latter. We have 2 new doelings! Oh, my they are soooo cute and their fiber is amazing. These little ones are 3/4 Angora and 1/4 Alpine Dairy goats. It’s the same crosses we done since we started raising goats back in 2002. It’s such a wonderful cross because we end up with adults that give us pounds of fiber and they are excellent milk producers too. The fact that they are does is just a plus.
These photos were taken yesterday morning.
One Happy Mom!
No matter how many births we have here..I always enjoy each one as if it were the first. Wish the farm was bigger so I could keep them all!
This has been a burning question for days now. Every time we turn on the news, we see reports about flooding..every time we look out our door, we see flooding. There has to be a point where enough is enough. Our pastures are on the way to lush and green but any grass growth that happens to be under the taller stuff is rotting. Our garden spot is standing in water, not because the drainage is bad but because there is so much water it has no where to go. The sheep and goats are both looking for elevated surfaces to stand on..s.o.p. for a goat but sheep are typically ground dwellers.
On the plus side though, all of this moisture is making for an absolutely beautiful Spring. The herbs are growing by leaps and anything that could bloom, is blooming. There are many new Irises showing this year that we’ve never seen before..can’t wait to see what colors they are. For years we have only had one or two little Lilly of The Valley pop up and bloom. The year I’ve counted 68 individual plants coming up. So from the floral garden standpoint..the rains (and snows) have created a beautiful display.
Talked to my shearer yesterday and we’re scheduled for shearing in two weeks. I know my girls will be happy when that’s done. Two of my smaller (more Romney) girls were actually walking on their side fleece, so this weekend I trimmed up their sides..the fleeces are really nice. I still think that I’m going to do a “pool it all together” processing this year. Since the Alpaca fleeces that I have are so plentiful and our girls fleeces are looking so great, a blended fiber will be nice and something very different. The end result should give me a lot of fiber to dye, over-dye and leave natural, so keep a look out for those to be listed around May or June. I have several people on a waiting list to get samples and if any of our readers are interested in samples too, just email me or leave a comment. When they’re ready, I’ll email you to get your address.
While on the subject of fleeces, all of my little goat crosses (Angora x Alpine) blew their fleeces almost a month early. I wasn’t able to salvage any of it. The fleece that they produce is the equivalent of Cashmere with the luster of Mohair. It’s really pretty, takes dye very well and I love to blend it with my white sheep wool..but not this year.
Soap update..it’s curing nicely and I should be getting it out to my customers very soon. I have cut back on the variety of fragrances for the time being (until I get orders caught up) and am going to start a Garden Collection of fragrances later in the season. I am still experiencing a hold up on the lotions and butters but hope to get started on those soon.
Wow, I had no idea how much this farm has missed me! Before I go any further with this entry, let me take a moment to say how thankful I am for my husband. He has done a beautiful job working a full time, away from the farm job, and working another full time job here. I couldn’t have done anything without him!
We spent the weekend fencing. When we moved here there was existing fencing. Some of it was in good shape but most of it was barely fencing at all. We’ve done lots of repairs, replacements and quick fixes but it’s time now to start doing serious replacement work. It looks pretty good! Instead of using field fence, we’ve started using no-climb horse fencing. It’s much more effective at staying in place when you have horned creatures like goats. If all we were fencing were sheep, we could use picket fence. They are not the fence challengers that goats are.
So, next weekend we will finish the fencing project and move on to barn repairs and garden preparation. Now that the time has changed we have some daylight in the evening and I hope we will be able to do those barn repairs in day by day increments. All of the snow and rain we’ve had this winter has done some serious damage to certain parts of the barn. Also, it really needs painting – It’s on the list!
See that lean on the right side? Not good!
Over the last couple of weeks I have batched up about 200 pounds of soap so within the next few weeks I’ll be molding, packaging and delivering soap again. The patience and understanding my customers have shown this winter has been very much appreciated.
As I’ve been typing, a thunderstorm has worked its way here – the heavens have opened and it’s pouring rain. With the warm temps I guess I’d better add grass cutting to the list of “To Do’s”.
Wow, so far 2010 has been a royal pain in the #@** with regards to weather in Virginia and many other places. So many of our Blog entries are filled with photos of the latest snowstorms, flooding and mud. From the inside looking out it’s just one big Holiday card waiting to be printed..to the farmer, as we pull on our Carhart’s and boots, it’s another day of adverse conditions to try and do what has to be done or not getting things done at all.
In all fairness, right now I think everyone is having a hard time with the weather though. I know around here, we are simply not use to all of this snow and neither is our livestock. Poor things..they don’t know what to do with themselves. The sheep and goats hoove at the ground, expecting to find grass and there isn’t any..there’s just more snow. My guys have taken to just lying on top of the snow and snoozing. When the grain bucket surfaces they are like mad animals running in all directions, then they look at us like “oh no, not this stuff again”. It’s kind of sad, at least we can go to the market or our local co-op and get fresh lettuces and other veggies. They can’t nor can we afford to do that for them.
So we do things like talk about spring and plod through our seed catalogs, looking forward to those warmer days. For those of us who are responsible for livestock..weather like this always keeps us at a little higher stress level whether we realize it or not. Be sure to take care of you during this time of year. Eat right and work on that attitude. In the long run you will be better off for it and so will your farm.
Well here we go again, time for the next winter storm. I’ve got to spend the day battening down all the hatches..looks like this storm is going to be accompanied by wind and really low temperatures. The guy we get our straw from said that he has sold more straw this year so far than hay. I know that we have not used this much bedding in the last 10 years combined. I also need to close up the barn this time too. We’re babying our goats more this time of year than usual..don’t want to deal with colds and big bellies, of course our geriatric sheep require more protection.
The really bad part about cold weather and me..all I want to do is cook. I ran by the store on the way home from Co-op deliveries last night, to pick up a few things. These few things equated to $270.00 worth of groceries. I don’t usually go overboard this bad when they call for snow, even though our only snowplow around here, is God, but this time I did for some reason. I have now dubbed Fresh Market as the $300. store..it just kicked Sam’s Club out of that standing.
I guess I should stop Blog babbling and get to work. Need to have my chores done before hubby gets home from work. He’s got to switch vehicles and get wood this evening. Don’t know how we ran out of wood, since we heat with wood, but we are very low.
Everyone have a great Friday. My next entry will probably be pictures of snow…again!