Shipment Updates & Co-op

For people who are waiting on shipments from us, they will go out this week. Sorry for the delay. It’s been a bit nuts here trying to get CSA orders shipped and dealing with soap cure time being off schedule but we’re getting it under control.

There are many of you who follow this blog that are members in the Fall Line Farms Co-op and have been our devoted customers since it began last November. I wanted to let you know that we will no longer be participating in the Co-op as a Producer. There many reasons why and this is not the venue to explain but I did want to let you all know that you can always order our products direct from us and delivery to the Richmond Virginia area will be free. Also, you can stop by the retail outlets we have  and find our full line of products, except the Wool/Alpaca Socks, they would need to be ordered direct through us. Email us for a list of retail outlets or any questions you may have.

I will keep you all updated on events that we will be participating in between now and Christmas. You already know what great gifts our goats milk soap, lotions and socks make – and they don’t break the bank! Please know how much we value your business and want to keep as many of you as customers as we can.

Speaking of products and business, I need to get to work on making soap and lotion today. Orders are backing up again.

Quiet Peacefulness of the Country?

As I sit here trying to figure out what next for the day, it occurs to me that something is bothering me. I’m irritable, figity and in general getting in a bad mood. It’s noise! When you move to the country, peace and quiet are the two things that come to mind. You can hear the birds sing, you go hours without hearing a single sound of any kind and its just peaceful. You know what, that simply isn’t true. The thing that’s so funny about what I’m getting ready to write is I grew up in the country and as a child I can remember the deafening silence (especially as a teenager). Not a lot of traffic, no horns blowing, lawn mowers, weed wackers..there just wasn’t that much noise.

So far today, I’ve heard heavy equipment running..for hours. The farmer next door is cutting and putting up hay. Apparently this is not a process that is done sitting in the tractor but one that requires a person strutting around, swinging their arms and yelling! So what do you think happens when this occurs? That’s right, the dogs go nuts, the sheep and goats take off running for fear that their lives will surely end soon and I am jumping up and down like a “pogo” stick trying to see what the problem is. As if that isn’t bothersome enough, another neighbor (not a farmer, but son of the farmer) has just returned from a weekend of  “truck pulling” (tractor truck style). So there’s the banging and clanging of pulling these trucks off the hauler. Well, he must not have done well because those trucks sound like they are on the fast track to explosion. All the while the neighbor and another dude are standing around yelling at each other at the top of their lungs because they can’t hear over the trucks idling. Keep in mind this neighbor shared his feelings about our dogs barking at the UPS driver all the time and how it just had to stop!  The military has more than obviously changed their “day’s of thunder” helicopter flight pattern to go right over the house. Each time this has happened (of the 6 times) the windows shake and you guessed it..the dogs bark, then the sheep and goats take off running’s an aerial assault don’t ya know.

So, what have we accomplished today? The dogs have exercised their vocal cords, the sheep and goats have run to the point of exhaustion, I have spent hours going from window to window, field to field just making sure that all of the commotion is what I think it is and not some predator ready to eat the flock or herd. Maybe I expect too much from country living but it would be nice to have a 30 minute stretch of time when my ears aren’t being abused. Oh my I really am in a bad mood. Sometimes we must vent and even rant a bit!

OK, that’s it, no more fussing. I’m off to make soap for the rest of the day!

We Have A Winner!

I know I told everyone in the Giveaway Blog that I would announce the winner for the 2 bars of Goats Milk Soap and the Wool/Alpaca blended socks tomorrow but I’m not going to be around to do that, so we held our drawing and we have a winner and a copy of her comment:

Diane Muska

New soap sounds wonderful and hard to beat alpaca socks with the cold winter weather we have coming up.

Congratulations Diane!

Everyone, be safe the rest of the Holiday and enjoy.

General Catching Up

Before I get too wound up in my Blog post I want to share something with everyone that I read this morning from Alpaca Farm Girl Blog and it oh so true of the life of the farmer. Read it and maybe you’ll understand more about what our lives are like. Be sure to leave Katy a comment with well wishes for little Pippi, that she gains strength each day and will be in the pasture with her Mom soon.

What a beautiful morning! Nice and cool, 56 degrees to be exact, sun shining bright and low humidity. Can’t believe this is Virginia the 2nd day of September. Not to worry though, by the weekend it will be 90 degrees again. Don’t know why we’ve been blessed with this couple day cool snap but I for one could not appreciate it more. The prelude to Fall always makes me happy because that means Winter is not far behind! Between all of the acorns and how quickly the sheep fleeces have grown since shearing in the Spring, we may be looking at a hard Winter this year. These two things are usually a good sign of that.

The late garden is looking fantastic! Every tomato plant is covered with tomatoes that should be ripe by the end of the months and the peppers – Wow! Aside from the typical Bell Pepper, we planted Chocolate and Orange Bells and Jimmy Nardello’s. Lat weekend at a Farmer’s Market, I bought a couple of the JN’s to try…can’t wait for our to rippen. The early garden has pretty much finished it’s thing, except for the tomatoes. With this lul in harvest, I’m taking advantage of harvesting seeds for next year.

Well, our new sheep additions are getting closer to their arrival time. I can’t wait! Adding Icelandic’s to our existing flock should make fiber harvest interesting. These new girls will be ready for their Fall shearing when they arrive, so we should get several pounds of fiber from them. This will also be a new thing for us, our sheep are only shorn annually. It’s nice to add something new.

I’ve got to get goats milk soap and lotion deliveries ready for tomorrow and as of about 20 minutes ago, we have another new retail outlet, Ashwood Gardens & Nursery in Ashland, VA, so I need to get their delivery ready too. Welcome to the Breeze Hill Farm family Charlie & Terry Blair, owners of Ashwood Gardens!

There are still a few more days to make comments on the “Giveaway” post from last Friday.

Have a great day!

Good Day, Observation & A Giveaway!

Yesterday was a really good day. I had someone helping me make my Co-op deliveries, so I was able to visit more with my wholesale customers when I made their deliveries. We were all talking about the holiday season and wondering what it will be like this year. It really is hard to predict. While many of my customers businesses are thriving, several have closed their doors over the last few months. As I spoke with people yesterday, it seemed that there was one topic we all agreed on, everyone has had to ramp up customer service. While it’s true that folks may have less to spend, when they do spend, their expectation of how they are treated has changed. Going that extra step to keep customers happy and coming back is what it’s all about. There are so many times I wish I had a “brick & mortar” shop, but then I come back to my senses and it doesn’t take me long to realize – no I don’t. While I work steady 8-14 hours a day, sometimes 7 days a week, I can get away from it, when I feel like it without posted hours being affected. I really hope we all take our numbers off the chart this season.

Speaking of business. When I promised everyone another Giveaway today, little did I know it would be another celebration of a new retail outlet! New shop, Real Goods Virginia in Mathews, Virginia has become our most recent customer. They will carry our full line of products and they should be in their shop with in the next two weeks.  So, in celebration of this new addition, we are offering another Giveaway! Are you excited, wondering what it will be? I bet there will be soap involved. OK, here it is:

1 Pair of  our Wool/Alpaca Blended Socks

2 Bars of Goats Milk Soap (winner chooses fragrance from website list)

The socks are made with a blend of our sheep wool and alpaca fiber from another local farm and are commercially made. They are one size fits all up to a size 10 (mens or womens). If a lady wins and has a tiny foot, we do have small socks too. You will love these socks and it’s a great way to sample our fibers made into a garment.

All you need to do is make a Comment to this Blog post, before the end of the day Friday, September 4, 2009. The winner* will be announced on my Blog, Tuesday, September 8, 2009 . This is a big Giveaway for us, so let’s start seeing the Comments come rolling in!!

Good Luck & Have a Great Day!

*There will be a shipping charges for any winner outside of the Continental U.S.