More Babies…

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.

Just Relaxing!

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!


When Is It Too Much Rain?

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’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.

Have a wonderful day and safe day!


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”.

How Weather Affects Us

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 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 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.

Here We Go Again!

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. 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!