Alpaca Farm Farm Tours and More

It’s a beautiful morning. Grey, rainy and cooler temps. Love it! The late garden seems to be enjoying it too. I will probably can tomatoes this weekend. Those will be most definitely appreciated this winter.

This weekend, all over the country, is National Alpaca’s Farm Tour. Our friends, Lois & Ken Pocock of Shady Nook Alpacas here in Powhatan will be hosting farm visits. Also, our new friends Katy (you know her as Alpaca Farm Girl) & Stephen Spears in Fairhope, AL, will be participating too, so if you’re in their area, be sure to check out their farm.  If you’re looking for something to do or are thinking about starting a small farm, it’s worth the trip out to your local Alpaca farm to see what it’s all about.

I thought in honor of these farm open houses I would share this website dedicated to handspinning. The site covers all fibers for spinning and even video’s. Never hurts to expand your fiber knowledge, even if you have no desire to learn how to spin. Oh, and by the way, if you don’t spin and would like to learn how, I am available to teach you. Did you like how I did that??

Well, I’m off to work. I haven’t milked the goats yet this morning. I thought in celebration of the rain, I’d let them sleep in this morning. Once I’m done with that and have made a batch of soap, I’ll be working on the grant proposal for our new endeavor on the farm. I can’t wait to share this with everyone but not yet. Don’t want to jinx it..don’t cha know.

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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 http://networkedblogs.com/p10606724?ref=nf 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.

Another Giveaway In The Near Future

Well, I have found now that I just need to give more time when I do the next Giveaway. Lucky for my two winners but a lot of our customers and friends want more Giveaways so they can get their names in the hat to win Goats Milk Soap and more. This week, I will announce another Giveaway so keep your eyes open for it. I will also make sure there are pictures of the product too! I love the emails I’ve gotten after the fact and have encouraged everyone to hold their comments until the next one. I like doing this because there are many people who have never used goats milk products and it’s a great way for them to try and see what they think. Not all contests will be for goats milk products though, we will also have fiber related contest too. So keep an eye out.

Over this past weekend I pulled out the dye pot and started my annual creations in color. Apparently, the new colors I’ve come up with are very desirable because one of my friends was here and she bought everything I had done. Guess what? I forgot to take pictures and she’s on her way back to Japan. As soon as she gets home, I will get her to photograph the yarns so I can post them for everyone to see. At least I wrote down the dyes I used so I can duplicate. See, when I say I’ve been crazy busy, I mean it.

Today, it’s soap making day. My girls (goats) are still giving me lots of milk so I’m not only making for sale now but stock piling for the Holiday season. Last year we rocked over the holiday buying season. If current sales are any indication, we will be rocking in double time this year. Bring it on!

Have a great day!