Breeze Hill Farm

  (Powhatan, Virginia)
Sheep, Goats, Alpacas, Llamas, Border Collies
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Snakes in the House..Oh My!

I’m sure that everyone has noticed my absence, well there is a reason for that. We’ve had an in house snake issue and I have finally grown brave enough to go back into the office. Kinda hard to run the business end of a business when you can only use the computer when Hubby is home from work. For my entire life I have been terrified of snakes. I’ve grown to accept the fact that black snakes are good to have at the barn but when they decide to come in for some air conditioning, it’s too much. I’ve been told that we are “blessed” to have a black snake in the house..not sure on what planet that’s true! So, this is why I’ve been missing.

Aside from the aforementioned, it’s been crazy busy here. We shipped off all of the fiber Friday to the mill. I decided to hold back all of the colored fleeces this time to work on processing myself. When we first started out in 1994, I did all of the processing and did so for years. In some ways I miss having that control but it has become much more practical to send it off. There were some absolutely incredible fleeces this year. We have two white ewes that double any fleece produced by a ram and it’s almost Merino quality. Can’t wait for everything to come back.

We worked the St. Stephen’s Farmer’s Market yesterday. Good Lord it was hotter than the hinges of @!#$! As always, I set up the spining wheel but could only spin in short spurts. My hands were so sweatie that I couldn’t get the fiber off of me. Fiber sales were off but the soaps and lotions did really well. I love the fact that this is a producers only market and they stick to that rule. There are so many F.B.N. (fly by night) soap people, that only use melt and pour soaps that are trying to infiltrate the market these days that it makes it hard for an honest producer to sell their product. You would think that something as pure and natural as soap making could escape all of the nasty back biting and unhealthy competition but apparently that is no longer the case. It’s really quite sad that many of us do our level best to be helpful to up an coming producers, then they come behind us with substandard products and cheaper prices than we charge. They are arogant and down right nasty and plow through us like yesterdays news. We can only hope that in the end, the consumer can see through the outward charm and realize that the quality and pride doesn’t exist with these people. OK, sorry about the rant but I know that many of our fellow producers know exactly what I’m talking about here.

I understand that there are quite a few people in the Fall Line Farms Co-op www.farm2udirect.com that are looking for me and wondering what has happened. There has been a drop point mixup, that has now been fixed. Also, we had decided to only deliver once a month in an effort to justify the expense in deliveries to five drop points but we are changing that as well. We will be back on the list next week and starting the second week in July, we will be back every week (all five drop points). Sorry I wasn’t there but glad you missed us..we miss you guys too!

Make sure you always check out our website for additions of new products and changes www.breezehillfarm.com. Have a great day and say little prayers that we will not have any more house guest of the reptile variety!

 
 

Spring 2009 Fiber CSA Update

Things are progressing nicely with the Fiber CSA. Several shares have sold but there are many more still left. This is an exciting concept for the knitter, crocheter, felter, spinner and it is an excellent opportunity to add some really cool fiber to your stash.

This coming weekend we will be at the St. Stephen's Farmer's Market again in Richmond, VA and are looking forward to seeing the new friends we've made and hope to see more new customers. I just can't say enough good about this market and hope that their success will keep them going strong.

After the market we will finally plant our garden. It's been really slow going this year because of all of the rain and the fact that we kept having frost. Can't wait to see the first sprouts! Also, on Sunday we will have our sheep shearing day. Since we do this ourselves, it will be more like sheep shearing "days" but Sunday will be the start. The fleeces are absolutely beautiful this year. Looking forward to getting them skirted and shipped off for processing. I've done a little sample blending of the wool/alpaca blend that is being offered in the CSA, on the roving carder, it is spectacular! Not only is it beautiful to look at but it takes dye like I had not expected. The alpaca fiber that I have this year has a high luster so it takes the dye much like mohair. The handle of this blend is so wonderfully soft too and it spins like a dream. I will have the samples that I've worked on at the Farmer's Market Saturday for potential share holders to see.

Don't forget, until the Store Listing on Local Harvest is available, you can always go to www.breezehillfarm.com to read more about the CSA and to order.

 
 

Farmer's Market Update

What an absolutely wonderful Farmer's Market St. Stephen's turned out to be. I found out from being there yesterday that many of the people who visited are keeping up with Local Harvest, so I thought it would be nice to use this Blog venue to say a few things. To begin with the Market itself was the nicest Market we have ever attended. The organizers had really done their homework and worked hard to make sure there would be a steady flow of people coming in and out. These organizers were kind, helpful, gracious and eager to make this work. The people who attended the Market were some of the most pleasant, generous and complimentary people. Being thanked for participating in a Market is usual and customary from the Market coordinators but yesterday the attendees were thank us for being there. How cool is that?

We are scheduled to be there again May 16th and we can't wait. It's so funny, last night my husband and I looked at eachother and we were still smiling!

Keep up the good work guys!

 

 
 

New Farmer's Market Opens Tomorrow at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

This Farmer's Market is in Richmond, VA at the interesction of Grove Avenue and Three Chopt Road from 8:00 til Noon. We can't wait it is a new market and it is an all producers market. They have really done a good job of getting the word out so it should be a great market. So far, we gotten a lot of calls asking if we are going to have our goat's milk soap and goat's milk lotion available..of course we are and we'll be selling "shares" in the Spring fiber CSA too. It may not be the best day for that since Maryland Sheep & Wool is this weekend too, but not everyone will be heading in that direction tomorrow.

It's going to be so much fun to introduce our new products too! This will only be the third time we've put our Collina Breeza in front of people, so I can't wait to see the reaction to a lotion and cream that is "paraben free" and is made from 92% organic materials. So many of our customers are cancer survivors and they appreciate how gentle our soaps are on their skin and now they will have a lotion and cream that they don't have to worry about it harming them. If any of you are ever interested in what we carry you can check us out at www.breezehillfarm.com .

To everyone heading out to the market's tomorrow have a great successful day!

 
 

Spring Has Sprung

Spring has definitely sprung here at the farm. Still no babies yet but our Mama's are about to burst. We spent the day shearing the goats yesterday. All of our Alpine x Angora's produce beautiful fiber that is blended with our sheep wool to make a glorious yarn for our knitting and crochet customers. When this blended fiber is dyed it is simply beautiful. Thursday will be Alpaca shearing day which will bring us about 150 fleeces and Saturday we'll shear the sheep. So much fiber! I love it. Within the next several weeks we will announce the details on our Fiber CSA. So far, just sharing this idea with our customers, we've sold several shares. Having been in the fiber business for since 1994, we've developed a good size customer base that is familiar with the quality fibers we offer. We love this time of year even though our aging backs don't!

Thanks to the fact that goat's milk can be frozen I've been hard at work making soap. With Farmer's Market season upon us, it's time to grow inventory. The selection of new Farmer's Markets in this area has grown unbelievably for 2009, so this year we are employing family and friends to help us out. This way we can be at more than just one or two markets. It is a good positive feeling to see so much interest in providing local grown to those who are seeking it. It is also good to see so many people adding vegetable plants to their landscaping..this is how it should be. We should know where our foods and yes, even our fiber and soaps come from. One of the sell points we use with our goat's milk products, that seems to really make a difference is, "we are trying to take care and put only the best there is in our body's but let's not neglect the largest organ we have..our skin". It's a great feeling to see that lightbulb go on when they get it.

Our new website is almost ready to launch. For those who have painfully looked at our existing site, I am so sorry you had to go through that. This has been an exciting task..though at times it has gotten tense. Having your husband as your web designer can prove to be, let's say annoying. After 30 years of marriage, I simply cannot understand why he can't read my mind! He's a great guy and he's doing a beautiful job on the new site. Can't wait!

Well that's it for our news from the farm. Until next time, take care.

 

 

 
 
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