Sheep, Goats, Alpacas, Llamas, Border Collies
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As you all know, Saturday we went
to a Chicken Swap. What I didn’t mention was one pretty stupid thing
that happened while we were there. Included in this Swap were all
livestock..bunnies, goats, etc. One of the “so called” goat farmers in
our area brought 2 of his goats to sell. The way he transported them was
a recipe for disaster to begin with and if you can image this..that is
exactly what happened.
Maybe some of you all have done
this before but I found it to be terrible. He had strapped those poor
goats into a flat equipment trailer (you know the kind the guys use to
transport lawnmowers) with equipment straps. He took them out on a 55
mph 4 lane road to the Swap. Now if you can image this..one of them got
loose, jumped out of the trailer and started the journey down the middle
of on-coming traffic. The cops were there trying to stop traffic, the
poor goat was running like hell and then it beared off into the woods.
Now I happen to know this farmer (I’m sorry) and I know that his farm is
about 5 miles from where the Swap took place. He told the cops “don’t
worry, he’s headed in the direction of home so he’ll get back there
soon”. While all of the “whoha” was going on the other poor goat stayed
strapped in the equipment trailer for a couple of hours in the pouring
I know I’m probably nuts, but to
begin with I would never traumatize any animal like this..if you don’t
have a livestock trailer, or sides on your pick up or a kennel
carrier..buy one, build one or leave your poor animals at the farm. This
guy not only put the animals life at risk but several hundred drivers
and their passengers as well. As for the goat finding his way home! I
have goats and yes I do find them to have some intelligence but if I
took any of them 5 miles from here and dropped them, I would never
expect to see them again..unless one of our neighbors found them and
brought them back.
It just seems strange that the
term “livestock” must mean trash to many people. I know that the way we
coddle and baby our livestock is not really normal but I look at what I
get in return for the way we take care of them..gorgeous fleeces from
the sheep, goats, and llama, wonderful goats milk, fairly tame animals,
which helps at shearing and milking time, minimal to no vet bills, just
to name a few advantages. I am by no means saying that what we do is
perfect nor that this is how everyone should treat their animals but
come on, a little common sense is really worth it’s weight in gold!
Don’t know if the goat “found”
it’s way home or not. Is it so hard to think about what you’re doing
before you do it? It must be.
Posted by MaLinda
@ 03:15 PM EDT
While out running the Border
Collies, Monday morning, several weeks ago, we heard a Rooster crowing.
Around here we have sheep, goats, cows, horses, dogs and cats..no
chickens. That’s just not something anyone close by raises and after
the fox killed our last hens, we had been chicken free for 4 years –
which brings me back to the crowing Rooster. I started following the
crow. Imagine my surprise when I found 2 beautiful Roosters pecking
around in the cemetery at the church across the road from us.
These guys seemed very tame.
Catching the first one was easy. The second one got very upset and
confused. He took off into the woods and we couldn’t find him. Hubby
had to go to work and I had early deliveries, so we brought Rooster #1
over to our place and said that we could get the other one when we got
home. Also, as much noise as Rooster#1 was making, we felt confident
that he would encourage Rooster #2 to come to him. Well that didn’t
When we got home that night, we
discovered Rooster #1 running around and crowing. Apparently, these
guys had been pets..they didn’t even know how to roost. We went to the
church to find the other boy but had no luck. At midnight, when we let
the dogs out for the last time, we heard Rooster #2 crowing. We got the
dogs in and headed for the church. By the time we got there all was
quiet. We hung out for almost an hour and decided this Rooster quest
would be easier in daylight. We never heard him again! Rooster #1 was
just sad the next day perpetually crowing and running around but there
was no response. I spent hours at the church and in the cemetery
listening and looking for Rooster #2, but he was no where to be found.
The following day, I found him dead in the cemetery. He had been
slaughtered by what we assume was a weasel.
Thankfully, by day three Rooster
#1 had acclimated to his new home and had stopped calling his brother.
So now we have a new Rooster! He’s quite the cool little guy. He thinks
his job is to tend the sheep. Where they go..he goes. We’ve worked with
him a lot and now he knows how to roost, where to find his food (sheep
and goats eat anything that hits the ground, so we had to put his food
up) and that bugs are a good dietary supplement. He’s a good boy. We
are now considering adding a few hens so he won’t be without his kind
and hope that the fox families have moved on for now. We didn’t realize
how much we missed having chickens in the barnyard.
This Blogger/farmers rant – With
so many avenues to find homes for unwanted animals a story like this
should never have happened. We live in the country, there are 3 feed
stores within a 15 mile radius of us, they have bulletin boards. There,
of course, is Craig’s List, a local paper and word of mouth. We would
have gladly taken these two Rooster’s if the person who dropped them
had simply turned up our driveway and asked. There is just no excuse
for one of these beautiful animals being slaughtered! All of this being
said, we are very happy to have our new Rooster..there is a new
peaceful calamity on the farm now and he’s good for the soul…guess
things really do happen for a reason.
We still haven’t named him though..got any ideas? Please share.
Posted by MaLinda
@ 09:46 AM EST
This photo was taken at a
friends farm in the Shenandoah Valley last year. I use it throughout
the year as a screen saver..when it doesn’t look like this here. In a
couple more weeks, I’ll have more photos of Fall to remind me of my
favorite time of year. There is something so incredibly wonderful and
exhilarating about Autumn. I remember as a child, sitting in the swing,
on late afternoons during Fall days, marveling at the difference in
lighting. It in itself was a paint scheme for the artist’s palette,
then add the magnificent colors of the trees and summer grasses and oh
my, it made it even more breathtaking. The Indian Summer or the cool
Fall crispness to the air all make this a beautiful and memorable time
for me as I’m sure it does for many others. As I sit here and type, I
can almost smell the wood and leaf burning wafting through the air and
the taste of fresh apple cider with a short shot of bourbon teasing my
tongue. Of course, as a child it was virgin apple cider! Ah, what a
With Autumn, at Breeze Hill Farm,
comes the season for breeding and fiber growth. The goats are busy
working on the babies that will come in Spring. The sheep and goats
both are starting their heavy fiber growing season in anticipation of
Winter. We are cleaning stalls, getting the pastures broken up and
fertilized and cleaning up downed wood, acorns and leaves. There is
always a lot to do…always and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Well, I’m making soap and lotion
like crazy this week in anticipation of great sales this upcoming
holiday season. I can’t wait to get back out to the markets and open
houses. To see those friends that we only see once a year and to make
new friends. I spend my days doing this and my nights knitting so there
will be a good stock from both sides of the farm.
Posted by MaLinda
@ 03:56 PM EDT
Yesterday we decided a day off
from everything was necessary for mental and physical health. We got up
early, took care of the livestock and headed for Montpelier in Orange
county, VA, to the Fall Fiber Festival & Sheepdog Trials.
What a beautiful day! We still
can’t believe how clear the air was . It was a little cool when we left
home but by the time we arrived, it was in the mid 70’s. An added
benefit to the trip was the leaves are starting to turn. We took in
everything – all 5 large tents with rows of vendors selling everything
fiber – beautiful hand dyed silk and wool blend yarns and rovings –
there was a lot of yarn. It seemed that the vendors choose to cater
more to the hand worker than the spinner.
We passed by the outside tents
and went over to the Livestock Exhibit tent. They had a good example of
various different fiber producing animals – the Angora Rabbits, Llama
and Alpaca were not represented very well in this exhibit but I later
found more of them in the outside tents. After looking around we found
our friends Magi & Jay from Magi’s Wood Farm, you know, where we just got our Icelandic’s from.
Magi & Me
She was happy to see me because
she had let a child play with her wheel and it wasn’t working. She’s
been having a problem with it every since she got it but it was worse.
Later in the day, hubby found the same wheel and discovered her problem
is incorrect set up. Hopefully the pictures he took of the correct set
up will fix her problem.
Hubby wanted to take in the
sheep shearing demos and I really did want to check out those outside
tens, so I left him. My first stop was the Fleece Sale tent. Lot’s of
beauties in there. I found a CVM Sheep fleece that was really
beautiful – when I looked at the price, I came very close to passing
out – 2.2 lbs./$102.00. Needless to say that didn’t come home with me.
As I walked by the outside tents
– something caught my eye – A spinning wheel! It looked to be very much
like an Ashford Traditional but then again..it didn’t. I’m not going to
tell you the price yet. This wheel had suffered a child assult on
Saturday and it was broken. I got a handful of roving and a chair and
set out to fix this cool little wheel. Whatever this child had done to
it, I don’t know but it would not spin at all. Hubby came to find me
and got involved in the fixing process. An hour later, I walked away
with a fixed $60.00
spinning wheel! It is a mystery wheel though. I’ve added a photo, maybe
one of you may have an idea about who made it. It does need work but it
will spin yarn.
The New Old Wheel
Armed with mystery wheel, we set
out for food and Sheepdog Trials. I was a bit disappointed in the food
options. In years past there has been lamb chili and fruit plates. Not
so this year, so we got a heavy BBQ, set up our chairs and became
spectators. The dog trials were great! We stayed to the end and we got
lots of photos.
At The Pen - Look real hard..see the green on her shoulder? It's a Parrot!
This lady works without a crook or a whistle..she's amazing!
It’s so enjoyable watching a dog
work..they take their job seriously. I am so happy we have 7 Border
Collies of our own to work with.
We left the event feeling
invigorated and hungry. In the town of Orange we went to a restaurant
called the Silk Mill Grille. As you may have guessed from the name, it
is an old Silk Mill and the place is decorated much of the old salvaged
accessories and processing equipment. Had a great meal and we were home
I have a lot of readers that
know very little about this side of my life – they know me for the
goats and goats milk products. You see fiber and fiber arts is my true
passion. Any opportunity I get to do a day like this, I will put all
else aside to do it. My only regret – Didn’t go both days!
I’m going to add an events page
to my Blog so everyone might have an opportunity to see and possibly
attend what’s going on the rest of 2009. Some I will be a vendor..some
I will just visit.
Parting comments and a little
rant! Please, if you bring your children to events like the Fall Fiber
Festival, try to pay attention to what they are doing. One of the
wheels that was messed up yesterday is a several thousand dollar wheel.
We want everyone to come to these events..especially children, they are
the ones who will keep this going in the future but vendors and
demonstrators put their life into this and it shouldn’t be destroyed by
an adults carelessness of not watching their child. At this event, I
saw big pulls of rovings run off with, a driveband ripped right off a
spinning wheel, Angora bunnies being plucked through the sides of their
cage by uncontrolled little fingers, hand crafted wooden knitting
needles being used as swords and a grape snow cone dropped on a
beautiful silk scarf. Please bring your children and please be good,
aware parents! Rant is done.
Have a wonderful day!
Posted by MaLinda
@ 04:01 PM EDT
amazing how little it takes to excite me anymore. I just joined several
Ravelry Groups in hopes of sharing some of what I do and make new
friends in the fiber world. If you don't know what Ravelry is check out
their website at Ravelry.com. It's pretty cool stuff! My screen name is "Breezhill" if you'd like to check out the Groups I've joined.
have now determined that our Icelandic sheep are not that bright.
Yesterday evening we were at the barn pulling a couple of sheep fleeces
that are sold. We took a little time to just sit with the animals and
visit. Apparently, Ricky and Holly didn't see any food in this visit so
they went off on their own. The next thing we knew, they were on the
other side of the fence looking at us. When they realized that we could
see them, they leisurely walked back to the hole in the fence and
stepped back in. Now maybe I'm not being 100% fair here..possibly they
are not dumb but incredibly smart. Do you think they may have been
trying to let us know there was another hole in the fence?? Can't wait
to see what they come up with today. I swear they remind me more of
goats than sheep.
Tomorrow is Fiber Arts Friday on Alpacafarmgirl.com. It's a lot of fun to see what's happening with others and their new creations. Come on over and join in.
working on our new goats milk soaps and fragrances for the Holiday's
and would love some input from you all. Each year I try to come up with
at least 2 special fragrances and a new mold for the season. Something
to make the bath smell good and a gift that people will enjoy giving
and receiving. Leave
comments as to what you think would be nice. If I pick your idea, we'll
send you a gift box with the new fragrance soap and some other goodies!
Posted by MaLinda
@ 10:21 AM EDT
This weekend is the Montpelier Fall Fiber Festival and Sheepdog Trials
in Orange, Virginia. Every year, at this time, I am reminded of how we
got into farming and I remember fondly our first year with sheep.
Hubby and I were both
professionals in the Corporate world, living in the country on a few
acres. Each weekend we would look for things to do, farm related, to
learn about what was out there because I especially knew being an
accountant was not my life long dream. When we met a farm owner/fiber
artist from West Virginia at an Alpaca Festival in Charlottesville, VA,
I knew we would follow much the same path that she and her husband were
following. The next weekend was the Fall Fiber Festival, we attended
and made the commitment. We purchased our starter flock of Romney x
Border Leicester sheep. We were on our way to raising sheep for fiber.
I remember our trip to West
Virginia to pick up the sheep. Autumn in the WV mountains was like
nothing I had ever experienced in my life. Driving through the valleys,
in a light snow fall, on our way to Romney and looking up the
mountains, seeing all the the glorious colors of Autumns’ majesty,
embracing us, let me know this was the right decision.
When we reached Tranquility Farm
it felt like Christmas Morning! Sheep, sheep, everywhere..I couldn’t
get out of the truck fast enough. Our new flock had been put up the
night before, so we made the trek to the barn to see them. We had
decided on a ram, Anthony, who was the “apple” of the farmers eye. A
big dark grey boy with a black face and black stockings. The farmer had
worked with him since birth, had shown him and they were obviously best
buds. Katlyn, a dark blue grey ewe, was a wild child free spirit whos
fleece had won several ribbons in competition and then there was Betsy.
The most beautiful champagne grey sheep I had ever laid eyes on in my
life. She was a beauty queen and she knew it. While we were in the barn
talking and interacting with our new flock, one other white sheep kept
coming up to us for scratches. She was so friendly, we figured she
might be their pet. Well she wasn’t, she didn’t even have a name only a
number 122. So, 122, a.k.a. Natalina came home with us that day too.
So began the most wonderful time
of our lives and though were are now seasoned, that newness has never
worn off. Each addition, each birth, every fleece, every year brings me
back to the first day we had sheep on our farm. Though time has passed
and flock grew with every passing Spring, our first four sheep will be
forever in our lives. Those first four are gone now but as I look out
into the pasture, I see all that have come since and with a tear for
those lost, I have a smile for those gained.
If you get the chance to attend
the festival this weekend, it’s worth the trip to see all the goings
on. Be sure to take in some of the Border Collie trials, they are
always exciting and fun to watch. If the “bug” bites you to become a
farmer after your trip, be prepared for the ride of your life. There
are so many words to describe this life, the one that comes to mind
most with me is “joy”!
This is the first part in a
series of first year stories that I will share with you – not daily,
but over the course of several months.
Tomorrow will be back to the same old, same old.
“Love what you do..do what you love.”
Posted by MaLinda
@ 12:22 PM EDT
This is a continuation from Monday's bog, kind of. I've included a picture of "Baby", so everyone can see what a sweetie he is. You know, we have many more cats, sheep, goat's, llama, a PB pig and 7 Border Collies, you'd think I'd be too busy to get this involved with a kitten that was only here for 10 weeks. Well that simply isn't the case. There's always going to be that one that just pulls you in. Enjoy "Baby's" photo.
By the way, after the trauma of riding in a truck, having his first vet visit and moving into his new digs. He's doing just fine.
Thank you all for letting me share this with you.
Posted by MaLinda
@ 11:26 PM EDT
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!
Posted by MaLinda
@ 02:05 PM EDT
Has everybody missed me? Wow, what a past couple of weeks! We've finally gotten some of the garden in, most of the sheep have been shorn, llama shorn, most of the fiber is packed and ready to go to the processor, filling orders at a much slower pace than I am taking them, goat's milk soap and lotion has definitely become something that everyone wants NOW, life is good. I am tired. Always remember, you can order our soaps and lotions through our website.
By the way, we now have a Store on Local Harvest and the Spring 2009 Fiber CSA is available through it. In the listing it shows that when you order you will get 5 skeins of yarn. That's not necessarily so, it's just listed like that to give LH a quantity to work with. Before making the decision to purchase, be sure to check out our website www.breezehillfarm.com for more details and be sure to email me at email@example.com with questions or concerns. As with so many other things in life..knowledge is power! Being fully educated in this process is very important. Knowing what to expect makes all of us happier. The sheep wool and alpaca fiber blended yarn is just wonderful. I worked up some samples for potential shareholders and I think that has made the decision to participate for quite a few folks.
Within the next week or so, I will be sharing some new and exciting ideas and plans for Breeze Hill Farm's future. Keep checking back to see what's happening.
Posted by MaLinda
@ 02:53 PM EDT
Yesterday, I spent the day at Magi’s Wood Farm. They raise Icelandic sheep and we are adding this breed to our farm. As you will see in the photo’s below, the sheep are a really cool looking breed and I enjoyed the time spent with them, but Magi is an incredible Felt Fiber Artist. I wish I had photographed some of her work to include in this post but didn’t even think about it until I had left..that’s OK, I’ll be back there next week giving a spinning lesson so I’ll be sure to get some great photos of her work. What she has done with this fiber art medium is too beautiful to put into words. I am so impressed and so fortunate to call this amazingly talented lady my new friend.
In the top photo below you’ll see Holly, she is one that we will soon have at our farm. I’m trying to make up my mind which ones will be the other’s. These girls all have such cool personalities, it’s hard to choose. Being a dyer, I’m always looking at white sheep but I’ve learned through the years that over dying colored sheep fiber gives some excellent results too. I just can’t wait to have all of our new babies here at the farm. Once everyone has moved in an are settled, we are having a Field Party, to introduce everyone to the neighborhood..any excuse to have a party!
With all of these new additions, Breeze Hill Farm’s Fiber CSA will be absolutely awesome in the Fall.
Posted by MaLinda
@ 11:40 AM EDT
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.
Posted by MaLinda
@ 08:39 AM EDT
There was alot of chatter out at the barn last night when Breeze our picture perfect Border Collie rousted up a skunk. She is such a cool dog. When she goes out for her barn work, she has to stop off and kiss the other dogs, kiss the cats, kiss the pig, she’s just a sweet kisser. Well, she seems to think that skunks are cats, so she tries to kiss them too. Aparently her doggie genius only goes as far as what to do with the sheep, she just never learns. You could smell what Breeze had done all over the place. She got a bath in what we have found to be the best skunk odor remover, disposable douche (found this in a natural pet care book), and the otherwise nightly sofa hound spent the night in an outside run. This morning she smelled fresh and clean and dishing out kisses again!
She really is a pretty girl.
Posted by MaLinda
@ 05:06 PM EDT
The day we've waited for since last November is finally here. I love the surge of energy that comes with getting everything ready for the first Farmer's Market of the season. Doing last minute details to the products I'll be carrying. Setting up the canopy to let it air out from the few months it spent in the basement and realizing that I am missing two large tubs of yarn! Kind of hard to sell it and the Fiber CSA if I don't have it. So, I took a break from frantic searching to bore all of you.
The goat's milk soaps and lotions are always a work in progress so finding them..not a problem. Oh, by the way, we have still not had another baby here since the first one that I announced earlier in the month. So, of course, we will have to have a farm sitter while we are gone tomorrow. We got new table covers (aka Walmart bed sheets!) this season and I noticed this morning that something had spilled on the packaging and bled through to to sheet, so now I get to add laundry to the list of the "To Do's".
Each year, the inventory grows, the tubs and boxes get heavier, I seem to get heavier, and those first time organization skills are out the window. You know what? We wouldn't have it any other way!
Good luck to everyone who is getting started tomorrow. My hope is that it is a healthy and proffitable season for all of us. It's our time to get the word out to "buy and support local" and to educate.
Posted by MaLinda
@ 10:23 AM EDT
Wanted to share a photo of Antonio. He is dad to the kids that are about to be born this spring. As of yesterday, he has become "Daddy In Waiting". The girls most likely to birth the soonest are on the other side of the barn wall from him.
He is such a good guy. Each year at kidding time he takes up his post beside the barn and spends most of his time there until he hears that familiar “na” of a newborn. Then he gets up, goes in the barn and checks on mother and child (children). Then he's back to his post. This time he has a friend..that's "Boggie" our 18 or 19 year old ewe.
The next time you see Antonio he will have on less clothes..it's shearing time for him..today!
(sorry the photo is so big..I'm still learning)
Posted by MaLinda
@ 12:29 PM EDT
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.
Posted by MaLinda
@ 04:33 PM EDT
This is my first Blog ever, so please excuse me if I get chatty. I promise I will get better.
Welcome to Breeze Hill Farm! We woke up to a beautiful 1" snowfall this morning. Still being a true kid at heart, I ran outside, took pictures, made a couple of snowballs to throw for the border collies and came back in to the woodstove. It always amazes me how just a light snow can make this farm look so beautiful. Aparently my craziness rubs off on the animals because everyone was frisky this morning. Our llama, Kosmo, was running all over the pasture, kicking up his toes, clucking and prancing. The sheep could have cared less about their breakfast, they just wanted to hoof around in the snow and lick the camera lense and the goats were all over the place. Many of our girls are pregnant now and tend to laze around but not today, they were full throttle. We love to watch the adults, both goats and sheep gamble. I think it suprises them as much as it does us. Our "Grand Dam", Barbie was spending more time on all 2's, dancing like a true clogger..she is 12, as best as we can judge..but never let her know she is getting old, she won't hear of it.
Once I finish getting my toe wet on the blog scene, I'll be off to making soap. Uusually, January is my dead season for sales but not this year, I have carry overs to start February off. It's been unusually busy. Also, joining a local co-op has made an amazing impact on orders. If anyone reads this blog, check out www.farm2Udirect.com. This is the site for the co-op and if you happen to be local to Goochland/Richmond, VA, it's well worth participating as a consumer and producer.
I've gotten a lot of emails over the last few days from people requesting information on raising livestock on small acreage. Mostly goats. I think that all of the hype about the bad economy is causing people to think more about what they can do to help themselves. I always welcome these requests because I think we should all, as farmers, do what we can to educate and assist anyone who is seeking a better more natual way of life.
Well, I guess that's about it for today. Before I get started, I think I will have to go outside again before the sun melts the snow away! Have a wonderful day and keep on the lookout for more entires in the future.
Posted by MaLinda
@ 09:42 AM EST
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