Pine Needle Farm

  (Kila, Montana)
The adventures of raising cashmere goats.
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Cashmere everywhere!

The cashmere I'm dehairing is starting to take over the house! Pretty soon I'll be asking my husband what he'd like for dinner with his cashmere. :-) I am really going to build a "real" dehairing room next year for sure. There will be lots of room for fiber storage in there, too. My tulip bed is amost ready to start blooming. There are going to be around 200 blooms this year! The daffodils are looking really pretty now, too. My goats are so bored having to stay in their pens now! The grass and other forage is just starting to grow well. We had a nice rain today, so if the sun comes out and it warms up, everything will really take off. I have promised the goats they get to go out on June 1st. It's not helping that we have four to seven deer that have decided to live on our place. They are eating the grass as soon as it starts to come up. The four kids are doing great. Growing fast. Astrid's two are just as full of it as she is. Always getting into something they aren't supposed to. They are the only two that go through the fence into the other pens, too. Mariah and Luna stay in the pen with their moms like good little kids. We had our first meal of asparagus the other night. Boy was that good! Yummm!!! I cheated and bought some lettuce starts, and some cabbage starts at the FM on Saturday. They are growing already, and I just planted them three days ago. I'm also going to plant some seeds in the next couple of days. We haven't eaten lettuce all winter, except at friends' houses. We like to try and eat locally grown food (mostly our own) as much as possible. So lettuce in the winter is not on the menu. The strawbale wall in the greenhouse is now stuccoed, so DH has planted his tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. He still has some work to do in there, but at least the important stuff is in the ground now. I've finally figured out a work schedule that is really working. I was trying to do a little of everything every day, and that just wasn't working very well. So now I have decided to focus only on cashmere four days a week, and do all the farm stuff the other three days. Of course the feeding is every day, twice a day. But gardening, cleaning, fencing , all that good stuff only happens on the three days away from cashmere. I'll get a lot more done on both fronts now. Well, that's it for now....
 
 

Happy New Year!

Well, it's hard to believe 2011 is here already.  2010 went by in the blink of an eye, it seems.  Lots of things happened last year.  Not the least, me getting my dream come true, a cashmere dehairing machine!

  I am out there almost every day, weather permitting, dehairing cashmere.  I have a nice little room built around the machine, but it isn't really well insulated, so if it gets below about 14 degrees outside, it's too cold to work in there, even with the Buddy heater going full blast.  We are having a real winter this year.  Lots and lots of snow, and cold temperatures.  Haven't had this much snow in years, especially this early.  

    The goats are all doing well.  I did the first-of-the-year hoof trimming and all of that good stuff on the dairy goats Sunday.  Now they are ready for the rest of the winter.  Finally got Belle bred, she didn't take the first two times I put her in with a buck.  Now she seems to be pregnant, so I hope she carries it full-term, and it's a girl this time, or girls.  She usually has twins.  I was looking back in her records, and she has had 15 kids over the years.  Dottie has had 17!  A whole herd of goats from just those two.  I don't even have any of their off-spring any more, except for Jared, Belle's kid from last year, who I kept as a buck.  But, he's a mixture of all the dairy breeds, so he's not pure-bred, so nobody wants to buy him. He's related to all the dairy does, so I'll put him in the freezer one of these days.  I should have "wetherized" him when he was little, but I wanted to see what kind of kids he'd throw.  He did throw three nice looking kids this last year.  Nice markings and conformation.  Oh well...Hopefully someone will come along and want him.... 

   

 
 

End of the Year already!

It's hard to believe it's almost Christmas already!  This year has gone by so fast.  I'm busy dehairing cashmere now.  I've been doing this for two months now.  It is literally the slowest process on the planet, but I am thoroughly enjoying doing it.  Watching a clump of cashmere go into the machine and come out the other end a nice soft cloud is really neat!

  We started out with a bang in the snow department this year.  We had almost 18 inches, then it rained hard for two days.  Now we have half as much snow and the road is ice and frozen slush.  Just lovely.  I expect we will get hard again in January.  We are supposed to get between 36 and 46 inches of snow this winter, so we have a ways to go yet.

  The goats are all doing fine.  The three does that I wanted to breed this year are now pregnant.  Everybody else gets to wait till next year.  Until I know exactly how the dehairing business is going to go, I didn't want to have a bunch of new kids to deal with in the spring.  There should be 5 or 6, which will be a good number.

    We are getting out of the turkey raising segment of our lives.  I want to concentrate on the fiber, so I don't have time to deal with all the other things around here.  Time to focus.

  Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas/Holiday season!

 
 
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