Pine Needle Farm

  (Kila, Montana)
The adventures of raising cashmere goats.
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June Already!

It's been a long time since I wrote in here!  A lot has happened.  Kidding season this year was the most challenging one I've ever had.  I lost two does and four kids.  But, there are 26 live and healthy kids out there, growing fast and bouncing around all over the place.  They are so fun to watch, better than TV any day!

   It's been a chilly, rainy spring so far.  The garden has pretty much stalled out for the time being.  I'm waiting for warmer weather to plant anything else.  I've got garlic that I planted last fall growing well, radishes that are just kind of growing, lettuce that I planted last fall that didn't come up then, but decided to come up this spring.  So I have some early lettuce.  I also planted some salad greens and peas in the greenhouse in March, so I'm eating lettuce out of there.  It's not as good as lettuce grown outside for some reason, but it's okay.  I have two volunteer peas from last year that came up this spring and are not very tall at all, which is surprising, since peas are a cool weather crop.  I planted broccoli and spinach, beets and carrots and onions and they are all just barely growing.  So I think I could have waited till this month to plant and been ahead of the game. 

  In the past, I've waited till the first week in July to plant anything and that was one of the best gardens I've ever had.  We are at the elevation that is in between the cold mountain top air and the cold valley bottom air, so we don't get frosts as early as the valley does in the fall.  We are about three weeks behind in the Spring, though.  Plus we are on a south slope, so we are in a great spot!

  I'm busy doing cashmere things, dehairing, spinning and crocheting.  I have fiber CSA's this year, which have sold fairly well.  There are a few left, but only of the cream color, the Aspen color is all gone for this year. 

 There were 8 black colored kids born this year, so next year I should have a lot more of the aspen color.  After I spun up a skein of that yarn, I went out and held it up against some of the different trees we have around here, and the color matched the bark of the aspen tree the best.  So, since I like "aspen" better than "gray/brown" for a color name, aspen it is. 

  I have a good variety of goat colors out there now.  Lots of brown ones, black, cream and even a few red ones.  There are a couple of white ones, too.  A colorful herd when they are out in the pasture in a big group. 

  This year is going by way too fast!  I'm looking for a person (female) or a couple to come and help out around here so I can get more cashmere things done.  I signed up with the HelpX network and have one married couple coming in late July.  There is a lot to be done before that, though.  So if you would like a working vacation and learn all about goats, both fiber and dairy, come for a visit for a few days, a week, or two and I'll put you to work, although it won't all be work, there is time to play and explore, too!  Glacier national Park is only a two hour drive from here. A beautiful place to visit!

  Well, that's all for now.  Hopefully I'll write again sooner than last time!     

 
 

It's still raining!

It is still raining.  We did have two nice days over the week-end, especially Saturday.  The Farmers' Market went well.  I sold a couple of cashmere scarves, goat milk soap, and met some interesting people.  Lots of people were interested in my spinning.  I take my spinning wheel so I can get some spinning done, and it really helps pass the time between customers.  It also gives people the opportunity to see a spinning wheel in action.  Very few people have actually seen someone spinning.  They read about it in books, but never see a real one.  Hopefully I've inspired at least one child to take it up at some point in their life, and also to get an adult or two back into it. 

   While the sun was shining yesterday, I got the beans planted finally.  I'm re-doing all the garden beds into Square Foot beds.  It's amazing how much one can actually get into a four foot by four foot bed!  I planted 134 onions, and 38 carrots in one bed.  Since the soil is nice and fluffy, and you don't ever step in it, or compact it in any way, the plants can be put closer together.  It's easier to weed, water and take care of.

   We have had over four inches of rain in the last week or so.  The ground is saturated now.  The goats are in a mud pie in their pen, at least around the gate.  I'm finding big flat rocks and making a pathway for them, and me, to get through the mud.  At least with all the rain, I'm not having to water anything.  I'm also getting in some good spinning time in the house, since I can't be outside doing things.

 Well, back to work..... 

 
 
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