Pine Needle Farm

  (Kila, Montana)
The adventures of raising cashmere goats.
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The Perfection in Silence

This evening after I was done feeding all the animals, I just stopped and listened for a few minutes.  It was absolutely still and quiet out.  I just stood there and absorbed the silence.  The snow on the trees and ground was muffling all sound, and it was so beautiful out, that I just had to stop and feel it.  A special moment indeed.

 

   The goats are all well.  They are in full fleece and so soft now!  I love just going out there and petting them and burying my hands in their cashmere.  I really am a lucky person to live where I do and have all these wonderful creatures around me.  Working with cashmere is so great!

  There are 14 does that are pregnant now, so there will be lots of babies come Spring.  

  This fall I had some helpxers up here helping me get things ready for winter.  They were all great, and sure were a huge help!  I look forward to next year and more of them coming and staying for a week or so at a time and helping me get the things accomplished that I want to.  

  I'm hoping to get a little guest cabin built, so people can stay in a more comfortable place than my little camper.  Although the bed in the camper is comfortable, there just isn't much room in it.  I really want to start a farm stay here, which will grow into a fiber arts retreat center in a few years.  I would love to have a space to hold classes, have informal spin-ins, knit-ins, etc. The land around us is perfect for hiking, so outdoor activities will be featured, too.  That is the dream, and I am starting to seriously work towards that in 2013.   Summer will be spent building the cabin to get started.  I have a vision for this place that is pretty neat.  

Well, have a great Holiday Season everyone! 

 
 

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!     

 
 
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