April 2015

New Yarn

I've been stealing bits of time here and there, and over the past few weeks I've managed to spin a few more skeins of yarn.  I've made 2 of a white/fawn 2 ply from Annie and Carlyle, one fine and one a little more bulky.  I also made another fine-weight gray from Toby. 

Cheese!

It's cheese time!  Now that I'm milking again, I have lots of milk.  I don't actually need the milk for regular use - I already get a gallon a week of local cow's milk that is more than enough for our needs (unless we have milk-drinking interns).  I barter for a gallon of homemade kombucha, which costs me about $.75 to make, so I can't pass that up!   I pretty much use the goat milk for cheese, and I'm going to use some for soap this year.

Milking Time

We are holding at 41 goat kids right now, with 2 mothers refusing to finish up the kidding season in timely fashion.  We had a bit of trouble with the last mother to kid, her babies have trouble getting started every year because her teats are just too big.  They inflate like balloons, maybe 1.5" by 3", and the little guys just can't get ahold of them.  Then, she gets engorged, and swells up tight, and we have to milk her off to get the teats down to a manageable size.

And More Babies

As of this weekend, we are up to 29 kids, with 8 mamas left to go. We should end up with a few more than 40 babies. Yesterday, Sunday, we had 5 does kid ( and 5 on Friday) – the last one was Agnes, who did indeed have triplets. She is still pretty round, but she had to have dropped 20 pounds! We had 3 student interns here for a few hours, working in the garden, and they got to watch Susanna deliver a little girl. It's so rewarding when visitors get to experience totally new, unexpected things like that.

Baby Goats

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Shearing Day 2015

Shearing was great! Caleb took the day off, and he set up fences and pens while I spun some yarn, (trying to get through a bit more of last year's before the avalanche!), and we got the alpacas separated out from the cattle. It took a bit – the alpacas are often all together, near the gate, but as soon as we'd open it the cows would just come running.

April is for Alpacas

Most of the year our alpacas are practically invisible. We catch them occasionally to check their coats for mites and to preventatively medicate them against meningeal worms, but otherwise they just hang out in the pastures.  When April rolls around, though, it's a different story!  Especially this spring in particular, actually.  It was still March, but a few weeks ago, while browsing local online classified ads for a tom turkey, Caleb ran across a farm selling their small herd of alpacas for a truly bargain price.

It's Official!

We have a real farm website!  I've started this so that we have a more cohesive presence as a farm, and Indiemade supplies everything we need - photo galleries, a blog, and a store. I will keep my Shutterfly page operational, but mostly for photo storage, I'll be running my blog on this site now, as well as our "farm stand" store. Thanks so much for looking around, I'll keep working here - I've linked to my Etsy store, but I have many more items to list - so check back again soon!