EB Ranch has officially been around since 2010, though Bob and I started our more homesteading lifestyle in 2008. And of course I got chickens and goats the following year and life just snowballed into being an actual farmer.
For the last week or two I have been chugging along hard at a myriad of different projects, a main project was another website update. I changed the format a bit plus got all the farm share offerings up and ready for you to easily click and pay on any share choices. The share offerings this year are:
There has been goats giving birth, my second wave of does started kidding a week ago, and they have the next 30 days to kid. So I have been extra time to just observe everybody and make sure everyone is in good health. On Friday I spent the day trimming the hooves of all the does, as well as putting on some more ear tattoos and getting a couple doelings ready to be picked up this coming week. This will be the last two does I sell for a while, though I do have a couple good breeding bucklings and a wethered buckling for sale. I do plan on having at least two more doelings ready for sale later on this summer. These two sales hinge on some parental DNA testing, as I acquired a bunch of adult does that gave birth a month ago, but the owner doesn't know who the sire is for sure, and it could be 1 of any 10 bucks he had that got loose. So after I find out who the sire is, I can get a pedigree written up and confidently sell these two little doelings.
Which brings me to all the extra projects I have been working on. Which is working with other San Clemente Island Goat breeders across the nation to help establish a real breed association. With that are projects we need to work on, one of which is an actual DNA purity test as well as a census and figuring out A LOT of odds and ends. Another project I'm working on with with my friend and fellow SCI goat breeder Jerry. Most of my herd has originated from his, and he just needs a little extra help organizing pedigrees and records of everyone. So I'll help with his herd, do some blood draws, and help him get breeding groups up for sale this summer! With that is community and farmers union organizing and involvement and moving forward once again with the Two Farm Ladies Podcast. Podcasting itself is fun, but it was a steep learning curve on setting things up and learning how to edit and promote. Khaiti has taken on a huge chunk of the promotion side and it looks like we have an interview getting set up for a regional farming paper!
Now, to be a bit more personal I want to say I have been kind of struggling with where I'm going with farming. Not that I don't want to do it, I'm as enthusiastic as ever. But I'm struggling with what I consider to be food crazes and trendy labeling. I feel frustrated knowing that foods are labeled a certain way can be very deceptive to consumers. I'm even more frustrated seeing some producers take advantage of that label to get consumers to pay even more money for a product that is literally the same as any other conventional food product on the shelf. This is of course not super common, and I don't want this to come off as some kind of scare tactic. But an example is organic food coming in from China, that looks to be not up to organic standards, what the heck? So you are paying more money for something that's not what it claims to be.
This is not to pit farmer against farmer, or one has a better product than the other scenario. This is me and EB Ranch doing incredibly unique and important things that don't fit into typical labels so much. I pasture raise my animals, I use rotational grazing, I am working with the NRCS to improve my grazing habits/land improvement I'm constantly educating myself. But the goats I raise are particularly special, and not in the rare and endangered special, but that they have unique genetics that are still getting figured out. I'm trying VERY hard to find a market for these goats, not only so that I can make a living, but to find needs for these goats and help them gain popularity. They might not be the BEST milkers, or the most MEATY goats, but they are a little bit of everything with a hardy and independent disposition thus being labeled as multi-purpose. I find VALUE in my goats and the work I do. These goats are an incredibly valuable asset to keeping diverse and healthy genetics in our food chain. I'm not against crossbreeding animals what so ever, farmers NEED to make a living, but my personal focus is to not crossbreed these goats with another goat. We need to find purpose for purebred livestock that are considered heritage or endangered, and that means for me personally, purebred SCI goats for meat and breeding stock are what I'll offer her on EB Ranch. It's always great to know your farmer, but I KNOW it's not always feasible and people rely on labels a lot when making food purchases. So my "label" is VALUABLE.
We all have something of value to offer the community, and lets not forget it. I will always be honest and as straightforward as possible with my farm management plans. Ask me anything about my farm, and I'll answer honestly. I'm here to not only farm but educate members and and supporters as well. YOU all are helping me make this unique and valuable farm happen.
Born and raised in a small town, then moved back to the same small town. Jill of many trades and happy to be so.