The planning season is upon us and many farmers are probably also at different levels of completion with their 2020 plans. A few months ago I made a list of my own 2020 plans. You can visit that particular blog here. I think it's important to be as transparent as possible on EB Ranch, plus I'm just excited about the prospect of some pretty big and good changes coming to the farm.
What I want to focus on right now is in some ways more personal. After Bob and I moved back to Ridgeland over ten years ago, I realized that not only did I want to homestead I wanted to be more involved in my community. It started off with loosely organizing a "Stone Soup" Farmers Market in Ridgeland. People and businesses would donate ingredients then individuals would make a "stone soup" with those ingredients. And that would revolve around having a small farmers market. It was a good gathering of people eating good food and hanging out.
As things go, organizing the event got to be too much. And thankfully, as of last year the Civic Club took over the responsibility of organizing a weekly farmers market in Ridgeland. Other opportunities to organize and participate arose over the years. Through this process of participation, I realized I had to narrow down the what and why of participating in groups. A person can quickly become overwhelmed by participating too much. And it's important to participate in organizations that ring true to your own personal ideals and operate in a way that works well for you.
After some years, and some coaxing from friends and researching of my own I joined the WI Farmers Union. This organization has been around for a long time, and with some navigation I found they had a decent amount of resources to offer.
Farmers Union has been a launching board for organizing potlucks, farm tours, pasture walks, and last falls' successful Community Grown Harvest Dinner. Farmers Union works with other organizations like Pheasants Forever to help orchestrate many of these events.
I am also on the board for the "rare and critically endangered" cooperatively run small and local paper called the Hay River Review. Small local papers like this are far and few between, many have died off over the recent years. Yet, papers like this are the lifeblood of small communities. They offer the month's events and other social gatherings. Not to mention all the businesses that advertise in them. I still scan my copy of the HRR for contact information of local businesses. This also allows local people to be journalists, and cover local politics and many other stories.
In 2020, I plan on stepping back a bit from so much extra curricular activity. After doing my 2019 bookkeeping, I saw a devastating plummet in my own farm business during a particularly hard few months of dealing with some organization issues. I wasn't advertising, I wasn't taking on new retail business, I wasn't following through with my own business plan. I need to find balance this year.
This doesn't mean I'm not going to participate in any outside organizations. I still will and happily so. But I'm going to say no to a lot. And with that, I have a suggestion or maybe a big ask of people out there. And by no means is this a guilt trip, but I suggest that folks consider taking on more small roles in your own community. The Hay River Review is always looking for more board members and writers. Farmers Union is so fun and you can participate on so many levels. And of course, think about supporting a local farm like EB Ranch. Not only do I raise heritage goats and poultry, I care for my land and I care for my community. Having this farming lifestyle gives me enough flexibility to give back on this kind of participation level. The more people that take on small pieces of participation, the more it get's spread around the less of a load others feel. Participation is also empowering, and gives everyone opportunities to have their voices heard and possibly make change.
I'm not writing this to pat myself on the back or to seek thank you's or attention. I'm writing this to possibly empower other people. I also want to be transparent with other aspects of my life. Community participation isn't everyone's "thing" and I totally get that! In many cases, when you support transparent farms these farms also support the surrounding community in many other ways besides provide food and goods. It provides a fertile ground for people to grow, learn, and participate. This goes for locally owned businesses as well.
One last bit I want to add to this. Personally, I like being challenged and questioned as this gives me a different perspectives to ponder. I believe that being part of organized groups is hard as we often have varying opinions and view points on matters. This gives us much needed opportunities to learn how to LISTEN, communicate and leave our egos at the door to find solutions. We all have emotions and logic to help us communicate our view points. We all fumble from time to time with how we give and receive communications. Over the years I have dealt with a lot of sexist, bigoted and even verbally violent and threatening dialogue. It's not fun, it's emotionally draining, but it's also learning opportunities. And thankfully I have lots of people around me to help navigate those tough situations.
As always, thank you for the support! And thank you to all the people out there that are doing what they can do. Thank you for the encouragement, ideas, and solutions. Thank you to the people who helped create paths in the past and thank you to the people that are paving those paths and making new branches now and for the future.
**Sorry for the lack of pictures, my weebly domain has been buggy for the last 10 hours.**
Hey, it's my birthday today and I am now 39. Holy cats, how cool is that?! I'll be celebrating by having a pretty normal day and seeing if I can get my hands on a sweet treat.
To extend the celebration, I want to offer an early bird sign up for both meat and turkey shares. This is an on farm chicken and or turkey share pick up. The first processing date for the chickens will be around June 20th. The turkeys will be ready sometime on early October. I am offering $.50 off each pound. Instead of $4.50/pound it's now $4.00. The deposit of $10 will remain the same. Chickens usually average 4-6 pounds, so costs average in that $20.00 ballpark with the subtraction of the $10.00 deposit.
The same goes for turkey shares. Instead of $6.00/lb I'm offering $5.50/lb and with the same $25.00 deposit. Turkeys can average 10-15 pounds so cost around $65 per bird minus the deposit. I also plan on raising a heritage breed turkey called Chocolate Turkeys. I have raised them in the past and they are wonderful birds!
Another aspect I offer with on farm poultry processing is the opportunity for YOU to be part of this process. I have had newbies and regulars at each processing time. And really, the more the merrier. I'm happy to teach you the ropes and you get to see exactly how your bird was raised and handled. You are also welcome to participate on whatever level you feel comfortable. If it's jumping right in, watching from the sidelines, or just picking up your birds after processing is done.
All of my animals are on pasture rotation, including poultry. They get a new paddock at least once a week if not more. When processing day happens on the farm, myself and a team of people harvest and process each bird and let them cool in a tank of ice cold water. We then weigh and bag each bird for YOU to take home and put in your freezer. No middle person and as transparent as you can be!
This offer will end in ON WEEK! That's Sunday February 2nd. Sign up soon so you don't miss this birthday discount.
Thank you for the support!
A pretty short and sweet blog post for this round. Over the weekend I have been working on updating social media and website information. Check out the list of newly updated sites and goat and goat milk soap related items.
Meet the EB Ranch Herd! I have ALL the san clemente island goat breeding animals up and listed with pictures and pedigrees.
Breeding Plans and Kidding Dates. Pretty self explanatory. Though I go over why I'm breeding who to who and discuss healthy breeding plans.
San Clemente Island Goats for Sale. FYI, I don't plan on selling any SCIG's in 2020. I have hopes of bringing in some new stock to improve on the meat quality of the goats. Then I plan on having a closed herd afterward. I will have enough genetic diversity on my farm to keep in closed for a very long time. I just really want to take this year to scrutinize and work on improving my breeding plans.
Last is my Etsy Page and business facebook page. I have completely updated and refreshed my etsy page. Etsy is just another avenue I use to gain attention to the goat milk soap I make. I only sell wholesale and monthly subscriptions through etsy. On my business facebook page I updated the "shop now" button to take people directly to this website. I'm still debating if I want to sell soap through the shop option on facebook. It's just another area to manage sales, but it's also an easy option for people to buy.
In the future look for on farm gatherings and classes on EB Ranch. I have a soap making class scheduled at the Amery Farm Table Foundation on February 15th. Tickets are $20 and the class will be about 2 hours long.
Personally I have been enjoying this fairly mild winter. I go for walks in the woods, and get caught up on dorky cartoon and t.v series! Hope y'all have been having a good winter season as well!
Thank you for the support!
Wrapping up the nee year is always exciting for me. I take some time off, catch up on bookkeeping, and start writing up next years plans, realistic goals and "dream" goals.
I have already been taking steps to move forward with some farm goals for 2020. But, here are the goals I hope to accomplish!
Personally, I have been creating a good amount of artwork. Also taking time to have pure unadulterated "down time" which includes watching full t.v series and playing video games. That's right, good ol' super nintendo video games. Not to mention going for nice walks in the woods with Anders the newest doggy addition to EB Ranch and catching up on sleep. Also keeping busy with butchering and processing a deer and ewes at a friend's farm.
I look forward to creating more opportunities for people to visit the farm and be more involved. I want to grow the steadfast group of people supporting EB Ranch and all that we do here.
Happy New Year, have fun, be safe and thanks for the support!
This is a special blog sharing information on a last minute and very urgent san clemente island goat transport. Myself and a group of san clemente island goat breeders are helping a fellow breeder in MN as he has fallen upon hard times. He currently owns a herd of 150 SCI goats and 30 British Soay sheep, the sheep are also critically endangered. With a recent SCI goat census letting us know there are about 1000 SCI goats currently in the US and Canada, this breeder owns about 15% of the population. He also has some rare lines and genetics that truly need to be saved.
A friend is coming with me this weekend to the breeders farm. There we will the health check of the goats, treat each goat accordingly and tag all the animals to prepare them for transport. It will be a LOOOOONG Saturday, but this is the first step to get the animals ready to go to Virginia.
Another breeder has donated a farm space and shelter for this group. She is also organizing a group of volunteers and veterinarians to help out during the 30 day quarantine period. After animals are deemed healthy they will be re-homed for a small donation.
There are a lot of moving part in all of this, and a lot of unknowns. We need to find transport for the goats for a reasonable fee. Before they are moved I'm putting in their scrapie tags, but we also need to have a veterinarian come out and give a certificate of health to legally transport the group. Though we are looking into options to work with the USDA veterinarian to see if we can get a special pass on this group of animals.
After the animals are at their new location, there will be the cost of hay, feed , minerals and other medical costs and bills.
The cost of this will add up quickly, and we are looking at spending over $20,000 to pay for all of this. Never mind all of the volunteer work put into this.
While there isn't quiet an official breed association made, it's really close to being finalized. working with a core group of other breeders to make this happen is our first real project with this breed association. And it's a HUGE project , but we are all handling it well with our passion for this breed driving us.
Here is a link to the gofundme page for this project. Any monetary or donation help would be incredible. Other people in this group are creating a website that will have a list of items you can donate and where to send them, including gift cards for that regions farm and feed stores.
I'll keep folks posted on my business f.b page with updates. And thank you so much to all of you that have helped out already, we appreciate it! And if you can, please share the gofundme link as much as you can. It seems like there are a lot of causes out there, and a lot of farmers have been and are falling upon hard times. It's so great we can help each other out through thick and thin!
Thank you for the support!
I mean, I only missed writing in August by three days. Not that bad given it's such a busy month.
Recently I was teasing about some "life changes" on my EB Ranch page. I was planning on writing a blog later that day, but hey things happen. While it's nothing really THAT life changing, I am taking on more of an initiative to build the EB Ranch farm business. I have multiple enterprises that are strong and have what it takes to grow into ventures that will be profitable. This blog is mainly about those ventures and what I hope to do with them in the future. You may be surprised about some things EB Ranch offers!
#1-Goat milk soap!! This is currently my bread and butter. My big plan is to try and attend a lot more fall and winter craft shows and farmers markets. Even perhaps making it out to Minneapolis. But, did you know I offer monthly goat milk soap subscriptions, party favors, and wholesale prices? All of these can be wonderful gifts for other or just for yourself and family. In addition to online sales and farmers markets, I have a decent list of retail stores you can find EB Ranch goat milk soap from. I recently was asked by Grace Fitzpatrick to sell soap at a lovely hair salon called Touch Studio, located in Kentucky. So holy cats, EB Ranch will be in Kentucky really soon! I have goals of getting goat milk soap into at least 4 more retail locations in the next year.
#2-EB Ranch pasture raised meat. Well, a big new venture in the past month was finally selling san clemente island goat meat to retail stores. You can now find goat meat from EB Ranch at Just Local in Eau Claire and the Menomonie Market Food Co-op in Menomonie! As always, you can buy whole goat or chicken shares directly from EB Ranch. Another big change next year will that I will hopefully get back to raising turkeys. Wow your friends and family at your next cookout by roasting a whole goat, or having some delicious farm raised chickens. Nothing beats meat on the grill!!
#3-Garlic Gals, the garlic share. My friend Bretton and I launched are first garlic share last year. Sadly, a gopher(s) decimated well over 90% of the crop. You could find they where tunneling under each row and stealing garlic. My partner Bob later found some buried 20 feet away and 4 feet into the ground when he was digging trenches for his solar project. So we probably have garlic hidden in tunnels all over on EB Ranch. This year, Bretton and I will decide how to be proactive about varmints. We still want to offer garlic shares, but would also possibly include herbs and mushrooms. We grow a variety of shitakkes, as well as oyster, and lion's mane mushrooms. More will be decided about Garlic Gals in the near future.
#4-Two Farm Ladies Podcast-Khaiti and I have been recording a farming podcast for well over a year. After a hiatus, we decided to record once a month. The episodes have been a hoot to record, and we both feel that sharing our stories are not only entertaining but possibly helpful to people that can learn from our mistakes or successes. Khaiti and I are deciding to "polish" up the podcast, and the first step is taking some professional pictures. As events line up, I randomly received a message from a woman named Holly that wanted to take some farm pictures. It was for a photo project she was working on that including women in ag. So she popped over, and got to meet Holly and she took some wonderful pictures. She offered to come out for a photo shoot as a thank you. In two weeks Khaiti and I will get "glammed" up and put our best dirty feet forward for this photo shoot. I personally also hope to look into better ways to promote the podcast as well as dipping into some social networking. Check out her photography business, Blue Moon Studio LV.
#5-The San Clemente Island Goat Herd. I created a Meet the Herd and Sale page a while back. It still needs to be finished but it's a good start. I started offering breeding stock of these critically endangered goats. While this whole venture is going to take a while for it to be reliable, I'm glad to finally be able to offer goats that are for sale. I cannot and will not go into much detail, but it's been a struggle finding out the individual history or pedigree on many of these goats. Over the years some breeders stopped keeping good breeding or sales records. So there has been a lot of mystery solving put to the herd I have. Thankfully, many mysteries where solved, or at least partially. I have been working with and getting to know other breeders around the nation. We are all dedicated to these goats, and working together to problem solve is VERY important. These goats are unique and valuable, and the blood sweat and tears that have gone into them is well worth it.
The wrap up!! So really the HOPEFUL big change next year are these items. I have been working with the local NRCS to get cost sharing done on a grazing management plan, that if approved the NRCS will not only pay for that plan but also the implementation of that plan. This probably means perimeter fencing, above ground water lines for the summer, and an appropriate winter water set up. As well as more electric net fence to help keep animals OUT of areas but also for better and more rotational grazing. I want to keep ALL my poultry under the orchard. I want to keep my goats more safe and secure with perimeter fencing. I want to not have to worry about winter watering. If these systems are approved they will be implemented next year. I hope to get a head start on this and begin set up in early spring. Bob will be home to help, and I may hire a relative to help with fencing. Part of this plan will also involve seeding in a better variety of forbes and grasses for the goats. Plants with high tannins will help combat parasites and other plants will be more nutritious to goats.
Another piece of this is that I'm also going to be applying for grants left and right. There are many aspects of this farm that could use some financial help. The biggest part is buying in a used livestock trailer to use as my goat shelter in pasture rotation. I would find a decent trailer that has a closed off room at the front to put my milk stanchion. There I can have a covered area to milk and store supplies in. I can also more easily do on pasture health checks and hoof trimming. In the past I would always have to herd the group back to the winter shelters and do health checks. I usually do monthly health checks, bu this hot, wet, humid summer proved to me that I need to do weekly check ins starting in mid July. Parasites turned out to be a HUGE issue this year, and they came on fast and strong. I really need to reflect and change my management plan for next year. Other financial help mainly includes testing revolving around the San Clemente Island goats. Not a lot of data has been recorded or shared, so things like mundane milk tests and weights as well as other recorded observations are important to take and share.
Well, this is a long wrap up. To conclude, I'll be sharing through social media the line up of events EB Ranch will be attending. I hope to see you there. Plus one more little thing. I am also taking on the initiative to be more inclusive of members and people that support the farm. That will be through working with a small group of people to come up with ways to help engage the community, but also remind people that because of you this farm can exist. So thank you, and I'll keep everyone in the loop about this aspect of planning and organizing.
Off to make some goat milk soap. And I hope to stop telling everyone all the time that I'm trying to catch up on making soap. This is a part of the business I NEED to stay on top of, and I can do this by better prioritizing my life. So take that, soap!!
Thank you all for the support!
Hello EB Ranch supporters and Two Farm Ladies Podcast fans!
This is a blog update about 2FLP. As the title says, it's the summer crazies!! Both Khaiti and I are treading water during this busy time of year farming. While I can't totally speak for Khaiti, I know she is in full market garden mode with her partner Ben. They are frequenting multiple farmers markets a week selling beautiful delicious garden produce and canned goods.
Myself, it's just busy on the other veggie CSA farm I work for not to mention it being busy on my own farm. I'm horrendously behind on my goat milk soap making. I'm spending the weekend trimming goat hooves , doing goat health checks and giving each of my 47 goats copper bolus. That's getting a capsule of copper down each goats throat.
So on and so forth, this blog is letting folks know that 2FLP won't be putting out a July podcast. We still hope for an August release, but there is always a chance that may not happen either. But we will keep chipping away at this podcast. We are having fun doing it, and we both do have the hope to make a bit of money doing this at some point down the line.
To wrap this up, I want to acknowledge some farms that are in rough shape in the area. There was a pretty devastating storm and tornado that tore up areas north of here. Thankfully there where no human casualties. Though there where plenty of trees down and lots of property damage. We are all at the mercy of Mother Nature, but farm in particular suffer greatly. As always, try and support a local farm or farms and they in turn will support you and the community with their products and food.
Thank you, and enjoy this cute picture of a soon to be new member of EB Ranch. Meet Anders the rough collie puppy. He will be joining EB Ranch in mid August. I have high hopes for him being an all around good farm dog. With correct training he can help me herd and move goats as well as keeping varmint such as gophers and rabbits at bay.
Thanks so much for the support, and I hope y'all will hear from us soon!!
PS-This is my lovely niece Lydia posing with Anders!
This blog is getting written on my breaks between shoveling out the goat sheds and working on fencing. It's funny to be sweating so much without being hot, it's so dang humid out right now! The goat sheds are well overdue for a clean out, honestly they should have gotten shoveled out way back in late April. Oh well, what can you do?
So far, it's been another typical summer on EB Ranch. We have WAY more San Clemente Island goats, around 60 versus last year at this time where I only had about 16. Pasture rotation is going GREAT! I have the boys and girls on separate pastures with minimal issue. There are of course the few times where there has been a great escape, or a single animal has gotten out. But I can handle that no problem!
This coming Monday EB Ranch is hosting a Women Caring for the Land field day event. So I'll need to mow the lawn later and get some odds and ends cleaned up and organized. I'm pretty excited that the farm can host this event, it's so important for women to have time together and talk about ourselves and our hopes and dreams. Plus sharing stories and useful advice and resources. You can find all information at this link. https://www.facebook.com/pheasantsforeverwisconsin/photos/a.903777996300961/2530205150324896/?type=3&theater
Some exciting news, my high school friend Lori Minor stopped by the farm last month and took some beautiful professional photos of the farm!! This was not only needed to update pictures on the website, but also in preparation for an article that will come out this fall in The Goat Journal. There is even a chance that a picture will grace the FRONT COVER! How exciting!! I'll post a slideshow below of some of her pictures. You can contact her at Lori Minor Photography.
One more little piece of exciting news, after a year of talk and consideration Bob and I decided to take on a puppy in about a month!! We currently have two companion dogs named Freyja and Hilde. While they are wonderful buddies they are not good farm dogs. They both need to either be on leashes or contained in a solid fence. Freyja likes to chase deer and not come back, and Hilde just goes along for the ride. It's not Freyja's fault, I adopted her YEARS ago and she is part hound dog. Anyway, this new puppy is a male rough collie that was born down the road at a farm not far from here. I honestly LOVE rough collies and had one as a teenager. I'm looking for a dog that already has those basic herding and farm oriented instincts. I am a fairly decent dog trainer and hope to have a dog that will be with me when I do chores and maybe even help get rogue goats back to where they need to be. Plus perhaps having a dog outside to keep predators like raccoons away from our chickens and birds. I just need a good basic working farm dog that will be focused on ME and still be friendly toward others. Again, I know a lot has to do with training, but those instincts are already their for dogs like this. Anyway, I'm getting prepared for puppy land again. I adopted Hilde about 8 years ago when she was a 10 week old pup. It's intensive, but that hard work pays off. Hilde is a great dog, just heavily influenced boy Freyja's "bad" behaviour. I plan on keeping this dog by my side as much as possible. He will obviously still be buddies with my existing dogs, but will be getting more one on one outside attention. Here is a picture of the litter from a few weeks ago. They have their eyes open now and are in super chub mode.
Now for the last little piece. I do apologize if this is getting redundant but I do run a farm business, and my business needs more business! I currently have San Clemente Island Goat breeding stock for sale, as well as whole goat meat shares and whole chickens shares as well as goat milk soap and goat milk soap shares. All animals are pasture raised and only given grain if in milk production. I currently have over 200 bales of hay paid up for to get through the winter. But, it's time to really start pushing what EB Ranch has to offer! Please consider supporting me and the farm by purchasing some of these amazing products! I love doing what I'm doing, and I hope that shows through to my customers.
Thank you again, and enjoy the slide show of pictures by Lori Minor!
It's that time of season where I delegate computer time to rainy days or days I'm sick. With a raging head cold and my inability to not be "productive" I'm finally getting around to writing this blog. Though I promise to take a nap, drink lots of fluids and fruits to get over this sickness.
A project I'm finally done working on is getting a real price per pound figured out for my pastured goat meat shares. I'm going to try and work with a new processor that has a flat processing fee and an additional hanging weight fee. That hanging weight fee makes it manageable for me to process some of my smallest goats while still making a bit of a profit.
Raising these San Clememente Island goats is wonderful but also brings about challenges. With most heritage breed livestock and poultry, these goats tend to grow more slowly and not as big as other production livestock. In turn these goats are pretty self reliant and hardy. All of my female goats and kids are currently out on rotating pastures. I need to let the grass grow a bit more before I put my boys out. I plan on having two separate groups of goats so I don't have accidental breeding over the summer.
But hey!! I got the price per pound figured out for whole goats, and that's $5.00 a pound with a $40 processing fee! I am also able to offer a variety of weights, from as little as 10 pounds on up to 50! Though cuts may vary with small animals, you may not get good chops but you could get extra ground meat. OR get a yourself a whole goat for a cook out! Small animals mean you may be able to get a whole goat in a small freezer! I also offer specialty sausages for extra. You can see all the information HERE!
Starting now EB Ranch is offering sign ups for pastured chicken shares. Deposits need to be in by August 3rd. This is on farm pick up only with butchering scheduled for the first weekend of October. You can read more HERE!
An update on Garlic Gals is needed. There are always pros and cons to farming, and you are at the mercy of the elements. Growing garlic isn't any different and sadly 95% of the garlic crop was lost due to mole activity. You can dig down just a little bit to break into a tunnel that runs below every row of garlic. This is the FIRST time anything like this has EVER happened to me. I have been saving garlic sees for over 8 years and am saddened and frustrated by this loss. Thankfully, both Bretton and I are very positive people and decided to do a spring planting of garlic with our own stash of garlic cloves. We have a handful of garlic shares to fulfill but had to stop taking sign-ups early on. We will have to re-invest in seed this fall, but Garlic Gals will be offering garlic shares again next year. I plan on taking measures to prevent mole damage from occurring again.
Now for a bit of the real deal, an aspect of my personal life I think that is important to share. I will remain vague in some respects, but am happy to talk to you in person in regards to this story. Recently, an issue reared it's head out of the blue. While the issue itself is actually pretty minor, people have decided to turn it into something much bigger within the community. Everything will eventually be fine, but for the last almost two months I have been an emotional whirlwind.
I have recently figured out I get nocturnal panic attacks. I have dealt with this since my late teens but had NO idea what it was. I thought I had sleep apnea or something. Well, will the onslaught of stress I was having sometimes two panic attacks at night and on an almost nightly basis. I would also have to say I'm depressed. I have had little to no will to initiate or care about my day to day life, people or business. This issue has left me lacking extra willpower to go about my usual daily life. And I got this head cold to boot! I haven't been sick with a cold in YEARS, and I'm sure stress was a factor in this.
As always, I keep plugging forward. Just expressing how I feel to my partner, family and friends is a huge help. I feel the depression shaking off and am getting back to feeling excited about my day to day life again! Co-hosting for the Two Farm Ladies Podcast is also another great way to "just get shit off my chest!"
Dealing with this issue has given me the reality slap of what it can be like when you become more deeply involved in community and local politics. I thinks it's EXTREMELY important for people to be involved in both . I also wish older folks where it bit more encouraging and supportive in opening up this world for the next generation and others to come. (And yes I know that people do but I think MORE need to as well!) With all of this, it makes me think about how I can pave the path for younger generations behind me to be involved. And as always, it's important to find solutions to problems, not just always pointing out problems. While I have some very firm beliefs in particular politics, it won't stop me from listening and engaging in civil discussion. We need to learn and grow from each other, not put up barriers . We can always agree to disagree in a civil manner.
I know there is more to share, there is ALWAYS more but I"ll wrap it up for now. Thank you as always for the constant, consistent, and new support from folks for EB Ranch and all that Bob and I do both on the farm and in the community.
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.