Happy mid February to you all. I hope everyone is dealing with the many aspects winter has recently thrown at us, especially to folks in the upper states. Western WI just got over two feet of snow in the past couple of days. I think we all have been getting quite the work out from shoveling snow!
On a farm, not only is there the typical shoveling around the house, but in many cases there needs to be paths shoveled out to sheds, barns, and other areas to get to the livestock to do chores. We also had to shovel along the sides of our hoop house to allow more snow to fall off the top and accumulate on the sides. If we don't do this there is a good chance our hoop house would cave in. I also shovel paths for the geese and for to goats to use in their pasture area. I still want to feed the goats outside as much as possible, and I don't foresee the goats plowing through the deep snow for any reason, even for hay!
Just a few days ago the group of adult San Clemente Island Goats I acquired late this fall started kidding. I have two mothers with one mother that should kid really an any point, and at least a forth doe that could possibly kid. These where all accidental pregnancies, so I have no idea when does are due. But I'm ready to deal with it, and that means getting up to do checks through the night to make sure the would be mothers are doing o.k. This will be my third night of getting up every few hours to check. It's not efficient, I should have a camera installed but this is just how it is right now! I do have my own goats due to kid in March. But I think from now on I'm going to shoot for late April babies. Kidding in potentially very cold weather is just too stressful on me and on the animals.
I have to insist that I'm not complaining one bit. I knew this was going to be happening, and I'm excited and happy to change my schedule around to make sure everything goes well for these goats. I'm their caretaker, it's my privilege and responsibility to do the best I can for them. It's also something I really love to do. This is my job, and I feel ever so fortunate I can actually do something I LOVE to do, and hopefully make a living doing it. The challenges that farming throws at you are challenges I face and solve with relish. I need to brainstorm, have cat like reflexes in the face of chaos, I get to network and ultimately build community to find solutions, I get to McGuyver and use duct tape like a real farming pro! Every day is a new and different day and it's enriching to me and I couldn't and wouldn't ask for a different life.
Coming back to finish the blog after a couple of days to finish this up. My brain and body are tired. I'm not sure if it's residual lymes that has taken it's toll or just getting older? But the first group of does have kidded and are all settled, I have the next few months planned out in terms of events and projects. The next group of goats are due to kid around March 13th, so in less than a month! There is another big snow storm coming in tomorrow, 2/20. I am thankful for another day I have to spend in the house. I recently got a soap order for a wedding!! My first ever, and I'm helping modify the soap to make them into small wedding favors. I'm selling some goats, I'm hopefully going to get back on the train of starting a non-profit/breed association for the SCI goats. There are many other folks on board for this, and it's exciting to see other people excited to help out to make this happen.
There was also a Farmers Union meeting for my chapter in terms of event planning for the year. There will be a Women Caring for the Land event here on EB Ranch in July, there will be a Farmers Union potluck here in late spring as well. Planning is happening to have a showing of The Little Pink House, a film about eminent domain. Working with organizations at events, and just participating and interacting within the community. All of it is a breath of fresh air, especially when many of us feel frustrated and maybe helpless with all the political chaos. Remember, participation in community is so important and can help you feel more connected and less frustrated.
I'll make a more highlighted announcement in another blog post, but there are now some different farm share available. First off, you can now sign up for chicken and turkey meat shares. All details are on the store page. Garlic Gals has a new logo, and Bretton put together some fliers and brochures to start passing out. Consider signing up for are Garlic CSA this year! I'm getting information together about proper licensing to sell goat meat both direct to consumer but also to restaurants and grocery stores. I don't think I'll have goat meat shares available until later on this summer. I want them to be on pasture before going off to slaughter. I have a list of first come first serve customers, if you want to be on that list please contact me through my contact page. Whole goats will cost in the ballpark range of $250-$275.
I'll wrap this up as I am starting to wander. We have a nice group of seven new San Clemente Island goat kids on EB Ranch. Enjoy the pictures, and fasten your seat belts for another potential Wisconsin snow storm!
Thank you for the support!
Born and raised in a small town, then moved back to the same small town. Jill of many trades and happy to be so.