Monday, March 31, 2014


Sean here.

After running a farm for a couple years now, I've come to a few realizations.  Now, I realize that I'm still a "newbie" compared to many of our readers who have been farming for decades or all their lives. But even with the little time I HAVE spent caring for our various wards, certain instincts have started to emerge. While I don't have experience in being a father to a baby, I suspect it's a comparable experience. We currently have 14 goats of breeding age plus 5 kids, and I swear I know each of their voices by heart.  Not only can I tell who it is that is calling, I can usually tell what it is they want.  Whether it is a hungry goat, or an angry goat, or a pained goat, or just a lonely goat.  It's not a difference I can explain, but I suspect other farmers, parents, or anyone who has spent a great amount of time with another living being that they care for very much and who cannot communicate to them in words has felt.  When I got home from work on Friday, I was about to go pick up my wife when I heard something from the barn that got my attention immediately. It was a cry I'd only heard a couple times in the last few years. It was desperation and panic. Fear.

Haddie with Amos just minutes after kidding March 2014
I raced to the barn through the closest door available, which put me in the turkey stall looking into the doe stall over the half wall. Haddie, one of our new mothers this year, lay on her back in the stall with her legs up in the air and her neck craned back underneath her in an almost morbidly comic pose; as if someone had just pointed a finger pistol at her and yelled "BANG!" Because she only let out one cry while I was outside the barn, when I saw her laying there, my first thought was that what I heard was Haddie's last exhausted breath.

"Oh no! What could have happened? She was perfectly fine this morning." my mind churned as I ran around to the other door to enter the doe stall.

I knelt beside Haddie and ran my hands over her looking for injury, blood, anything to explain what went wrong. Feeling the life in her body under my hands almost had me in tears with relief. But, something happened, may still be happening. No time for relief yet! I carefully rolled her over to proper orientation. Haddie looked at me with bright, appreciative eyes and got up on her legs with some help.  She stumbled around the stall a bit and settled in the corner in a normal sitting pose.  After being seated for about two minutes, she got back up and walked around almost like normal.  I separated Haddie from the other does and examined her all over for injuries, but found none. I checked her eyelids and mucous membranes. These surprised me with being very pale, indicating anemia, usually due to a heavy worm-load.  We just wormed the herd earlier in the month and Haddie showed no signs of anemia then, so it was strange that her eyes should be so white now. I called Sonja to let her know what was happening. She suggested all the same things I had already done; check for signs of injury, check eyelids, look for possible causes of trauma in the stall. We decided to treat Haddie for worms again. It wouldn't hurt and was the most probably cause of the pale eyelids. I gave her a shot of Ivomec to treat for worms, and one of B12 to help boost her energy level. Her behavior had returned to nearly normal in the 15 minutes I was with her. I decided to offer some fresh water and grain. She shoved the other does out of the way with gusto and dashed for the grain bucket, tail wagging.

Sonja and Haddie hiking March 2013
"What on Earth happened?" Finding her in such a strange position puzzled me. My best guess was that Jane or one of the other does may have rammed her and knocked the wind out of her. She is the smallest of the does, so it would not be unheard of that the others were establishing their dominance. Or, perhaps she slipped off the wood stumps in the stall that the goats play upon? I cannot say for certainty. But, since I gave her what medicine I thought would be helpful and she was behaving normally and resting comfortably, I left to pick up Sonja, intent on grabbing some fresh spinach greens while I was out. (Spinach is a rich source of iron, which is useful to support anemic goats while they recover.)

We watched Haddie closely over the weekend. Haddie seems like she's doing well now, but we will keep treating her for worms and anemia for the next couple of weeks or until she gets some color back. We still have no idea what caused her to cry out so or to collapse, but in a way, it was a blessing. We check our goats regularly, but having just wormed the lot and without a history of paleness, warranting our keeping a closer eye on her than normal, Haddie might have indeed been in dire trouble before her next scheduled check up.

Trust your instincts, friends.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Minute in the Goat Kids' Stall

Do not be fooled. He is plotting his next escape!
Fenn broke his new tie out leash this morning. I attached the clip to his collar and he ran full speed to the end of his line. It snapped and he kept running down the driveway with it trailing behind him. I called Molly back into the house before she got the idea to follow our resident escape artist in his adventures. Then, I called Sean to inform him that his dog was running up the middle of the road, heading towards him. It must be Thursday.

Sean left work to spend the next hour driving around, getting close to Fenn, but unable to coax, coerce, trick, bribe, or run down his dog. Then, Sean and I spent the next hour trailing him from neighbor's yard to neighbor's yard. At 10 am, exhausted, freezing cold, and no closer to catching Houdini, (who entered the woods and was no longer in sight) Sean called our animal control officer, Daniel, to inform him of the trouble and went ahead to work. We worry about Fenn being loose, of course, but we cannot risk Sean losing his job to chase down our dog.

We tagged out to warm up. Kristen and Meaghan began foot patrol searching for Fenn. While they were out looking two different neighbors called in with sightings, but they were unable to get close to catching him, either. Around 11, the girls returned wet, cold and unhappy and without Fenn. As the morning waned, we had sightings reported of him being in one yard or another through the early afternoon, but no one could coax Fenn into stopping long enough to catch the wretched beast. Eventually he would tire of his game and if history is any indication, would present himself to be captured and returned home.

Around 2 pm, Meaghan caught sight of Fenn trotting up the driveway towards our front steps.

"Mom! Fenn is in the yard!" Meg called from the family room.

"Go open the door and call him. Maybe he'll come." I replied. Fenn beat Meaghan to the door and was whining to be let inside when she got there. My elation for Sean's dog's return was short lived as he ran inside covered with mud on all four paws and undercarriage... Right across my newly washed kitchen floor. He made a bee-line for my bed, but was prevented by Kristen's quick thinking to close my bedroom door. She grabbed his collar and dragged him into the bathroom to clean him off while I re-washed the floors and called Sean to let him know of Fenn's return and concurrent affront to my efforts to maintain a clean home.

Fenn spent the rest of the afternoon ridding himself of whatever he ate in his travels which disagreed with him. Though he spent the whole day outside, he left a HUGE, disgusting and smelly present for us in the front room. Probably the reason he came home- come to think of it! And, if that wasn't bad enough, he managed to get inside my room and vomit on my comforter just before bed time. There are days I enjoy having dogs and days.... well, let's just leave it there...

At least, the goats and their kids are behaving well. I spent a little time with them which helped sooth my ruffled feathers. In case you are in need of some soothing yourself, I'll share:

Thanks for stopping by for a visit, friends. We're glad you're here. :)
~Sonja ♥

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Coats My Goats

Father Time has declared that it is officially spring. Unfortunately, no one has passed that message on to Mother Nature. We are expecting another snow fall this Wednesday and between now and then, our forecast calls for evening temperatures to be near zero each night. Can I just get on the band wagon calling for winter's demise? I am so over this. I cannot tell you just how much this is so. I am ready for planting and clean up. Bring on Spring; I promise no complaints about the mud or black flies that accompany it from this quarter.

I have written of my concern for the animals tucked up in the barn. Winter is hard for everyone, particularly so for the small and young or old and frail. We have had our share of losses this year. Though I will always worry; it's genetic~ my concern has been alleviated somewhat by the kindness of a stranger. You know what a stranger in Maine is, right? Around here, that's just a friend we haven't met yet.

About a week ago, I saw a post offering goat sweaters on Caprine Capers from Cheryl Magee of New York. I immediately sent a message to Ms. Magee detailing my interest in them for our kids. Within just a couple days, a package arrived and inside were no less than EIGHT hand-knit and/or crocheted sweaters in a bright array of colors for our kids. Remember, Ms. Magee and I have never met. Out of the goodness of her heart, she sent us this gift. This life can be so hard~ back-breaking, heart-achingly difficult. It is not for everyone, to be sure. But, it is also so filled with blessings and moments like these. Moments that show that in this fast-paced, dog eat dog world, there is still kindness, goodness and love to be found.

I am so grateful for these goat coats for our littles. Thank you, Ms. Magee from the bottom of our hearts.

~ Sean and Sonja Twombly and ALL the Lally Broch Farm Goat Kids

Monday, March 17, 2014

Garden Planning 2014

Sometimes things fall into place.

Sean and I have talked a lot about what this year's busy schedule is going to mean for us; time spent in our ministry, time spent with our children, time to share with extended family, time for caring for farm needs, time creating products, time at markets and craft events, time to sleep if we get everything else cared for. Time is one commodity that is always on our minds. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. I suppose we are not alone in this. Regardless of your pursuits in life, your desires or focus, time is a commodity high in demand and seemingly low in supply. Mindful of our responsibilities, Sean and I are trying very hard to spend our time wisely. We've decided that some things can be delegated or hired out so that we can focus on the people and animals that require US without burning the candle at both ends, so to speak.

Last year, we approached a local green house owner to see could we pay her to begin some of our seeds for us? Her greenhouse was full and it was just not possible for her to do it. We started our own seeds and used some of our time to nurture them into seedlings. It was an enjoyable usage of our time, planting seeds and watching them grow into plants. But, let's be candid. The seeds we plant couldn't care less who waters them and makes sure they are getting the right amount of sun, water, and food so long as someone is. 

This year, by chance, we met Cameron Depaolo of Depaolo Succulents at the Krafty Flea in Bangor. Cameron grows some of the healthiest plants I have ever seen. I seized the opportunity to talk with him to gauge his interest in using some of his greenhouse space to start some of our seeds for us this year. Some seeds will be direct planted and we'll care for those. The direct planted seeds have an asterisk beside them in the list below. To satisfy this year's CSA plans, Sean and I have calculated that we need to grow this many plants in our vegetable gardens:

* 60 Bean plants
* 60 Beet plants
* 20 Broccoli plants
* 400 Carrots
24 Pickling Cucumber plants
12 Straight Cucumber plants
* 2 lb Corn seeds
* 40 Lettuce plants
* 200 Onions
* 200 Pea plants
30 Sweet Pepper plants
18 Hot Pepper plants
* 40 Spinach plants
24 Table Tomato plants
18 Cherry Tomato plants
24 Paste Tomato plants
* 200 Radishes
* 100 Garlic plants
* 30 Kale plants

In addition, we'll have several plantings of basil, mint, sage, thyme, dill, rosemary, lavender, and chives available in our herb garden. Through agreements with local growers, we'll again provide strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb, cranberries, apples, and pears in season. 

It will be worth every penny it costs us for Cameron to start some of our seeds so that we can focus on other necessary spring tasks. Through the next few weeks and months, I'll be updating you on the progress, sharing the images Cameron captures.

We have one CSA share still available or two half shares available for the 2014 season. A half share portion for last year included an average of at least ten items each week and looked something like this: 2-3 med tomatoes or a pint of cherry tomatoes, 1 head garlic, 1 med zucchini, 1 med summer squash, 2 cucumbers, 1 head lettuce, 10 oz kale, 1 pound carrots, 8 oz broccoli, 12 oz peas, 2-3 onions or bunching onions, 10 oz string beans, 6-8 radishes, 2 sweet peppers, 2-3 hot peppers, a pint of blueberries, strawberries, stalks of rhubarb, or other seasonal fruit and an assortment of herbs. The cost for a half share is $250 for the season (averages to less than $20 per week). A full share provides you with twice as much produce as the half share and should comfortably feed an average family of four. The cost for a full CSA share is $450 for the season (averages to less than $36 per week).

If you are interested in participating, please contact Sonja at 207-323-4982 for more information. 2014 Enrollment forms can be downloaded HERE. A deposit in the amount of $125 is due at the time of enrollment for either share. For a half share, the full payment is due before May 31st. For a full share the payment schedule is: $125 down payment, $125 due April 31st, $100 due May 31st, final payment $100 due June 31st.

Though the weather outside is howling and very, very cold. I am dreaming of fine spring weather and the garden planting to come. If you grow a garden, what are you most looking forward to growing this year? If you participate in a CSA, what has been your experience?

Thanks for visiting today, friends. We're sure glad you are here.
~Sean and Sonja ♥

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Remembering Llamas

Sean and Justin left this morning before chore time to help a neighbor get her car out of her yard so that a plow truck, commerical snow plow, or a miracle sent from above can remove the ice encrusted snow from her drive way. I am exaggerating a little, but not by much. Those boys have their work cut out for them. At least, we are hoping to climb back into the 40's today. That should help.

I should get out of bed and begin getting some things done around the house. But, it is early and the house is empty and quiet. Molly is snoring softly in my ear, head sharing my pillow, warm body curled in the crook of my arm. I am comfortable. I am also awake.

I don't know if it the excitement of possibly getting our Emus this spring and the worry that we might have a repeat of our bad llama experience, but for some reason, this morning I woke with thoughts of Dilly in my mind. Do you remember Dilly and the week we had a llama living at Lally Broch?

This is what we were looking for. Look how sweet this llama from Fiber Fields Alpaca Farm is! Unfortunately, sweet was not our experience.

Sean was on the radio program Bob & Sheri a while ago telling them all about his near death experience. Take a listen:

If you are interested in hearing more about Dilly, you'll want to read these posts:
Our First Morning with Dilly  and A Dilly of a De-LlamaOur research has been more extensive this time around. Our knowledge of caring for feathered animals has increased, too. We are looking forward to adding emus to our farm this spring and hope that our dream comes to fruition. But, whatever happens, we'll be sure to share the story with you all.

Rain in the forecast today means it will be warm enough to clean out some stalls before the temperatures dip back to 0* on Monday. C'mon, Spring! It's time to awaken!

Stay safe and warm today, friends. Thanks for stopping by.
~Sonja ♥

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Turkey Eggs Mean SPRING

Have you ever seen anything so lovely in all your life?

Alright. I'll concede that you probably have. Still and all, I did a happy dance in the kitchen when Sean presented me with it.

Spring is finally on its way. Forget the foot of snow predicted for the overnight hours. Forget the temperatures threatening to dip in the negative numbers this week. The turkeys and geese have the right of it. When the amount of daylight increases, spring is just around the corner and eggs must be laid. In the week since our first turkey egg was laid, more than a dozen others have joined it. And, yesterday, the youngest goose presented us with her very first egg; homely and misshapen, lovely just the same.

In my mind's eye, I can see Ebony, the piggie, living back down over the hill in her home. I see raised garden beds, freed of their snowy cover, anxiously awaiting the vegetable plantings they will nurture. I see baskets of colorful eggs waiting to be delivered to neighbors and friends. I see the barn siding ordered, delivered, and installed. Our barn finished at last, shining barn-red in the setting sun across the field.

Y'all know I plan everything out, lists upon lists of things still to do. As winter breathes its last breath from last year, I am beginning to come alive with excitement and purpose. I am so proud of our steady growth and the products Sean and I are creating for you this year. I am nervous about the work load I have committed to in regards to this year's show schedule. You'll find us at the Bucksport Farmer's Market on Thursday evenings from 2:30-5 pm (behind the Post Office) beginning May 15th. And, we'll be at the Belfast Art Market on Friday mornings from 9 am-1 pm (at Waterfall Arts in Belfast) beginning in June. Additionally, we have committed to ten Saturday Searsport Market Craft Events at the Searsport Lion's Club and Silkweeds (Route 1 Searsport). These shows, in between larger venues like What Women Want at the Cross Center March 22, The Made in Maine Expo May 3, The Maine Celtic Celebration July 19-21, and others I'll post about along the way. This is right on schedule, but sometimes those plans on paper become daunting to, you know, actually do.

Deep Breaths. Baby Steps. Create, Make, Market, Sell. 

Ripen Cheese. Pictures, Please. Don't forget to BREATHE.

This year, we are offering:
~ 3 CSA shares for veggies. 16 weeks of fresh herbs & veggies delivered to your home.
~ 6 Dairy Goat Rentals. 9 months of access to your own, fresh goat's milk. Your rented goat lives with us and we provide all its day-to-day care. You reap the benefits. Make your milk into cheeses, yogurts or goat's milk soaps.
~ 10 CSA shares for eggs. 18 weeks of free-range eggs delivered directly to your home or you can pick up your eggs at either of the farmer's markets we've committed to. ♥

The details for these programs are listed in the pages tabs above. The deadline to sign up is April 1, 2014. We sold out last year and anticipate that same result this one. If you are local and interested, please call me as soon as it is convenient to sign up. 

If you are not local to us, no worries. We have products available for you, too, at our Etsy shop:

~ Goat's Milk Soaps. Made here at the homestead with our very own goat's milk. Available in seven appealing scents. These are created with organic oils and quality essential oils.

~ Original Mosaic Egg Shell Jewelry. Unique, one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable art fashioned from the shells of our own chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and guinea fowl and semi-precious metals like sterling silver or copper.

"Inara" pendant $70. Featuring mosaic eggshell, copper wire,
Swarovski crystal beads, sterling beads, sterling chain. 

~Organic Soy Wax Scent Tarts. Created with organic soy wax and skin-safe, cosmetic grade fragrance oils. These come in a resealable cup so you can enjoy them again and again. Available in over 20 fragrances.

~Organic Soy Wax Massage Melts. Our newest offering, these ROCK. I make them with quality essential oils, organic sweet almond oil, Shea butter, vitamin E, and essential oils. We spent the winter perfecting just the right blend of oils and wax to minimize friction which allows hands to glide over skin. These will roll out in April officially, but the feedback we've been getting from our test phase has been all good. Your aching muscles are going to love these. Promise.

We've been working hard this winter, preparing for the "busy" seasons around the homestead. Still, it is important to take out time to remember WHY we do all we do. Here are some images captured from around the homestead in the past couple weeks. I hope you enjoy them.

New rooster at Lally Broch Farm
We were contacted by our local animal control officer last week to see if we were able to take in two roosters in need of a home. They were in very rough shape. One of them had two broken wings and did not make it, but this guy is doing well. He is lovely, if not very friendly. He went for my legs to peck them twice while I was doing chores. THAT was not going to continue, I'll tell you. After a few days of hiding in the barn, he made his way into the main coop. The other lads did not look kindly upon his presence. He is still doing well, but he is more docile- they have taught him some manners. I am not sure what breed he is. Any ideas???
Jesse and Jane

Samson's snack time!
 Miss Keziah is growing steady and strong. Though, he is thriving, Keziah has out-paced Amos's growth by a lot. She is going to be one big 'ole girl when she is fully grown, I think! I am so happy we are keeping her. Every time I see her, I am so taken with her loveliness and the quiet, inquisitive spirit she is showing more and more.

Molly and her mother, Maggie were being cooperative for this shot. 

The other dogs have accepted Mollie into the pack. Buster still lets her know that he is not to be trifled with, but on this day, decided that Miss Molly had some potential as a pillow.

In the background, poor old Angus is just a wreck these days; his fur is falling out in patches, he's mostly blind, and now his bladder is nearly uncontrollable. This has been a tough winter for him and I am doubtful that he will handle another. We'll have a hard decision coming this summer/fall, I'm afraid. But, for now, he enjoys the warm spot in front of the wood stove. 

Amos, Eisha, Keziah, and Samson at naptime

Over the weekend, we had the opportunity to visit Four D's Birds and Bees and pick up 6 gorgeous 10-week old Americauna chicks. These are straight-run, but we are hopeful that at least some of the chicks will be hens ready to lay blue eggs for our customers come June. I'll be writing all about our visit in an upcoming post. I was really impressed with their set-up and can't wait to share it with you.

Thanks for visiting with us today. We're glad you stopped by.

~Sonja ♥

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Soap Review

Every so often, I am approached by a company with a request to try out their product and share my experience with you. This can be fun- especially when the item works and I can write something nice about my experience. It can be harrowing if the item does not perform or is not made well. To cut down on the potential for "bad" experiences, before I agree to review a product in person, I check out the company first.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Mom N Pop Natural Shoppe to review their Wellness Salve for AnimalsMy interest was piqued after reading about it's anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-histamine properties on the Mom N Pop Natural Shoppe Etsy Page . With as many animals as we have living here, we always keep a triple antibiotic cream in our vet bag, just in case. I was excited to try out their product and evaluate it for myself.

By chance, we had an opportunity to use the Wellness Salve shortly after beginning our milking for the season. Leah developed a little scrape on her udder that was sensitive to my touch when milking her. These can happen when the kids bite a little too energetically while nursing. Not life threatening, certainly, but I was eager to try out the salve on Leah to see how it compared to the ointment I usually used. I was very pleased with the results. Within a few days, the scrape had nearly completely healed and there was no sign of infection present. Would it have healed as well without an ointment? Possibly. But I considered this fact: No matter how clean we keep our stalls, goats lay down in their bedding~ bedding that has been walked through with dirty hooves and potentially urinated upon at some point before it is changed. I would rather err on the side of caution.

We, also, used the salve on our geriatric cairn terrier, Angus Og. Poor old thing is allergic to life and sometimes gets to scratching himself to the point of needing some ointment to sooth his skin. Again, the Animal Wellness Salve did the trick beautifully. In my opinion, as well as the Triple Antibiotic Cream we usually choose. Besides working (the most important factor, for me), I liked the packaging. The salve comes in a reusable, glass mason jar with a plastic top. And, I was impressed by the quality ingredients used in all their products. These added, I am sure, to the pleasant, herbal scent of the salve.

So, here is the big question: Would I purchase this product for use at the farm? Yes, I would. In fact, I will be ordering another jar to keep close to hand in the milking room.

Included in the package containing the glass jar of Animal Wellness Salve, I was pleasantly surprised to find a bar of Oats & Honey Soap for me. According to the Etsy online description, this bar is an oil-based soap with a minimal lather and lots of moisturizing properties. This variety of bath bar contains organic oatmeal and organic raw honey.

I am a soap snob. Since I began making soap myself with our goat's milk, I find myself comparing our soaps with others I use.

So, how did the Oat and Honey bar compare? I confess, I really like it. It is a generous sized bar, comparable with the size of my own soap bath bars. Often soaps come in smaller sized bars and they just don't seem to last. We have been using this one in the shower for a couple weeks and it is holding up nicely. The bar has a very pleasant scent. I like the oats sprinkled through it, which give the bar an appealing texture and makes me feel like it is providing good exfoliation for my skin. The only con for me was the self-proclaimed minimal amount of lather to this bar and that is not really a complaint. The information states clearly in the description to expect this. So, if you like a lot of lather, like me, perhaps another scent would suit you better. If you don't mind less suds, this is a very good bar of soap- you should give it a try. If I didn't have a billion bars of our own soap available for use, I would definitely purchase these for my family's use.

I am very happy with my experience with these products. I hope you will visit the Ingram family at the Mom N Pop Natural Shoppe web site to check out these and other quality products. When you do, please tell them hello for me. ♥

~ Sonja ♥

Disclaimer: The statements made in this post are my personal opinions based upon my personal experience and that of my family in using the products reviewed. No monetary compensation was received for this review. Your experience may be different than mine. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Keziah is Born

I guess Rachel was not interested in adding to Sean's growing confidence in his OB/GYN goat kidding skills. She had this all on her own.

Since before kidding season was upon us, we have been checking the goats for imminent kidding signs every couple hours. Yesterday was no different. Rachel was the only pregnant doe left for this season and we were anxious to have her delivered safely. Sean checked her in the morning before going to work. I checked her mid-morning. Sean checked at noon. I checked in mid-afternoon. Sean checked at 5 pm, again at 8 pm and once more at midnight. At his last visit, everyone was asleep, the does sleeping together in a mound and their kids cuddled up beside one another snuggled into a pile of fresh hay in a cozy, dark corner.

Morning dawned. Our weather dropped into the negative digits overnight, but the barn critters were comfortable. All looked good. Sean opened the stall door and called for our first does to come to be milked, Abigail and Leah. It was then that he noticed what looked like some blood near the stump I sit on in the doe stall and a piece of umbilical cord???? "Rachel? You have some s'plaining to do." Sean said in his best Desi impersonation as he approached both hopeful and afraid.

Rachel was curled up contentedly chewing on some hay unconcerned by Sean's accusation. Sean did not immediately see Rachel's kid because she was wrapped snug against her body, clean, but wet and sleeping in the cold morning air. Initially Sean hesitated to disturb them, but Rachel would get up as soon as she heard her grain coming. And, too, the kid was still wet and shivering a little. So, Sean gave Rachel her grain and brought me the sole female doe kid to be born to us this year to inspect, weigh, and finish drying.

Little Keziah is not for sale and will live with us on the farm. She is a lovely mix of a white Lamancha (she got the recessive elf ears gene from her Momma) and some of her Daddy's Oberhausli stripes. We hope she takes after her Momma's personality because Jedi is about as stubborn as they come.

Keziah was returned to Rachel's care without incident. Rachel is a good mother and is quick to respond to her offspring's cries, but she is very laid back about our involvement. Not only does she not mind when we hold or play with her young, she seems to appreciate the break our attention affords her. She visits the other does, grabs some water, butts heads with one of the yearlings before meandering back to offer a meal or care for bath time.

This afternoon, I plan to try to get some footage of Keziah and Rachel together. This will be posted in the next few days. Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping in for a visit, friends. It is nice to have some company.
~Sonja ♥

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Visit to the Farm

I don't know who enjoyed the day more~ Sean and I watching our herd through new eyes, our young friends visiting the goat kids, or their parents. I guess since we all had fun, it was win-win-win!

We'll be opening our farm this spring for a day so that any of you who want to come out to visit us can do so. We'll plan to demonstrate how to milk the goat does. You will be able to play with the new goat kids, hand feed the goats, hold chicks, see ducklings and goslings splash about in tubs of water and follow us around, and watch newly hatched baby guinea keets and turkey poults in their brooder. There may be baby bunny kits here, too! I will host a soap-making demonstration. One of our neighbors will demonstrate fiber spinning from angora. Perhaps you might enjoy some freshly made chevre or feta cheese while you are here. We haven't selected the date yet, but we'll post it as soon as we know when it will be. ♥

Angela and Amos

Ellie was licking Jane's head through
the stall rails. Very funny and strange!

Ethan and Callie watching the does.

Elisha loved tasting everyone's coats.

Hand feeding some grain to Ellie & Abigail

Callie was brave and felt Jedi's HUGE horns with her hand. If she was worried, she sure didn't look it!

After visiting with the goats, we spent a little time calling to the turkeys to see could we get them to gobble at us. Ethan did a fine imitation of their call. Both of our tom turkeys, Lazarus and Aquila, responded to him. Then, we all looked into the chicken run. Sean brought out our goose, Caitlin and also one of our pearl guinea hens.

Inside the house, almost everyone tried some fresh chevre with chips. Callie tried a little goat's milk. There were mixed reviews with the cheese and milk. But, I find that goat's milk is very subjective- people either love it or hate it. I am glad that some of our friends did enjoy the taste. Of course, the flavor of our milk will change and improve as soon as the does are back browsing wooded pasturage, as they should. While their pastures are dormant, barren of leaves, and covered in snow, the goats are eating mainly hay and grain. One thing we could all agree on was that the cupcakes Meaghan and Sean made were de-licious!

We really enjoyed our time visiting and sharing our animals with friends. We hope to be able to repeat the experience soon. :)

Thanks for stopping by. We love the company.
~Sonja ♥