Happy New Year, farm friends! …and it seems that again, I am a bit tardy with my monthly greeting. New Year’s resolution #15: be timelier with farm website updates. You can all be my accountability partners! We’ll see how I do.
Shaun and I spent January 1,2015 doing our annual farm review and planning, and I have to say, we were pretty pleased with how 2014 shaped up for us and equally excited about how 2015 was looking. It is going to be a great year! The funny (and somewhat difficult) thing about starting a farm from scratch is that you work every year to just get to the point of ‘maintenance’; you know what I mean; that point when you kind of have things the way you want them-everything seems to click along like clockwork year after year without much shuffle or change and it seems to work fairly well. To be honest, I am not sure that we will ever get to ‘maintenance’, but we are closer to having things clicking along fairly trouble-free. Oh sure, there are always those things that could be improved upon and updated or changed and made better, but for the most part, we slid into the winter season more prepared than we have ever been before and here we are knee-deep in January and we aren’t itching for the nice weather so that we can fix everything that isn’t working right. I know it might not seem like much to most, but that is major progress! Golly, we might actually get this farm kinda done some day!
Last week started kidding season. As always, we have our new mommies and anyone that was a milk-through from the previous year due on or about mid-January. Typically we have the coldest, nastiest, most horrible weather to contend with and we find ourselves wondering who’s hair-brained idea it was to breed those goats in mid-August, but not this year. It might as well have been an April morning it was so beautiful. Dry, warm, spectacular sunrise…the kind of day that you can’t wait to get to the barn rather than dragging yourself through the miserable weather only to find wet, cold babies waiting for you. What a gift. A great way to start the year…so great that it makes me a little worried about what we have in store.
The barn is currently full of moaning and groaning girls. It is a symphony of discomfort and we are anxious for them to birth out those babies so we can get some milk rolling again. This time of the year is such a struggle trying to stretch every drop of precious milk into two for all of our valued customers. We always are so grateful of the understanding that comes from our loyal crew. They get it and know that we will get them going as soon as we can. Admittedly, the hard part of that equation is that our ‘vacation’ of once a day milking is going to come to a screeching halt, and let me tell you, we have THOROUGHLY enjoyed our vacation this year. Hunkered down in front of the fire reading books in the evening is a welcome change after the busyness of summertime.
On-tap for the coming month; we hope everyone will plan to attend the NW Oregon Dairy Goat Conference February 21st. Please don’t hesitate to chat with us for a bit and fill us in on what is happening on your farm. We always like to hear about what people have going on. The OSU Small Farms Conference is February 28th. Also another very good opportunity for learning and getting ideas for your own homestead. The WSU Ag Biz series is going on and if you are interested in playing out the business end of your farm enterprise, please contact the Small Acreage Program for more information on this class series. The Women In Ag conference is also happening on February 21st and is a fabulous networking and learning opportunity. Remember folks, this is the time of the year for learning, gathering ideas and getting excited about what you can do on your farm.
So, until next month, here’s hoping your hens are starting to lay eggs, the does are kidding trouble-free, the ewes pick beautiful evenings to give birth and the longer days fill your soul with hopeful energy for the coming year.
Peace and Blessings,
Shaun & Lorrie