Although the gardens are slowing down and our CSA year has ended, we're still busy. Last weekend we went to Virginia Tech for FAMACHA training. This training will help us identify goats that have severe parasitic infestation, are extremely anemic, and likely to die. It involves looking at the color of the mucous membrane below the eye of a goat or sheep. Here I am demonstrating my knowledge of the technique on a sheep:
As part of my decision to commit to making a living off the farm and not seeking employment elsewhere, I'm trying to be creative about how I can contribute to the farm. I don't do much picking of the produce because it's too hard on my back, so I try to contribute by caring for the animals and working more behind the scenes more on the business end of things. We're going to be opening a farm store on our property that will be open one day a week where people who are not members of the CSA and/or don't want to go to the farmer's market on Saturday can stop by to pick up fresh produce. I'm also going to offer some of my handcrafted items.
Right now I'm working on getting ready for the Christmas bazaar at one of the community markets. I'll be selling the aprons and other fabric items. I sold these aprons for about three years and became known as "the apron lady." I've taken break from this for the past couple of years but am excited about selling again. So far, I have 11 aprons done. This photo will give you an idea of the kinds of fabrics I use:
These aprons are my own design, reversible using two different fabrics, and are very feminine and flattering.
My little goat Miracle continues to get spoiled as I let her out of the pasture to drink her bottle. After she eats I let her follow me around the barn for a few minutes before putting her back with the other goats. She now knows to call for me whenever she sees me - and continues to call after I put her back in the pasture, spoiled little thing. One of our other goats, Nellie, who is one of our alpha girls and one of our first goats, gave birth to triplet boys. Unfortunately, we lost one of them, although we're not sure what happened. Bill found him down in the pasture. We thought we would be able to revive him but that wan't the case. Eleanor, our last sick goat, seems to be pulling through thanks to an iron supplement I discovered. She is a goat that, among other things, became anemic from parasites. Our FAMACHA training should help us identify this problem in other goats before they get as sick as Eleanor did.
Tomorrow we're picking up our Thanksgiving turkey from a local farmer who raises his turkey's organically and humanely. The only reason we're buying one is that we're expecting over 30 people at our house - and they'd be disappointed if there was no turkey. As for me, my daughter, and our former intern Jude (who will be with us for the holiday), I've purchased a stuffed Tofurky. One year I made a Tofurky (not a stuffed one) and it was a failure. It did not look at all appetizing but my daughter has tested the stuffed Tofurky and said it was good. I'll keep you posted
Have a great weekend!