Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Winter Projects in Progress

While the winter's cold usually sends me retreating indoors to read a favorite book by the warm woodstove, this season has been full of opportunity for more work.  I surmise that my happiness is dependent upon a certain level of physical activity and I am currently well satisfied.  This post highlights a few of our winter projects. 

Here is my 3 year-old daughter feeding our pregnant goats a banana peel treat.  I can't remember a winter as cold as this.  They've made adjustments very well and are all wearing impressive fur coats.  A little shivering fueled by extra food helps, too.  Their dirt floor has a deep layer of hay bedding with which to make goat nests overnight for a comfortable rest.  We are about four weeks away from maternity watch and our first kids of 2014.  I'm sure the time will fly by, but I really cannot wait to meet them all.

Rendering our own pork lard on the woodstove produced an essential ingredient for the traditional cold-process goat's milk soap that I plan to produce next season.  Salted pork cracklings were a delicious by-product.  This was a Christmas Day treat for everyone...but I horsed down most of it, while they weren't looking.

My first attempt at traditional cold-process soap making took several hours of hand-mixing and earned me a few neophyte blisters to show for the effort.  After 3 weeks of curing, I was pleasantly surprised by the soap's lather and gentle cleansing in my shower.  Even my husband was impressed with it, which is a great compliment and proved the experiment a success.  In April, I will begin reproducing this all-natural goat's milk soap recipe for sale in small batches that are lightly scented with essential oil of peppermint, lavender or orange.

What's a new year, without a new goat!  Sugar Moon Morgana, daughter of Willow Moon Farm Baba Yaga (my first goat), full sister to Capsand Creamery Trillium (my favorite goat), is now here with us.  She is a blue-eyed, buckskin beauty that I have coveted for too long.  Her personality is everything I expected, calm, sensitive, endearing, and uplifting to us poor pathetic humans.  She's eager to find her place in the herd and has already taken my heart.  She is also very skinny from nursing four kids born last April and will now, finally, stop lactating and hopefully put her weight back on for a late breeding and fall kidding.  She will give us milk next winter...a welcome gift from a nurturing soul. 

Aside from a new design on portable hay feeders, which will have to wait for me to use the camera (ugh), that's what we've been working on this month.  Obviously, I am excited for spring to usher in a new kidding season.  I expect a few more kids than we have already reserved.  While I do not intend to advertise unborn kids, you are welcome express an interest and visit our new farm in April to see what we have.  Please, send me an email to capsandcreamery@gmail.com and make an appointment

Cheers, for an early spring, easy kidding, and successful new year!

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