Monday, June 24, 2013

Leather: An unexpected, but most joyous farm product

One part of sustainability that we feel strongly about is reducing our waste. (See how we made that happen in our wedding HERE.) That means making the most of all the inputs and products on a farm. One skill I have been working at is tanning hides to make leather. My first attempt was with a lamb skin (wool on) that turned out pretty stiff. It will only ever function as a rug. My second attempt with a goat skin (hair on) worked out much better. As the pictures show, I was able to make the skin leather enough to wrap around my wooden djembe. I used wet scrape method, salted the hide, then softened with an egg yolk solution. We'll see how well the hair holds. My ultimate goal is to make a pair of buckskin gloves. We'll see how long it takes me to get good enough at the process. In the meantime, it'll be pretty exciting just to not have to throw away such fine looking hides.

Monday, June 10, 2013

More Twins!!!

This evening, while doing chores, I saw an unexpected little baby goat in the pen and was about to sound the alarm for an escapee. Instead, I realized that it was a moist newborn kid of Callie's!

Callie only gave us one baby  last year, which by expectations means she would only have one baby this year. We ran to her side to congratulate her and make sure everyone was healthy to find her giving birth to another. That's right, we got to see the birth of a baby goat.

Unfortunately, the story doesn't end here. Callie wasn't quite done. She tried to give us a third kid, which came out still. All of this excitement in less than 20 min.

Despite some hardship, we are pleased to welcome a baby boy and a baby girl from mother Callie! They are safe and warm in the kidding shelter next to Millie and her kids. Expect pictures and an update of the four kids soon!

It's Twins!

After much speculation, our first kids of the year were born Friday June 7th. Millie gave birth to twin male goats at around 6 a.m. These little guys are tri-colored with all sorts of spots. So far they don't do much besides eating and sleeping, but we expect to see them prancing around the farm and creating all sorts of mischief in no time. We expect Callie to kid sometime this week. Now we can finally look forward to fresh goats milk and cheese again on the farm. Look for more updates to come!