What Worked & What Didn't
We retired Sarah Beth our 2 gallon a day Saanen milker due to old age. We replaced her with Barb our purebred LaMancha and Maybelle a LaMancha cross (Barb's granddaughter). The two girls together produce 2 gallons of milk a day. Maybelle was a bit of a drama queen when I broke her to milk. She is the first goat in all my years of being owned by goats I have found to be a biter. Instead of kicking and river dancing on the milk stand to avoid being milked she would bite me. Believe you me that came to an abrupt halt!
As hard as it was for me to part with them, we downsized the Angora herd. We kept our foundation girls and sold all that were 2 years old or younger. After careful consideration we decided to breed Jacob (white Angora buck) to the 4 foundation girls one last time before we sell him. This will give us another small group of kids to sell in spring as well as possibly keep another white color carrier doeling. We have decided to stop breeding all goats other than the dairy girls from here on out.
If you want to follow our fiber biz...visit us at our new and separate fiber blog http://blessewefiberandyarn.blogspot.com/
There were no vacations or weekend trips away from the farm. Though my parents went on a once in a life time trip to Scotland to visit my brother who recently moved to Scotland to teach.
We had to say good bye to Indie our son's Great Dane. She developed bone cancer in her elderly years. RIP Indie we miss you.
Our guardian dogs are also aging. They will be 8 years old in 2012. Their life expectancy is about 10-12 years. We decided to keep a pup from last years litter as a replacement...just in case. Tootie is a handful as a pup. Though she shows promise and I am sure her mother and aunt will train her well.
2012 New Years Resolutions
1 - What we can't grow on our farm we resolve to buy local products and to reduce “food miles” (the distance food travels from production to plate). Attending the local farmers market each week will not only reduce food miles, it will keep our purchases local. I read somewhere that if each household in your state would purchase $10.00 of local or farm products weekly it would generate $1.65 billion in your states economy. No more purchases from chain stores.
2 – Do More With Less.
We plan on spending a quiet New Years here at the farm. To bring the new year in right, we will be cooking up black-eyed peas, ham and cabbage. The peas are a symbol of luck, the ham a symbol of wealth, and the cabbage a symbol of money.
I am placing a coin out on the porch on New Years eve. I have heard if you retrieve the dime on New Year's day before the dew has dried, it means we should have no problem waking early throughout the rest of the year in order to get an early start on the farm work.
Hey, every little bit helps :-)