I am so happy they have found a new home!
After 13 years of keeping Angora goats without selling very many animals, this has been a most unusual year. I have had three independent inquiries about the mysteries and drama of beginning a goat farm. One family has already purchased 5 of my sweeties! I couldn't have asked for a better family to take care of them--they have a secluded, well-fenced, lush pasture, a large family with daughters who have lots of time to lavish attention on the goats, and they live close enough to me that I can come and visit them! I had some separation anxiety because I sold them Sweet Pea, who was the first kid born into my goat family, 12 years ago. And I sold Isabelle, who was my first bottle baby and is very affectionate. And also Stormy, who is Izzy's first baby. Just those three represent a lot of firsts and a lot of memories, but I knew that the Garners were the right family to treasure them as much as I do. I also let Rufous go--he was the kid born brown last year. It was such a surprise that he expressed that recessive gene for the colored Angoras! And I also sold them Samson. He has always been a shy boy and he was very attached to his mother, who died last year during the terrible winter. Their new family have actually tamed him enough to get him to come up to them for treats and petting!
I am so happy they have found a new home!
The goats are loving it, though. They can tolerate hot, dry weather much better than the below-zero weather we had last winter.
I had such a fun day today! A sweet family came to visit my place and learn about keeping Angora goats. It is such a wholesome lifestyle to have your workout by pulling weeds, fixing fence, and digging ditch :-) I loved meeting Diane and Michael and their six kids. I hope everything goes great with them starting their new adventure!
I started my peas inside a little greenhouse earlier this year. It just seemed so cold so late that I wanted to give them a head start. I took this picture on April 6th.
I had purchase an end table from Youth Ranch for fifty cents a few years ago. I used it for a feed stand for the goats and eventually the top was broken out. It is a perfect, solid frame and I stapled plastic around the edges. I used an old window for the top and it made a great little greenhouse!
Epic battles! Incredible feats of strength and skill! Gladiator has nothing on my on-going battles with field bindweed, also called wild morning glory. Once it gets hold of your garden, it puts its roots deep, even unto three feet! You dare not rototill, because every broken piece of root or stem will grow into a vigorous new plant. I refuse to use poisons (they don't work anyway), so I dig out as much of every root of every plant that I possibly can. I have put down black plastic and pulled it up after two years, and there will still be thick gnarls of white sun-starved bindweed shoots. This is a picture of a spot after I pulled up the plastic and these plants greened up after only a couple of days!
Look at this will to survive! Every knot and stem is a node where a new plant can start. In places where it became too thick for me to dig out every piece, I dug deep and started a fire, then banked it and made charcoal. Where the fire burned deep, I was finally able to eradicate some of the bindweed.
I keep thinking that with so much energy stored in the roots and shoots, if one could cross-breed bindweed and potatoes (or some other nutritious starchy vegetable), world hunger could be cured!
I have the coolest old swing on a huge oak tree next to my house. The seat of the swing has a chain grown into an old lichen-covered branch. At some point, this branch was turned into the seat of a swing and the chain was slung over a branch of the oak tree. It was so long ago that the tree grew and the swing is quite a distance from the ground now. It is so beautiful and unique! I took pictures of my mohair rovings on this old swing to post in my store on ETSY. Looks so coo
Izzy was my first bottle baby and she is still very tame--she loves everybody! She kidded last June on the day of a terrible storm. Little Stormy is a sweet girl, too. She still has her baby blue eyes, so I have started calling her Storm (you know, like in X-men?). Here they are just before shearing time.
This is Izzy and Storm just after I sheared them. When I shear my goats, they always look to me like they are taking off their warm winter pajamas for the spring. Angora goats are so funny after shearing--they have to butt heads to establish precedence again. They have such a strong pecking order that they know exactly who is one bit stronger than them and who is one bit weaker. Here mama and baby are sniffing each other to make sure who they are
While Mom was getting pictures of me holding the goats we had just shorn, Angel was rubbing her head all over me. Goats communicate a lot with their heads--butting heads competitively, scratching their forehead on the fence. So Angel was loving on me when Mom happened to get the best picture! Doesn't she look blissfully happy? This is my new thumbnail image for Facebook!!
I think it is so super cute how goats move their jaws laterally to chew. This is Least 'Un. I was out of town when he was born and Mom had to take him home to save his life. He was weak and near death for a week or so before she could nurse him back to health enough to bring him back. So she named him Least 'Un, after one of the children in Catherine Marshall's book Christy. Does anybody remember reading that book? Anyway, it was such an appropriate name for the poor little sick one, but that was eight years ago and now he is one of my oldest, biggest goats! He has always been so sweet and affectionate. I just sheared him a couple weeks ago and already sold his fleece! A sweet lady from Twin Falls found my listing in LocalHarvest.org for mohair grown in Idaho. She has already bought three fleeces from me, and came and toured my farm last Sunday with her grandkids and some friends. It is so nice to find a new friend who appreciates the beautiful mohair my sweeties produce so bountifully!
Angora goats rule!
Thank you, Lord, for my job, my home, and goats!