"Not so LUCKY season?"
This has definitely been a summer..... as many know and it is hopefully obvious, we are still only a small farm. We like that everything we make is touched by our hands. When we say small batches we mean 6, 9 bar loaves at a time. We only have 9 goats with a max of 15 to 20 in future. Only 5 acres of Lavender is planned.
Where to start?
Update on Lavender: We did not have a harvest with the mature Grosso Lavender this year. We noticed alot did not happen this year. Usually when spring hits our farm we have a HOT MESS happening. Flowers from random trees are blowing around the property, grass is growing like crazy, wild blackberry is growing, wild grapes are growing. Typically spring is GROWTH. Unfortunately for us, we had a late frost on Easter weekend, and no rain for almost 8 weeks. Spring is the one time of year that we need the consistent rain. It is what drives everything to wake up and grow along with the warmer temps. That did not happen this year.
Here we are September and we only had a few hundred stems grow. As sad as that is for us, we have noticed that the plants have all the sudden put on a growth spirt. They have doubled in size in just the last month. Fingers are crossed we get a late bloom before winter hits. We have had a learning curve this year. Some of it we can change and fix but most of it is mother nature and out of our hands. Southeast Georgia was always going to be a challenge for us to grow Lavender. Challenge accepted.
We did get the 500 Phenomenal Lavender in the ground, and ohhhhh baby, they sure are looking good. They have put enough growth on that winter is not going to be an issue for them. HURRAY for that. We foresee them being very productive in our zone.
I have been pretty quiet these past few months because after our last blog I had hoped to have alot to update on the Lavender. So, now we wait for next season and hope that this was a fluke season. Thank goodness, the last 2 seasons were fruitful and this is only our first year to market and we have plenty of stock to carry us through.
Update on the HERD: We had a pretty cruisey season with them, until recently. As full blown summer has hit so have the parasites and what I like to call the most stressful time of year for me. For most people it is kidding season, for me it's summer where all the nasties that can get the babies grow. As a goat mom, I love each and every one of our goats to death. Each one has a personality and I know what each one of their normal behaviors are. Loosing one of our goats for any reason is very hard on me. The type of hard that makes me want to just give up. I have spoken with other goat owners and most of them that raise herds do not get attached for this exact reason, it is heartbreaking on a regular basis. When you become a livestock owner you become a veterinarian. It is not possible to run a farm with livestock if you have to pay to go to the vet for every clumpy poop. Excuse my graphic description :) My days are spent watching and preparing for the worst, because summer is the killer. Parasites and any type of anything that will kill your goat will do it during summer. Goats are fickle creatures, it is not like how they are described. They are not easy keepers, they do not eat anything. They are hard headed They have zero preservation of life, and are super picky eaters. The worst of all is when one gets sick..... it all goes down hill VERY QUICKLY. My goat medicine cabinet is better stocked than my personal one........... You will be told, check their temp, check their famacha, check their poop in the microscope. I have been at this for a while and when one gets sick, I still scratch my head. Our barn, although not the prettiest and most modern, is the cleanest barn that I have seen, and yet still some how each summer, one of our babies gets the scours. Thankfully I work from home now, but when I didn't and something happened it was horrible because I was not here to do anything. My biggest advice is liquids!!!!! Keep that goat as hydrated as possible, and aside from wormer, I hit them with everything I got in the cabinet that doesn't say will grow an immunity to. Worms are easy because you can see them in microscope, however everything else, pretty much means, to know what it was, you will need a necropsy. Ummmm, I'm not waiting till death to do something. My motto is "If it's going to die anyway, then I am hitting them with everything I got in my cabinet and we are not going out without a fight." Too many times in the last few years we have lost a beloved baby only to find out that we had the cure in the cabinet after the fact. We have a few weeks left of summer, we will get through it. We are still 9 strong in the herd. Keiko, Artimis, Selene, Tanner, Horny, Hanzel, Tike, Theia, Pheobe.
Now, Let's talk Artificial Insemination. I have never been so excited about SEMEN! We got our semen in, a couple of weeks ago, and all of the girls have started showing signs of heat. I am pegging next week is the week of beginning this process. This is my first year trying this process. I do not have any bucks on the property to cover if they do not take from AI. My mentors have warned me of the low rate of taking. However, I am excited. I do not like drawing blood or anything that will hurt the goat, but AI, I am super excited about and learning to do. I have so far figured out that this is going to be a very tedious and precise job. Fingers crossed everyone, seems I will need it!. I will try and document with pictures on our progress. I have a standing bet with Colin ( the hubby). If I am able to get all 3 girls pregnant then we do not need a buck on the property, however...... if I don't, then we are on the hunt for a buck for next season. Y'all I sure don't want to have to do that.
Last but most DEFINiTELY not least:
We are releasing our Fall Line: "Haunted" September 20th. We use only essential oils, so coming up with a fall smell was a challenge. I couldn't just run to the store and grab some pumpkin spice like most soap makers. I have to come up with my own scent. It took me 2 months....... 2 MONTHS! It is fantastic, it is Sugar, Spice and Everything NICE, but not pumpkin. Be on look out for that release.
We hope you enjoyed "Not so LUCKY season?" blog, stay tuned for many more blogs to come, and day to day life here on the farm. There is so much to see and things change daily around here. Leave a comment below if you have special request on what you would like to see. Please like us on Instagram and Facebook. Follow us for more up to date news.
Thank you for joining us and we hope you had a wonderful summer!
Shauna & Colin