Why goats?

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I’ve shared with many a customer that the main reason I started keeping goats three years ago was so that I could eventually make goat milk soap with milk from my own goats. After owning them for 2 years, one failed attempt at breeding, and finally successful breeding and kidding, we have milk. Boy, do we have milk! I haven’t had to buy milk for the family since January. And Paul, who cannot properly digest cow’s milk, is fine with small amounts of goat’s milk!

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We have had more than enough milk for drinking fresh and cooking, so we bought an ice cream machine and have been making raw goat milk ice cream as well! It’s delicious, homemade, and a very healthy alternative to store-bought pasteurized cow’s milk. So far we have tried vanilla, strawberry, peach, chocolate, and mint-chocolate chip! We are also experimenting with fresh, raw chevre, which has been amazing as well.

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This past spring I finally learned the basics of soapmaking. It’s quite rewarding, I’ve got to say. There’s quite a lot of trial and error to the process, but once I played around a bit, I found a basic recipe that I like, and the rest is just adding ingredients for color and scent. I’ve decided to stick to only natural ingredients, such as essential oils, herbs, and food. This way, I know that no manmade chemicals are being absorbed into the skin or flushed into the water source while using my homemade soaps.

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There are many benefits to using homemade soap, particularly soap made with goat’s milk. Many people who struggle with skin conditions such as eczema claim that goat milk soap helps. It also just feels nice; and you also support a small business when you buy handmade.

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Here is our full line of 100% goat milk soap available for purchase: Chocolate, Spearmint, Peppermint (with Activated Charcoal), Lavender, Bergamot, Pumpkin Spice, Oatmeal-Honey, and Cinnamon. $5 each.

Besides all the goodies we can make with fresh goat milk, our little herd has been such a joy to keep. I’m reminded every day what beautiful souls my children are becoming through learning how to care for God’s creatures. Raising animals is not for the faint-hearted. It takes a strong, sensitive person to deal with the delicacies of caring for these animals. You need to be able to listen with a sixth sense, and that is a learned skill. I’m so thankful our children are developing these abilities at an early age. Plus: ice cream! and cheese! and soap! and cajeta! and custard! and . . .

Fall Is Finally Here

Wow! That was a hot one.

The summer was such a challenge given the constant high temps and no rain. Through it all though, we managed to get our fall crops in and made the best of it. We thought we would share a few pictures.

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fbool-collageWe tried a different radish, top left, his fall. It has done outstanding.

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We are still going strong on hot peppers. Our golden max green beans have really popped too. In the last two weeks, we have picked almost 15 lbs.

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Tis the season for leafy greens. We went heavy on arugula and kale this year. So far, the arugula has been outstanding. Kale has struggled due to aphids. We are just having trouble getting the kale under control.

buttercrunch-lettuceTo hit the shelves soon…lettuce. This is a close up of our buttercrunch lettuce. We hope to have this available for sale next week.

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I just had to show off the new toy. We were desperately in need of a tractor and made the commitment back in August. It has already helped us improve our growing areas. Back in the spring, we could not control the weeds and grass as we used a tiller to cultivate beds. The dirt was not turned over enough to ensure grass would not push through. With the tractor and plow, we have seen some grass and weed growth in these same gardens, but it has been easily manageable.

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Using the tractor was surprisingly easy. We bought a 12″ turn plow, attached here, and a 12 disc harrow to work on these growing areas. The results have just been amazing.

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If you are interested in having any tractor work done to prep your garden for the coming Spring, please reach out as we would like to help. Our rates are competitive.

 

Spring and Summer Work

We know it’s ben a while since we last posted. Our apologies. But given what we have been doping (e.g., goat kids, planting, farmers’ markets, farm tour, etc.) it’s a bit tough to sit down at a computer to write sometimes. Nothing better though than to show what e have been doing through pictures. Take a look at the bounty so far:

Greer Citizen

 

 

We were contacted by The Greer Citizen in early June to talk about being on the farm tour again. It has ben a great year for media coverage as The Spartanburg Herald Journal and Fox News local have covered us.

 

 

 

Squash and Zuke

 

 

We planted over 55 cucumber plants and a slew of squash and zucchini. Everything has been coming in nicely.

 

 

 

Market

 

Market season kicked on in late-March. It’s ben a very successful year so far. New to the table this year has been the addition of beets and onions. We transplanted the beets this year as previous year harvests have been bad. We did something right as we are still selling these. Onions were a great addition too. We sold the last of our early onion, but have others that will be ready soon as well as started seeds for the Fall.

 

Jenni had an idea this year to help us maximize our work. She created what is called the Bounty Basket. Each week before market harvest, we send out on Social Media what we have available and how many baskets. It’s a variety that changes each week and even includes the goat milk soap. The endeavor has been a sheer success and the feedback on our produce has been amazing.

Bounty Basket IILettuce eggs peas etcBounty Basket

Soap

 

Goat milk soap was an endeavor that we wanted to try given the great, and excessive, amount of milk we have now. It’s been a huge hit. During the farm tour recently, people really found it to be a great buy and excited to try it at home. We have plenty available!

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for more great updates!

IndieGoGo Update

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One day left in the IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign and we are at 56.4% of our goal.  This is an achievement for us.  And what we will be able to do with these available funds is just amazing to think about.

Thanks to those who have donated to our campaign. It’s an honor for you to have supported us!

Please consider donating if you have the means as well as share with all of your family and friends via Social Media outlets.

 

Also, if you have not watched the video, we are honored to have author and speaker, Joseph Pearce, talk about our farm.  You can view the entire interview here.

Thank you!

Plants available now!

It’s planting time! Get your lettuce and brassica plants now! We have broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage for $2 a piece and variety lettuce 6-packs (green romaine, red romaine, and buttercrunch) for $3. Lettuce and brassicas can go into the ground any time now.

Take a look at our plant list for the varieties of tomatoes, peppers, herbs, squash, and cucumber plants we will have available starting in April.

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Our tomatoes and peppers will be priced at $4, while herbs and everything else will cost $3. We will be bringing our plants out to the Hub City Farmers’ Market as well as the Travelers Rest Farmers’ Market. You can also contact us to set an appointment to shop on site.

You still have a couple of weeks to donate to our Indiegogo Campaign as well! Help us reach our goal, and be a part of something big! Thank you!

 

Crowdfunding on IndieGoGo

Well, we decided to try our hand at crowdfunding on IndieGoGo. Like any project, there is a learning curve and a massive amount of research involved. After a month or so of planning, we launched today!

The reason for trying our hand at raising funds in this manner comes down to our strong desire to expand our farming for the 2016 season. We had such a great year in 2015. But if we are to make a real go at farming on a small scale, then slowly expand, we need to find funding to make the necessary improvements to be more productive.

So, please consider supporting our efforts in realizing a dream to expand and grow to our full potential:

Crowndunding pic for website