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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nigerian Dwarf Kids

This is a picture of one of the Nigerian Dwarf dairy goat kids that has been born during the past couple of weeks here at the farm. He is a black and white roan pinto with tan moonspots on the left hip and blue eyes born December 14 to Bella.
All the new kids have their pictures posted on our web site except for some twins born last night at 11PM.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Daisy's Dog Soap

DAISY MAY
I've created a new Buffalo Gal's soap - - Daisy's Dog Soap!
This goat's milk soap is a woodsy soap. It contains the saponified oils: soybean, olive, safflower and canola, oatmeal, borax, sugar, glycerine, aloe vera, eucalyptus, lavender and cedarwood essential oils.
It is available at the farm only or thru our web-site!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Llama & Beef Cattle Veterinary Edition of Drugs.com

A good drug reference for beef cattle and llama owners is the Veterinary Edition of Drugs.com. You can view the cattle drug reference and llama drug references to help you better understand the medications being prescribed for your animals.
Save this web site to your Favorites for future reference.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday

Well it is time to get settled back into the "old routine".
Snow is almost gone. F-I-N-A-L-L-Y. Wish we could do something with all the mud that is left.
We're hoping to get back onto the fencing work this week. There is no rain forecasted here and it should be sunny and warm (50's) in the afternoon. We have all the wire up, just need to run the barb wire, hang the gates and trim off the corner braces and we'll be done! Then, it will be time to pick another project - - probably splitting wood.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Germanton Antiques & Consignments

Germanton Antiques & Consignments has taken over Do You Remember? operated by Christina Calloway in "downtown" Germanton at 3561 Highways 8 and 65 in the old Germanton Merchantile Building. Howard Dowell is the new owner and can be reached at 336.969.2190. Howard's antique store is open from 9AM until 6PM Tuesday thru Saturday with longer hours scheduled in the summer months. You can continue to purchase Buffalo Gal's Soap and Dinner Time Chimes' windchimes at the antique store. Look for Valentine soap gift sets coming soon! Support stores in your local community!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After

Today is the day after Christmas. We got a lot of rain yesterday on top of all the snow that we had last week. At least it wasn't freezing rain and sleet!
We all enjoyed eating together and seeing the "little red-headed kid" open her presents from Santa and the family. She was thrilled with the paper and the boxes.
Today the search was on for our 2009 Hallmark ornaments. We've always bought ornaments for us and each of our children since they were born. When they married, they each received an ornament that dated back to the year they were born up until present time to begin the tradition with their families. Each year we continue the tradition of buying an ornament for each family and for ourselves. This year, our newest kid, will start a collection to be received when she is married or has a place of her own.
On Christmas Eve we had two Nigerian Dwarf kids born to VW and CarsonCity. One is a big, black bucking and the smaller doe was a dark gold color. Both are doing well.
We also had six new guinea pigs born overnight too!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Baby, It's Cold Outside!
Wishing You a Warm And Merry Christmas From Our Barn to Yours!

JOHNNY AND ROBIN BLAKLEY

BUFFALO CREEK FARM, GERMANTON, NC

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

We've been doing the last preparations for Christmas today.
We loaded up the log rack on the porch so we will have plenty of wood for a couple of weeks for our wood stove.
Moved all the goats around to their new pastures and made sure everyone had lots of hay since we are supposed to get rain today and tomorrow. The snow is still hanging around from last week.
My bred Nubian does came back up to the big barn to stay until kidding in March. They were thrilled to be back close by. The Zebu's got to take over their pasture along with Bubba, the llama, and a few Hawaiian Black sheep. I also trimmed hooves on the Nigerian Dwarf does that are to begin kidding soon. I trimmed out their tails and dewormed them in preparation for the "big event". Put several of them into their kidding pens with heat lamps for the night hours. I disbudded a couple of Nigerian kids today and one of the bucklings got spared - - - he is naturally polled. Tonight we will be having a Christmas Eve dinner for our family. Santa came by about dark and picked up guinea pigs and rabbits for his deliveries tonight!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Magic

Christmas is drawing near and we are about as ready as we can be.
Johnny has been making party mix, oatmeal cookies, peanut butter cookies, lady fingers and unbaked chocolate cookies. Our Moravian sugar cake is rising so that we can bake it and eat it hot out of the oven. We've got a special recipe that has been passed down several generations and always wins at the local fairs. I bought some sugar cake from Dewey's last week because I had forgotten the taste of the purchased product. This is much better! You can put all the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon on it that you like - - plus it is hot! Hopefully, we'll still have some goodies left for when all the big kids come home Thursday.
Santa will be stopping by tomorrow and picking up guinea pigs and rabbits for lots of little boys and girls - - and some grownups too!
We've got three new four-legged "kids" who are excited about Christmas (or maybe they are just excited about getting fed). I'll be posting their pictures on our website soon - - two bucklings and one doeling.
And, we have a petite little 5 month old brown-eyed "red headed kid" who will experience her first Christmas this year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Buy Stokes NC

Check out this blog which is a listing of merchants and businesses in Stokes County, NC. This site is also a location for businesses to post specials, find out about other Stokes specials and to share what makes Stokes County businesses unique and dynamic. It will also complement other efforts for customers to find what they need in Stokes County.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Snow Is Hanging Around

The snow is still hanging around. It is 32 degrees here this morning - - not as cold as they thought. It is s-l-o-w-l-y melting. Our driveway is finally getting into pretty good shape. I got to venture out to Wal-Mart yesterday afternoon so all is right with the world now.
The Nubians that are being bred to kid in March finally left their shed yesterday afternoon to go to their hay feeder to eat. They don't like walking on top of the snow and falling through. All they have wanted to do since the snow fall was scream when they saw me for me to bring them their grain. Nubians are the most vocal of all goats. Don't they look pitiful?
We're putting out a couple of round bales this morning for the Nigerians, hope we can get the gates open wide enough for the tractor!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Townfork Produce Holiday Gift Ideas

Having trouble finding the perfect gift for the Holidays? Try a visit to TownFork Produce in Walnut Cove. They have custom made baskets, fruit baskets, homemade jellies, country ham, hoop cheese, Case Knives, old timey candies, chocolate, and a large selection of collectibles in addition to a great selection of fresh meat and seafood. This is a family owned local business. See Lauren or Tommy Webster or give them a call at 336-591-3120.

Thought For The Day

"Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations. When the hay is removed and new growth appears and the grass from the hills is gathered in, the lambs will provide you with clothing, and the goats with the price of a field. You will have plenty of goats' milk to feed you and your family and to nourish your servant girls."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Carol of the Goat Bells

The Carol of the Goat Bells, a popular holiday production by the Cast of the Biology of the Goat, is back for the Holidays. Playing here now. Enjoy!

Snow

We've had lots of snow just in time for Christmas over the past two days - - about six inches worth. It's almost up to the Nigerian Dwarf's bellies. Nine of them, including Ebony left and Tocus right, will be kidding in just a few days. Tomorrow they will be moved to the pasture nearest the barn to kid where there are kidding stalls and heat lamps available.

Hoof Trimming

Hoof trimming is part of the basic care required for goats. Lack of hoof trimming leads to the goat's inability to walk and increase of hoof disease. I wanted to share two valuable web references for the task of hoof trimming. Both of these websites include step by step 'how to' directions with pictures. They will help you learn to trim your goats hooves correctly. Hoof Trimming 101 Hoof Trimming

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ronnie's Country Store

Stop in and visit Ronnie's Country Store on the corner of Seventh and Cherry Street in Winston-Salem, NC. You may reach them at 336.724.5225. This neighborhood country store was opened by W. G. White in 1925. Rural Piedmont residents would come by wagons and mules to purchase items they did not grow themselves. When Mr. White died in 1991, two of his family members continued to operate the store. Ronnie and Carolyn Horton later purchased this popular downtown attraction in 1994. This was the first time that someone other than the White family owned the store. The country store looks and feels the same as it did many years ago. Ronnie's has fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, old-fashioned candy, jams, jellies, preserves, chow chow, sauces, country ham, sausage, country side meat, sugar-cured country ham, molasses, plants, flowers, dried beans, hoop cheese, Happy Home flavorings and more. Ronnie's operates Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7AM until 5:30PM and Saturday from 7AM until 2PM. During November and December, Ronnie's is open from 7AM until 5:30PM on Wednesdays too. This is a great, old-time store to pick up your Christmas nuts, fruits and candies.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Conservation of Natural Resources

In 2004, we worked with the Forsyth County Soil & Water to restore a stream crossing in our front pasture. Because of this work, we were awarded Conservation Farm Family of the Year for Forsyth County.
To learn more about how they can help assist you technically and financially with soil and water concerns, visit their website.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What's Happening On The Farm?

We've been busy these past couple of weeks with fencing, craft shows, etc. The fencing is coming along well for a new paddock. We got all the corners set in two days, cemented and braced. Next came the wire. We are only fencing in the afternoon doing a few hundred feet a day. With it getting dark around 5:00 PM, that just gives us a few hours to work. So far, we have the entire front line done. Today we will be stretching more wire. Between the rain and days that we can't work, it seems like it is moving slow but at least now you can see that progress is being made and the end is in sight. Last Saturday afternoon, at Round Peak Vineyard, we sold lots of soap. It was the coldest day of the year so far. That morning, it was 18 degrees in Mt. Airy. The wine tasting and craft show was outside at the vineyard and it made for a very long, cold day! That evening a Nigerian Dwarf doe was delivered to me from Pennsylvania and two of my doe kids and a buck kid went back to her farm. Bella is a pretty one year old "blue" doe with blue eyes. Yesterday some Nigerian Dwarf kids born. I've got nine more does due beginning January 1 from my buck Dude. This is the first time that I have used Dude for breeding and I'm anxious to see his kids. I've got two first timers in this group who will be kidding. Rabbit and guinea pig sales are up. It seems that Santa will be bringing lots of rabbits and guinea pigs this year. Santa will be picking them up from our farm on Christmas Eve for delivery later than night. That's it for today! On to the chores for today - - - feeding, fencing and winterizing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Llamas and Coyotes and Dogs

During the past few weeks, we have been reminded of the on-going problem of coyotes in our area. A neighbor has had many of his chickens killed by coyotes during the daylight hours. He was successful in killing several of the coyotes. Nightly, we hear coyote calls and see groups of them walking through our back pastures during the morning hours. Because of this, we use llamas as livestock guardians in all our paddocks with a couple of Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dogs in another. Llamas have a natural dislike of canines (domestic and wild dogs, coyotes, and foxes). After the llama bonds with its herd of livestock, it takes over as a protector and leader. Llamas become aggressive only if a predator advances toward their new family group. Llamas show aggression by chasing, biting, and kicking. Guardian llamas can stomp to death a canine that will not retreat. To read more about llamas as guardians, see our web site.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Bird Count

Join the Forsyth Audubon Society on December 16 to participate in the Christmas Bird Count. It will be held at Hanging Rock State Park, from 8:00 am until 5:00 that evening. The Christmas Bird Count is a national event in which thousands of people across the country collect data to assess the health of bird populations. Please wear sturdy hiking shoes and be prepared to be outdoors in any weather conditions. No experience is necessary. Bring binoculars if you have them. The park has a limited number of pairs that can be borrowed. Counters will need to meet at the visitor center by 8:00am. A $5 fee will be collected from each participant over 18 years of age by the Audubon Society. This money is used to cover the costs of the Christmas Bird Count. If you plan to participate in the event, please pre-register by calling the park office at 336-593-8480.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Goat Veterinary Edition of Drugs.com

A good drug reference for goat owners is the Veterinary Edition of Drugs.com.
Save this web site to your Favorites for future reference.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Color Genetics of Nigerian Dwarf Goats

I wanted to share a good article that I found regarding color genetics in Nigerian Dwarf Goats. I've found this information to be extremely helpful when determining the proper name for a Nigerian Dwarf goat's coloration when filling out the registration paperwork with AGS and ADGA.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Round Peak's Annual Winter with Wines Holiday Market

We will be selling our goat's milk soap and gift sets at Round Peak's Annual Winter with Wines Holiday Market on Saturday, December 12. At this sale, we will be showcasing one of our newest soaps, Last of the Summer Wine. It is made with grapeseed oil and dried grape hulls. We will also have all of the other soaps available too.
Round Peak’s Annual Winter with Wines Holiday Market Local Wines, Artisans and Crafters Holiday Market Saturday, December 12th, 12-6p.m. Round Peak Vineyards 765 Round Peak Church Road
Mt. Airy, NC 27030 PH 336-352-5595 'Tis the season for Round Peak’s Annual Winter with Wines Holiday Market. Featuring wines by some of Yadkin Valley’s most talented winemakers and unique artisans and crafters, this holiday sale is an ideal opportunity to find original handmade gifts for all the special people in your life. No need to brave the chaos of shopping malls and department stores—come get your holiday shopping done early while warming up with hot spiced wine and enjoying tasty refreshments surround by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains! Participating Wineries Include: Round Peak Vineyards; Old North State Wine; McRitchie Winery; Stoney Knoll Vineyard; Surry Cellars Participating Artists: Lylou – Handbags; Buffalo Creek Farm - Handmade Goat's Milk Soap; Linda Marco – Jewelry; Bry Chapman – Photography; Dawn Sadler – Aprons/Wine Bags; Joseph Owens – Carolina Copper Creations; Yadkin Art Guild; Lill –Jewelry; Jan Atkins - Painter and more. For more info, directions, and samples of work contact lyloudesign@gmail.com or at 706.224.1820.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Walnut Cove Parade

The Walnut Cove Parade is Saturday, December 12, beginning at 2:00 PM. (The attached picture is of our float in the 2008 parade with our float riders, the Andrew Blakley's. In the cage on the front, we put some of our kid goats for all to see when the parade starts. ) The parade begins at Southeastern Stokes Middle School and ends at Oldtown Road in Walnut Cove, NC. We have participated in this parade for the past two years. This year I have a scheduling conflict with a craft show that I'm doing at Round Peak Vineyard in Mount Airy so we will not be able to participate. Come see us at Round Peak! If you can't travel to Mount Airy, go to Walnut Cove to the parade for some family fun. This is one of the few parades that allow riders on floats to toss candy to kids and young at heart! Hope to see you in 2010 and we'll have a new float rider along too for her first parade!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Interested In Forsyth County 4-H?

Follow this web site to keep up with 4-H in Forsyth County. Learn what is happening in the county, with your 4-H friends, and in the 4-H world. See pictures of the 4-H adventures and enjoy 4-H access in your home! We give 4-H discounts to youth on our dairy and meat goats.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Forsyth County Extension Services

For information on classes and events offered by Forsyth County Extension Services, see their on-line calendar. Some of the past classes offered were rain gardens, pruning trees and shrubs, color in the winter landscape and wildlife friendly landscape.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Interested In Stokes County 4-H?

Follow this blog and web site to keep up with 4-H in Stokes County. Learn what is happening in the county, with your 4-H friends, and in the 4-H world. See pictures, add comments, and just enjoy 4-H access in your home! We give 4-H discounts to youth on our dairy and meat goats.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

New Cost of Feedstuffs Calculator for Cattle

The cost of feeding an animal is by far the most expensive part of dairy and livestock production. The list of feedstuffs available to feed animals has been fairly constant (grain, forages and protein supplements). However, with the advent of the ethanol industry and the further processing of grain, the co-products resulting from these processes has opened up a whole new area of feed sources. Even though there are many feedstuffs available, it has been a challenge for producers to compare these different feedstuffs as they can vary in dry matter, protein and energy. Creating a bigger problem is the same feedstuffs from different processing plants can vary in their nutrient value. Also, with moisture ranging from dry 10-15% up to moderate of 40 to 60% and even some high moisture products in the 70-80% moisture, it is nearly impossible for producers to come up with the cheapest sources of feedstuffs. To further complicate things the storage losses on some of these feedstuffs can range from 5 or 10% up to 30 to 50% or more. A new program called the "Cost of Feedstuffs Calculator" on the Farm Analysis Solution Tools (FAST) web site at the University of Illinois can assist producers in comparing the different costs of feedstuffs. This tool can be located on FarmDoc at the University of Illinois and can be secured by going to http://www.farmdoc.illinois.edu/pubs/FASTtool_special_feedstuffs.asp. Access to this program can be found at other locations including the University of Illinois Illini DairyNET and Illini BeefNET web sites. Also, the program is posted on the Illinois Value Added Sustainable Development Center – Co-Products – at Western Illinois University. The Cost of Feedstuffs Calculator allows livestock managers, consultants, and veterinarians to compare the cost of purchasing, transporting and storage losses for different feedstuffs. The feedstuffs library includes 120 different feedstuffs comprising: 22 company co-products; 25 by-products; 5 new generation co-products; 27 forages; 11 grains; 9 crop residues; 12 silages; and 9 supplements. In addition, producers can add additional feedstuffs available on their farm. Each of these feedstuffs can be compared to the default feedstuffs comprised of number two shelled corn; 44% soybean meal and mid-bloom alfalfa hay. Groups of 5, 10 or 15 different feedstuffs can be compared at one time with the feedstuffs ranked on a "Cost per Pound of Energy" or "Cost per Pound of Protein" basis. Support for the development of this computer program was provided by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, University of Illinois Extension; and Departments of Agricultural and Consumer Economics and Animal Sciences. Programming for the Cost of Feedstuffs Tool was done by Brooks Schaffer, graduate student in the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics. For additional information on the Costs of Feedstuffs Tools calculator please contact: Dr. Mike Hutjens, Dairy Extension Specialist, University of Illinois (217-333-2928); Dave Seibert, Animal Systems Educator, University of Illinois Extension (309-694-7501); or Dr. Gary Schnitkey, Farm Management Extension Specialist (217-244-9595) at the University of Illinois.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mitchell's Nursery's National Poinsettia Display

Mitchell’s Nursery & Greenhouse is hosting a National Poinsettia Display at 1088 W. Dalton Rd. in King, NC on December 6, 2009 from 12:30-4:30 PM.
There will be a sea of color with over 9,000 poinsettias with about 70 varieties in colors of red, white, plum, peppermint, burgundy, pink, and combinations of these colors.
There will be free refreshments and door prizes. They are one of three in NC and one of 33 in the US and Canada to be a part of these displays.
If you can't go this year, mark your calendars for December 5, 2010.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Just in Time for the Holidays!

Buffalo Gal's has two new goat's milk soaps available just in time for the holidays! The first is 'Cocoa Butter', which is already proving to be very popular in it's first day of being available for sale. It mild tropical soap, with the amazing smells of cocoa butter. Cocoa butter, in many ways, is the ultimate moisturizer in that it is highly concentrated. Cocoa butter has been ranked by modern scientists as an outstanding skin protectant because of its superior soothing and healing properties and its ability to help the skin retain moisture. The second soap is 'Last of the Summer Wine,' which was created especially for the Holiday Market at Round Peak Vineyards (Mt. Airy, NC) on December 12th. It is a good soap for moisturizing your skin. As you can see in the close-up below, it contains dried grape hulls and oil from grape seeds. These bars are currently only available at the farm (and online), but will soon be available at the stores selling our soap. Round Peak’s Annual Winter with Wines Holiday Market Local Wines, Artisans and Crafters Holiday Market Saturday, December 12th, 12-6p.m. Round Peak Vineyards 765 Round Peak Church Road Mt. Airy, NC 27030 PH 336-352-5595

Santa Visits Cricket's Nest

Santa visits the Cricket's Nest on Saturday, December 5 from 11 AM until 1 PM. All children receive a treat and may have a free picture made with Santa. For more information, call 336.659.4315.

Hanging Rock State Park: Organized Hikes

Sat, December 5, 2009 CCC History Hike Join a park ranger for a short hike to the lake bathhouse and learn about how the park was founded in the 1930s. Meet in front of the Hanging Rock State Park Visitor's Center at 2:00. Program length: Approx. 30 minutes. Sun, December 6, 2009 Hike to Tory's Den Meet a park ranger at 2pm at the Tory's Den parking lot in Hanging Rock State Park for a short (0.3 mi.) hike to the cave and learn about the history and legend surrounding the area. You will also stop by a small waterfall. Program length: Approx. 30 minutes.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

17th Annual Southeast Invitational Miniature Art Show

The 17th Annual Southeast Invitational Miniature Art Show will be at Germanton Gallery on December 4, 5 and 6. The show will hang until January 1. There will be over 70 artists participating including Susan Lyon, John Seery-Lester, Matt Smith, Rosetta, Louis Escobedo, Larry Riley and Luke Beck. The entire listing is on Germanton Galley's website. Germanton Gallery exhibits and sales fine art by premier painters and sculptors of the United States. Hours for this show will be: Friday, December 4 - 6PM - 8PM Reception Saturday, December 5 - 10AM - 4PM Sunday, December 6 - 1PM - 4PM

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NC Poinsettias

N.C. poinsettias brighten up the holidays. The poinsettia is a decorating staple for the winter holidays. The plant makes a beautiful addition to any event or household with a multitude of shades - red, pink, white and marble - that can match any d├ęcor. But many may not know that North Carolina is the second largest producer of poinsettias in the United States. “North Carolina produced about 4.6 million poinsettias in 2008 and generated cash receipts of $17.9 million,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Overall, floriculture contributes more than $207 million to our state’s economy, and poinsettias play an important role in that industry.” Poinsettias are grown in greenhouses across the state under specific climatic requirements. The plants must receive a balance of sunlight and darkness to produce quality plants for the holiday season. “In addition to being useful in your own holiday decorating, poinsettias make great gifts,” said Troxler. “You can purchase poinsettias at nurseries, farmers markets, garden centers, florists and even grocery stores.” Numerous informational events will take place across the state in the coming weeks with information for both growers and consumers. Homewood Nursery and Garden Center in Raleigh will host a poinsettia open house on Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mitchell’s Nursery and Greenhouse in King will host a poinsettia open house Sunday, Dec. 6, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. The N.C. State University National Poinsettia Trial Open House will be held at the Horticulture Field Lab next to the J.C. Raulston Arboretum on Wednesday Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for growers, and for the public on Sunday, Dec. 6, from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information about any of the open house events or where to find locally grown poinsettias, go to www.ncflowers.org or www.ncfarmfresh.com.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sustainable Agriculture Conference

If you are a farmer, gardener, food professional, extension agent, teacher, community activist...or just care about where your food comes from, check out Carolina Farm Stewardship Association's 24th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Black Mountain, NC from December 4 to 6, 2009. An amazing array of farm tours, workshops, panels, networking sessions, keynote speakers, exhibits, seed exchange, silent auction, and children's program can all be found here. Register at pre-conference rates were through Wednesday 11/25 . Registration at the door costs 20% more-- if any spots are open. Affordable on-site lodging is currently still available at Blue Ridge Assembly, a comfortable historic retreat center with great amenities. And the all-local and organic meals are the best! Housing registration. Any questions? Contact the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association office at 919-542-2402. Next year's Sustainable Agriculture Conference will be in Winston-Salem!

Monday, November 30, 2009

2009 Hands-On Farmstead Cheesemaking Short Course

This Wednesday, December 2, thru Friday, December 4, Johnny will be attending the 2009 Annual Hands-On Farmstead Cheesemaking Short Course at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. He will be one of twenty participants in the class. Wednesday will cover Basic Microbiology, Milk and Milk Components, Fermented Foods and Fermentation Microbiology, Basic Sanitation, Overview of Cheesemaking and Specialty Cheeses. Thursday will be at the NCSU's Schaub Dairy Plant with hands-on cheesemaking and quality tests. He will be making cheddar, farmer's cheese and feta. Friday will cover Milk Processing and Regulations, Cheesemaking from a Regulator's Perspective, Economics of Cheesemaking, NCDA&CS Pasteurizer Loan Program, Feed and Management of Dairy Animals, Packaging and Labeling Regulations and a roundtable discussion with experienced cheese makers. As you can see, this will be a full three days of learning and cheesemaking.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Composting With A Worm Bin

This is a fascinating workshop, suitable for all ages, for anyone interested in composting. It is limited to the first 30 paid registrations (two or more people can register together and will create one worm bin). Vermiculture Workshop - COMPOSTING WITH A WORM BIN Worms eat your kitchen scraps, converting your organic waste into compost. Participants receive a plastic worm bin, half pound of red wriggler worms - a complete environment to create a nutrient-rich, organic fertilizer and soil conditioner. When? Sunday, December 6, 2009 1PM - 4PM Where? Temple Emanuel 201 Oakwood Drive, Winston-Salem, NC Pre-Registration & Payment Required! $32 due by November 30. For worm bedding, please bring either a paper bag full of newspaper (no glossy ads) or a 30 gallon bag of shredded newspaper/office paper to the workshop. Brian Rosa, NC Dept of Environment & Natural Resource’s Environmental Specialist/Organics Recycling Coordinator will dig in to the basics of backyard composting. Experience the process first hand and go home with hard working worms ready to produce for you. Sponsored by TEEM – Temple Emanuel’s Environmental Movement. For information and registration, call Gayle at 336-766-2767.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Build A Greenhouse

A backyard greenhouse is a handy solution, but it can be an expensive one. Some gardeners tend to bite off more greenhouse than they can chew. The North Carolina Cooperative Extension publication "A Small Backyard Greenhouse for the Home Gardener" provides plans for building an inexpensive 12 X 14 foot "hoophouse" out of PVC pipe, electrical metallic tubing, plastic sheeting and pine lumber. The four page publication provides information on how to choose the best site along with step-by-step building instructions. Plans may be downloaded at: www.bae.ncsu.edu/programs/extension/publicat/postharv/green/small_greenhouse.pdf. Other helpful resources can be found at: http://clark.wsu.edu/volunteer/mg/gm_tips/hoophouses.html. Start thinking about building your greenhouse this year to usher tender plants through the winter outdoors or to get a jump on spring propagation.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Miss Dainty's Shop-and-Stop

This Saturday, November 28th, popular Winston-Salem Living magazine columnist, Miss Dainty-- Jennifer Stevenson-- will visit with Cricket’s Nest shoppers in Winston-Salem from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. “Stevenson will share food samples, recipes and strategies for a successful and (stress-free!) southern Christmas during her Miss Dainty’s Shop-and-Stop. Recipes will include Drunk-as-a-Skunk Cocoa Cookies, Red Velvet Spice Cake, Nighty-Night Meringues, Mulled Aunt Claret and Andouille Sausage Dressing. ‘Miss Dainty thinks the secret to a happy southern Christmas is taking the time to slow down and sit a spell,’ Stevenson says. Miss Dainty, a southern belle of a certain age, shares stories and recipes in each month’s issue of Winston-Salem Living. Stevenson, who writes the column, is also the author of a cookbook detailing the culinary history of the south.” Visit the Crickets Nest Craft Shop this Saturday for a day of relaxed shopping, tasty food, and southern fun. Come and, as Miss Dainty says, “sit a spell” with us. For more information: (336) 774-2085 or jennscomm@aol.com

Christmas in Historic Danbury

Christmas in Historic Danbury will be Sunday, November 29, 2009, 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. It is sponsored by the Town of Danbury, Stokes County Arts Council, Stokes County Historical Society and Artist's Way Creations. The beautiful artwork of Patti Hricinak Sheets will be featured in the "Apple Gallery" of the Stokes County Arts Council, 500 N. Main Street, Danbury, North Carolina. A free reception will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Apple Gallery. Santa will be visiting the Arts Council for photographs with children and adults. Dine at Artist's Way Creations, where the desserts are as delicious to look at as they are to eat and visit the Artist's Way gallery, shop at Holly Ridge Country Primitives, and enjoy Once Upon A Blue Ridge's production of "A Christmas Carol Revisited." The Wilson Fulton House will be open for touring from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. This restored 1859 Wilson Fulton "Brick House" located at 403 Main Street in Danbury serves as the Historical Society's Museum of Stokes County history. And last, but not least, a tree lighting ceremony and caroling at 6:00 p.m. on the lawn of the Historic Danbury Courthouse. The public is invited to attend. For more information, please contact the Stokes County Arts Council at 336-593-8159.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Boer Goat 2009 East Coast Thanksgiving Extravaganza

2009 EAST COAST THANKSGIVING EXTRAVAGANZA

SEMINAR, SALE AND ABGA BOER GOAT SHOW

Dixie Classic Fairgrounds in Winston-Salem, NC

November 27 & 28, 2009

(Click to see larger version of this flier.)

The Boer Goat Seminar that will be held on Friday, November 27, at 7:30PM will be presented by John Edwards (EGGS - Erath General Genetic Services). The free seminar will include topics on:

  • An overview of the meat goat industry today
  • Where the meat goat industry is heading into the future
  • Breeding strategies
  • Question and answer session

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rabbit Hutches

Late Tuesday morning and into the afternoon was spent repairing our "condo" rabbit hutches. They are 8 foot long, two story and contain 7 individual cages. Over the years, the urine has rotted the metal that was between the top and bottom layers. We had to remove all the rabbits and feeders, disassemble the condo and remove the cages. The cages were repaired using some new J clips and a sheet of plastic wall board sheeting was inserted between the layers. This should prevent the rotting problem in the future. The rabbits were then rearranged in their cages and the water system hooked back up. There was lots of snarling and stomping going on since they had new neighbors. That usually lasts just a few hours before everyone settles down. While we were at it, we put their tarp down on the back so that they are partially winterized. Now they have protection from the wind on 3 sides. They are ready for winter. We've got two more "condos" to do. This will be one of our projects to get done "while the sun is shining".

Monday, November 23, 2009

Work Days

With Thanksgiving coming upon us quick, we spent the weekend working outdoors. The weather was great with temperatures in the 50's and sunshine. Much of the day Saturday was spent cleaning up branches, dead trees and rotten stumps out of the area that we had the pines removed from. I was hoping that the snakes have gone into hibernation. We have seen many 5 and 6 footers come out of these woods in the summer months. Many trailer loads of sticks were hauled to the back of our farm to be burned in the next few days. We've had a good rain that began late yesterday afternoon and is continuing through today. No problem with getting some burning done this week. The Boer goats got quite a few cedar trees tossed into their pasture to eat. They will clean the needles off of them and we'll gather up "the skeletons" and burn them also. Sunday afternoon was spent getting leaves up. We managed to get half of the job done before the rain began at 3:30 PM. Hopefully, in the next few days we'll be able to finish it up. This will be the majority of the leaves gone with more to fall later. Today is a computer day and a telephone day. Lots of calls to make and receive and plenty of emails to respond to. When everyone is in because of bad weather, it seems they do their calling and emailing. Quite a few people have started to purchase guinea pigs for their children for Christmas. Have a pot of vegetable soup on the stove for dinner tonight.

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Thank A Farmer Day"

In recognition of farmer's contributions to the state and nation, North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue has proclaimed Friday, November 20, as "Thank A Farmer Day". The holiday season is the perfect time to support North Carolina farmers by going to farmer's markets and looking for North Carolina foods in your grocery store. ***One out of every seven turkeys cooked for Thanksgiving will come from North Carolina, pork products feed one out of every four families in America and one out of every 13 eggs comes from North Carolina. ***

West Central Community Center Craft Fair

On Saturday, November 21, there will be a craft show at the West Central Community Center in Pfafftown , NC from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM. Come out and support your local crafters!

Whimsical Women

The Whimsical Women Fall Sale for 2009 will be held on November 21 in Pfafftown, NC at 2233 Vienna Dozier Road from 10AM until 2:30PM. Check out their blog to see their Spring Show in Chapel Hill and some of their artwork.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rain Today

Wednesday was a rather misty, messy day. The temperature was in the 50's but it felt a lot cooler. I delivered a Lionhead doe and a Flemish Giant buck rabbit to the Farmer's Cooperative Livestock Market in Lexington, NC Wednesday morning to two buyers. The Livestock Market is a good place to meet to schedule deliveries of animals. After we got all our animals fed, I began working on my soap. I'm going to be selling my soap at My Sweetheart Candle Boutique in Hillsborough, NC beginning next week. Because of the distance to the shop, I'm shipping my soap to them using a Flat Rate box from the USPS. It is hard to believe how many bars of soap you can fit into one of those boxes. After I get the soap tagged, it will be ready to ship. NOTE: As of May 21, 2010 our soup is no longer available at My Sweetheart Candle Boutique. Please visit our website for other locations near you or to order online. Had a new addition Wednesday morning to the farm, a Hawaiian Black ewe lamb. By the time I found her, she had gotten separated from her dam and had taken up with the Nubians. Needless to say, she doesn't want anything to do with her mom and now she's now in a playpen in my office next to the wood stove. She is quite active and already drinking 3 ounces of milk at a time. She "baas" wanting to be held and sit on my lap while I do my computer work. In a day or two, she'll go in the back of the barn and be Cain and Abel's buddy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Farm-City Week is Nov. 20-26

Farm-City Week is Nov. 20-26. Last night we attended Forsyth County's Farm-City Celebration at the Dixie Classic Fairground in Winston-Salem. National Farm-City Week begins this Friday and continues through Thanksgiving Day. The week is a celebration of the relationships between rural and urban residents. Across North Carolina, this relationship is becoming more dynamic as development moves closer to farmland, and in many cases onto former farmland. Farm-City Week is critical in promoting a greater understanding of agriculture and its connection to the foods we all enjoy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hoof Trimming

Yesterday was a bright and sun shiny day. It was still too wet to do any work in the pastures. We are needing to put out some round bales of hay for some of the animals and protein blocks in all the pastures for the winter months. We'll wait another day so the ground will have a chance to dry up more before we drive in the pastures with the tractor. I did trim my Nubian goat's hooves yesterday morning. They were nice and soft from all the rain we have been having so it was an easy job for once. The buck was even cooperative. He has already bred all the does so he wasn't his usual stinky self. He stands well to have his hooves trimmed. I just don't like to have to hold onto his legs and feet during breeding season and rub up against him. We did some fence repairs this afternoon. Had a few trees fall on our fence as a result of the wet weather and wind in our back cow pasture. Between a couple of trees and some deer trying to run through the fence, we had to replace some wire. Naturally, it was in the farthest corner and on the steepest hillside.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Round Mountain Creamery

On Saturday while picking up a new Nigerian Dwarf buck, Chestnut, we were told by a volunteer at the Carl Sandburg Home of a goat dairy, Round Mountain Creamery which was in the area. They were the first Grade "A" goat dairy in North Carolina. This creamery is located in Black Mountain on Old Fort Road just below Round Mountain approximately 25 miles south of Asheville, NC. They are located in the Blue Ridge Mountains on 28 acres surrounded by streams on all sides. They can be reached at 828.669.0718 to schedule farm tours and cheese tasting. Round Mountain manufactures soft goat cheese or chevre and bottled goat milk. In 2010, they hope to have some semi-soft and hard aged cheeses available. Soft cheese and goat's milk are available on their farm, Seligman E.G.G. Farm, Inc. If anyone would like more specific directions to this creamery or more information about it, let me know. "You can't get there from here - - it is one of those places."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Carl Sandburg Home

On Saturday afternoon of last week, we visited the Carl Sandburg Home, a National Historic Site, in Flat Rock, NC.

His wife, Lilian "Paula" Sandburg, was one of the outstanding pioneers of the American dairy goat industry. While her husband dedicated himself to a long literary career, Mrs. Sandburg pursued an ambition to raise and breed championship dairy goats. She and Carl's youngest daughter, Helga, established the Connemara Farms Goat Dairy in 1945 in Flat Rock. They lived and worked this for for 22 years until Carl's death in 1967. They processed and bottled milk for sale on the farm using quart-size cardboard bottles that had the "Connemara Farms" caps. They sold them to local dairies and individuals. The production and sale of milk were secondary to Mrs. Sandburg, whose primary goal was raising champion milk-producing dairy goat stock. Connemara Farms Dairy consisted of three breeds of dairy goats, Saanan, Toggenburg and Nubian. To this day, they continue breeding using the Connemara herd name and have Nubians, Saanans and Toggenburgs on the farm. In recognition of Sandburg's commitment and the positive experience of dairy goats provided to the public through the National Park Service, the ADGA provides annually the linear appraisal program to the Connemara herd free of charge.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rain Is Finally Over

Well the rain here finally eased up on Friday. We had a few little showers Friday afternoon but the majority of it is gone finally. We ended up getting 4-1/2 inches of rain. Even though it was a messy few days, we needed it. We had a few rays of sunshine now and then and we even got to go to an outdoor chicken stew at Belews Creek for supper. The Tree Service, Frenette & Sons worked all day Friday on the pines. It was windy but they managed to get down quite a few. The ones left are on the edge of the driveway and in front of our rent house. They finished up on Saturday. Now our work has just begun. All of our animals loved the drier weather and were frisky where they had stayed in their barns and shelters for a few days avoiding the wet weather. We traveled to Zironia, NC today to pick up a new 18 month old Nigerian Dwarf buck from Sonny Acres for my girls. Chestnut is a red chamoisee, naturally polled with blue eyes. He is very dainty and will be a good addition to my herd carrying some Piddlin Acres bloodlines.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Holly Jolly Show

The Cricket's Nest Holly Jolly Show will be held on November 13 and 14 in the South Fork Community Center's Ballroom in Winston-Salem, NC. The hours will be 9 to 7 on Friday and 9 to 4 on Saturday. Come do some shopping and support the Cricket's Nest. We will not be present at this show because of the limited amount of space available for craftsmen. Come visit us at the farm to pick up soap or gift sets. Or, if you are closer to SilkRoad Spa and Salon, Mostly Local Market or Do You Remember?, you may purchase our soap there also. For more information on the Cricket's Nest Holly Jolly Show, call 336.659.4315.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rain, Rain and More Rain

It is still raining here. The last time I looked at the rain gauge we had 4 inches since last Tuesday. Surprisingly, since we are in a flood plain, there are few puddles. We've been so dry for the past two or so years that most of it is soaking in. Our creek is not even up enough to wash down some logs that are in it. The wind blew all day Wednesday with rain falling and we lost power for about 1-1/2 hours in the afternoon. Pine trees with small root systems are mostly the problem. This morning early our power blinked too. Our tree people haven't been able to work for two days. Too messy! Spent the day yesterday, wrapping soap. Good day to get that done since it was raining and we had no power. I'm caught up for once with that chore. The Blue Seal rep for North Carolina came Wednesday afternoon to go over the feeds that we use and talk to us about their products. She will be getting back to us in a week or so and go over their pricing for various products. In our area, Blue Seal products are available at Walkertown Mill Farm, Lawn & Garden in Walkertown, NC.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Soap Making

Made one recipe of cornmeal scrub soap last night. I'm running low so I needed to get some in the pipeline to cure (dry). Since I found more drying shelves and have gotten organized, I have plenty of room to store the soap while it is curing for six weeks. Also made a trip to Sadies Herbal Garden on Main Street in Stokesdale, NC on Monday afternoon to get a couple of new oils, peppermint and teatree. I'm making a few dog soaps. I've got one dog soap curing and I'll be making another with the peppermint soon that will be "minty fresh". Since it was raining yesterday afternoon, I made a quick trip to the Cricket's Nest Craft Shop to replace some soaps and gift sets that had sold there the previous month. The Cricket's Nest is decorated for Christmas and I saw lots of good gift ideas from under $1 for stocking stuffers to more than $1 for gifts. Yesterday was craft check-in at the Cricket's Nest for members whose names end with A - K. Lots of new items were coming in. Wednesday is check-in for the remaining members. Thursday is a good day to shop to get a chance to see the new craft items. The tree cutting is on hold for today. At 8AM, we'd already gotten 2-1/2 inches of rain and it is still falling hard.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wood, Wood, Wood

Today is the second day of tree cutting. Frenette & Son took down the largest pine yesterday so now it is smooth sailing until they get to the other end of the woods near the rent house and driveway. They had a minor setback with the first tree when the top portion of it dropped to the ground, bounced and landed on our fence. It landed between two posts, so there wasn't much damage done. We are suppose to get around 2 inches of rain today, so their work will be cut short I'm afraid. Clearing up tomorrow and we're good for the rest of the week. This morning Frenette & Sons unloaded two dump truck loads of wood for us to get started on cutting and splitting. Yesterday we cleared out one wood shed and have everything ready for the split wood. The Boer goats were happy yesterday. They got to eat lots of pine needles off of limbs that dropped into their pasture before they were cleaned up. The men who were working liked to watch them clean up the needles.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tree Cutting Has Begun

Today starts the tree cutting at our farm of approximately 60 pine trees. We have contracted with Frenette & Son from King, North Carolina to cut all the pines out of the woods in front of our rent house and driveway on Germanton Road. We are leaving all the hard woods. Frenette does tree service for residential and commercial properties and they are a member of the BBB. We have used them several times to take down trees over the tops of our barns, etc. and they do an excellent job. The pine trees in this area had gotten so tall they were beginning to lean towards our rent house, driveway and the property next door. They have really grown in the years that we have been here. Plus, this patch of pines is growing between 3 different power lines so some professionals were needed. Frenette & Sons will be chipping the limbs and loading up all the wood and stockpiling it for us on the farm. The wood will be split and stacked for our wood stove for the next few years. It is a good thing that one of our wood sheds is empty and we have room to store it in the dry.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Sweetheart Candle Boutique

NOTE: As of May 21, 2010 our soup is no longer available at My Sweetheart Candle Boutique. Please visit our website for other locations near you or to order online. Coming soon to My Sweetheart Candle Boutique in Hillsborough, NC will be Buffalo Gal's Soap and Dinner Time Chimes. At this location, we will be selling our bar soaps and my webnanny will be selling her wind chimes made from vintage silverplate. My Sweetheart Candle Boutique is located in the Daniel Boone Village in Hillsborough. They carry handmade soy candles, fragrant sachets, relaxing bath products and soaps. They also carry more handmade items including: cards, jewelry, baby gifts and furniture. My Sweetheart Candle Boutique supports local artisans.