Monday, June 29, 2009
Tomorrow, June 30, begins the first day of the 39th Annual Southeast Old Threshers' Reunion in Denton Farm Park in Denton, NC. It will be held from June 30 through July 4. The gates open every day at 8AM. The main attractions are restored buildings from yesteryear, antique farm equipment and demonstrations, engines and tractors. Also included are steam train rides, Donald Thomas' famous border collies, soap making, barnyard petting zoo, pony rides, arts & crafts, antique dealers, flea market, moonshine still and exhibits of antique farm equipment and antique cars. The Threshers' Queen Pageant will be June 27 at 7:30PM and fireworks will be seen on July 4 at 9PM. Twice daily are performances by RC Harris & Blue Denim, Goldwing Express, The Jones Brothers & The Log Cabin Boys, Jonalee White, Eddie Miles, Midnight Ramblers, The Jacobs Family, The LeBeaus, The Dosses and Billy "Crash" Craddock. This event is a lot of fun, but the hottest place on earth during July 4. Johnny went to Denton on Thursday, July 2, and it lived up to being hot, dry and dusty.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
On August 14 and 15 at the Guilford County Extension Center in Greensboro, NC, the North Carolina Goat and Sheep Producers Roundup III will be held. There are programs for adults and youth. These Roundups are held every two years and I have attended since the beginning. The first Roundup was held in Raleigh and the second in Sanford, NC. Each Roundup has different topics on goats and sheep with different speakers. For those of you who are wanting to taste some chevon and lamb prepared by some of the best chefs in NC, this is for you. On Friday, August 14, the NC Chef Chevon and Lamb Cook-Off will be held. Participants of the Roundup will be eatting their dishes for lunch and voting for the best. The Top NC Chef awards for chevon and lamb will be presented during the Roundup. To see a brouchure for the Roundup and for a registration form, go to http://franklin.ces.ncsu.edu/ or, contact Martha Mobley, Extension Agent, Agriculture, Franklin County Center at 919.496.3344. This seminar is geared mainly toward meat goats and sheep. However, topics of utilizing forages on small acreages, weed ID, poisonous plants, parasite control, hoof trimming, performing fecal egg counts, fence building, etc. applies to the dairy goat industry as well. Also you can complete the FAMACHA Certification Program at NC A&T at their Small Ruminant Research Unit. Dairy goat showmanship will be taught to the youth on Saturday, August 15, by Ruth Weaver of Pittsboro. Hope to see you there!
Friday, June 26, 2009
We were hosts this morning to a group of 4-Her's in 4-H Youth Livestock Judging and their leader, Amy Thomas, North Carolina Cooperative Area Extension Agent, Livestock. They are learning to judge cattle, goats, sheep and swine. Today, at our farm, they were learning to judge four Boer 5 month old doelings and three Boer 5 month old bucklings for marketing. Their evaluation of meat goats was based on knowledge and fact. They had to make a decision and defend that decision. They learned to speak clearly, decisively and convincingly through the use of oral reasons. They also learned good conformation, breed characteristics and important marketing requirements. Livestock terms were used that could be used in a logical way to defend the placing of the animals was learned. And, lastly, they gained confidence in their ability to judge the livestock. After the training session, the youth took a short break with some refreshments and headed back to the Ag Building.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Amy Thomas, North Carolina Cooperative's Area Extension Agent for Livestock and I will be teaching a 24 hour course for Forsyth Technical Community College's Continuing Education Program beginning in August on Thursday nights from 6PM until 8PM. The class will be held at the Employment Security Commission Office at 450 West Hanes Mill Road in Winston-Salem, NC. This office is near Sci-Works on the north side of town. The primary focus of this course will be on developing a basic knowledge of the livestock species and how to manage and care for them. Species covered will include cattle, sheep, goats and poultry. The course will be designed primarily for the smaller producer/operator. Also included will be business models and budget development to ensure cost effectiveness and efficiency. Along with meat animal production of meat goats, we will also be discussing dairy goats. There will be guest speakers and videos along with lectures and discussions. Look for a mailing from Forsyth Tech coming soon to your mailbox regarding this course including fees, exact dates and location. Hope to see you there!
Monday, June 22, 2009
Today and on Sunday I worked with the goats. We've had so much hot/humid/rainy weather this spring that I needed to check everyone for worms and do some hoof trimming. Those hooves have really grown in this damp weather. Sunday was cloudy so I decided to tackle the Boers even though it was warm outside. They all got checked for worms, had their hooves trimmed and their tails trimmed. The adults were in good shape with their FAMACHA scores (FAMACHA 1, FAMACHA 2) but a few of the youngest kids needed deworming. After the meat goats were done, I did the Nubian buck, Stormy, and a doe that is in with him for breeding, Jackie. They were the easiest to do because they are so tame. You can work with them without tying or using a goat worker. In the late afternoon, I finished up with the Nigerian doe kids and the Nubian milkers. Today I started about 11 AM and did a paddock of Nigerian Dwarfs that had one buck and 15 does. Their hooves are easier to do because they are so small. Most of these cooperate well but they don't like drenching. Their previous owners used a feed additive for deworming. I've got one more paddock to do, hopefully tomorrow. This is the smallest one with one buck and 8 does. It will be good to have them all done. And, then of course, I have my personal favorite, the buck pen. I've just got a couple of breeder Nigerian Dwarf bucks down there with a few Boer buck kids waiting to be sold for meat. I always put them off until last. My soap making is coming along well. Last week I made a cornmeal scrub soap with some local cornmeal that is milled in King, NC and some Happy Camper soap which contains citronella and eucalyptus essential oils. I also poured my Nubian head, Nigerian goat and buffalo molds with goat's milk soap that is unscented. This was the first time that I used my buffalo mold. It makes a nice heavy bar that would be great for the bath. Tonight I'm going to pasteurize some goat milk to be frozen for making soap at a later date. I've just about used all that I have in the freezer and need to use some of the milk that is in the refrigerator.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I've been working this week with my webnanny getting Buffalo Gal's Soap up and running. The goats milk soap will be available beginning July 1 from my web site and from the farm. I'll have goats milk, honey creme, shephard's pride (has lanolin in it), nitty gritty (contains egg shells for hand scrubbing) and goats milk soap loofahs. I've also added oatmeal soap that will be available at a later time. The soap had finally cured enough to try today. I showered with the goats milk soap and used the nitty gritty for handwashing in the kitchen. I was pleased with both of them and will be giving out samples for others to try and give opinions. My webnanny also got the shipping costs worked out today for the soap. We tried to provide a reasonable shipping rate and also have the soap delivered within 3 days. We'll be using Priority Mail from the USPS. The Germanton Post Office is within a mile and the USPS provides free boxes. It will work out nicely to be able to ship out soap so close to the farm. The design of the soap labels is also underway and they will probably be finished this week.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Hope everyone enjoyed our American flags that we had on our farm sign for Memorial Day and for the upcoming Flag Day and 4th of July. The storm that came through Thursday night ripped them off of our sign posts and shredded them. We only received 1/2 inch of rain but the wind and lightening was strong. After the storm, we had a few limbs down on some of our fences and lots of leaves everywhere. We went out and cleaned up everything everything before dark. Our son, Andy, had already been working at Tanglewood Park this week getting up trees (60-70) off of the golf course due to an earlier storm. Tonight, after this latest storm, he got called back into work to remove an oak tree that had fallen on the Detention Center off of Shattalon Drive in Winston-Salem. The tree also crushed one car and dented several more. They will finish up removing it Friday. More bad weather is in the forecast for tonight. All the animals made it through the storm by staying in their barns. At least none of them blew over like they have before. Now the smaller hutches are secured to the ground with utility building tie downs.
Interested in buying locally grown fruits, vegetables and meats? Help support local growers and find foods that haven't traveled far from the field to the table. Check the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' web site www.NCFarmFresh.com. You can search for retail farms, roadside stands, farmers markets, community-supported agriculture operations, nurseries and retail garden centers. The listings can be searched by the type of commodity being sold, by county or by region. This web site lists more than 1,000 farms, 119 certified roadside stands and 116 farmers markets. Farmers who sell meat and dairy products are now also included. If you would like to list your farm, you can log on to www.NCFarmFresh.com and follow the links on the home page. Or if you need assistance, you can contact NCDA&CS at 919.733.7887.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
After the normal chores were done and after lunch, we decided to take a trip to Ararat, Virginia to visit Levering Orchard. We read a great article in today's Winston-Salem Journal about the 101 year old farm and their pick your own cherries. They raise sweet cherries, tart cherries, Lodi cooking apples, McIntosh type summer apples, white freestone peaches, Gala apples, pears and many varieties of fall apples. We picked a few pounds of sweet cherries to make our next kind of goats milk ice cream, Cherry Vanilla from their 4,074 trees on their 52 acres. This visit was quite an experience and not at all what I expected. The "tractor path roads" were extremely steep and rutted because of the mountainous area they are in with tree limbs brushing against the sides of your vehicle. Be prepared -- don't drive your "Sunday car" and wear sturdy boots.
Monday, June 8, 2009
After much rain on Friday and again late on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday turned out to be beautiful days for the things that we planned for outdoors. Our daughter, Erin, was here for a week visiting and helping out her brother and his wife, Erin, get the nursery ready for their new baby, Ellie. Erin works from home in Clinton using her computer so she is able to work anywhere as long as she can access the internet. Pretty neat! On Saturday, we had a yard sale and I got my basement cleaned out, and Erin sold a lot of her things that she didn't need in her new house in Clinton. Andy and his wife also had a few large items to sell since he has been remodeling his house - - cabinets, doors, etc. We had a good day and finally closed up shop around 2:30 and packed up the remaining items and delivered them to a thrift store in Walnut Cove. By the time I got back, I had 30 minutes until time for the auction to start at the Wine, Bid and Boogie Art Auction in Germanton. We were able to purchase the painting that I had been wanting of our farm that was done in April by Isabel Forbes. Sunday afternoon, Andy and Erin were given a baby shower by Erin's two sisters and our Erin (see how confusing this is?). They got lots of cute baby outfits, a high chair, a stroller and carseat combination, books, blankets, etc. Everyone got to see the nursery that had been worked on for so hard for the past few weeks. During all this going on, we made strawberry, peach and pineapple homemade ice cream using some of my goat's milk. We've got about 3 gallons now in the freezer! Milking 5 goats every day gives you lots of milk to do something with. Tomorrow we'll make some more cheese and I'll make a batch of goat's milk oatmeal soap.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Yesterday afternoon and today we got quite a bit of rain - - a little over 2 inches. Buffalo Creek was running high and fast but not getting out of its banks. By this evening, it was already going back down and the animals finally came out of their sheds to graze. We spent most of the day doing inside work, cleaning the barn and building some tomato trelises for our container garden. All this land and no where to put a garden except in some containers near the driveway. Every available space is in pasture for the animals. We do have another garden patch up at our son's, Andy's, house up the road. We all share in what the garden produces, us, Andy's family and the deer. We planted some loofah seedlings that we grew from seed. I use the loofahs in my soap making side line. Some were planted in some containers that will grow up and over my rabbit cages to give them extra shade while giving me some loofahs too. Tomorrow will be a busy day with a yard sale at Andy's in the morning at 7AM and with Germanton's Wine, Bid and Boogie in the afternoon. Hope the rain holds off until at least after supper.
Monday, June 1, 2009
The Wine, Bid and Boogie Art Auction, a fundraiser for the Stokes County Arts Council, will be from 2:30 to 6:30 PM next Saturday at the Germanton Winery, 3530 NC 8 and NC 65 in Germanton. It will feature jazz and swing music by Impromptu, a wine tasting from Germanton Winery, and live and silent auctions of artwork from local and nationally known artists. The live auction will be from 4 to 5:15 PM. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to enjoy the music, wine and art. Tickets are $12 in advance, $10 for members of the Stokes Art Council. Tickets are $15 the day of the event. For more information, call the Arts Council at 593.8159 or the winery at 969.6161 or visit http://www.stokesarts.org/. See you there. We're planning on bidding on a painting that was done of our farm this year.