Sunday, August 13, 2017

A little Rain finally!

We are finally getting some much needed rain, the first since June 15th!  So far it isn't much, but it's better than nothing, and it smells so good!

I am having fun doing the Glacier Farmer/Crafters Market up in West Glacier.  Started out slow, but the last two weeks have been good!  It's a bit of a drive to get up there, about an hour and a half from here, but it's a pretty drive and I like my fellow vendors, so it's worth it.  In July, there were 1 million! people that went through Glacier National Park.  A fraction of those came to the market, but the ones that did spent some money there.

The Hipcamp thing is going well.  There is another group coming in tonight.  I have two separate sites listed on there now.  Now that we have the infrastructure up, it's pretty easy to take care of things around the sites.  We will continue to make a few improvements this year to make things even nicer for the campers that come next.

I'm making cheese again now.  I'm also starting to process the meat chickens we grew.  I'm about half way done now.  These chickens have had the best life a chicken can ask for.  Organic food, free ranging, living the great chicken life.  I always thank each one as I carry them up to the cone for feeding me and I tell them they are going to chicken heaven now.  These birds don't have the leg problems that most of them do.  They don't get overfed, they are able to run around all over the place, and they are fed organic layer mash, not the really high protein feed recommended.  That seems to keep them very healthy and active up to the end.

The goats are all well.  I am down to 38 total now.  I haven't had that few in quite a few years!  I have three varieties now.  The cashmere herd, a small meat herd, and the dairy girls.  I'm getting into the Kiko goats a bit.  One purebred buckling, and a purebred doe and her daughter.  They seem to have cashmere on them, so we'll see next spring if they really do!

There are some fires in the area, but we are safe for now.  It's been pretty smokey, but this rain has cleared the air.  I can see the mountains again!  I"m sure once it's over, the smoke will be back.  I hope they can get the fires out soon.

Well, that's it for this installment.  Hope you are having a great day or evening!

  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Surprise kid!

Ivory had a kid on the 13th!  I didn't think she was pregnant, since she was actually due back in April and nothing happened.  Her udder got milk in it back then, but she didn't have a baby.  Then when I went out to feed the morning of the 13th of this month, I heard a little kid crying.  It sounded too young to be one of Louise's, so I looked around and found this tiny little doeling curled up behind the water tub in Ali's pen.  Then I thought to check Ivory, and sure enough, she had had a kid.  So, after 8 months a kid popped out!  Normal gestation is 5 months.  The little girl is cute as can be.  Lively, too.  I named her Miracle, for obvious reasons.  These two pictures were taken when she was just a day old.  Her one folded ear has now straightened out and looks like the other one.  She is a bouncy little kid!  I almost sold Ivory the night before she had her kid,too.  Glad I didn't!!  Little Miracle looks like she is going to have a lot of wonderful cashmere on her.  Ivory has some wonderful fleece, so I'm expecting Miracle will also have that.  She's pretty curly/wavy, which usually turns into a lot of fleece as they get older.

  The Hipcamp thing is working out pretty good!
So far we've had the field scout with her group,  one other camper a few nights later, and there is one heading our way right now for 3 nights!  They've all been very neat and tidy, leaving the campsite clean like they found it.  I like doing this.  It's not very labor intensive at all, and the extra money I make with it will come in very handy around here!  Plus, I get to meet more people from different walks of life.    We are fixing up the main site more, and we've added another campsite up the hill.  Both are private, yet accessible by vehicle.
  Well, that's it for now.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Summertime and Hipcamp

Summer has arrived after a long up and down winter and spring. It's hot out, although to most it's probably not all that hot.  For me, anything above 75° is too hot, and it's in the mid 80's now.  There is a slight breeze which makes it nicer.  A good day to hang clothes out on the line to dry!

The babies are all growing. Louise's are a week old today.  They almost didn't get back in last night.  I let the goats out into the pasture and Louise took her kids out.  They got worn out and curled up together out in the forest and didn't wake up when everyone went in for the night.  They were sound asleep.  I couldn't find them right away, but eventually found them next to a tree down towards the bottom of our land.  They barely woke up when I picked them up to carry them up to their mom.  Louise was very glad to see them!  She had been standing up in the pen calling for them for quite a while.  I am so glad I found them!  The dogs weren't much help.  They came out with me, but didn't even go near where the kids were, they were too busy going after the ground squirrels that are taking over the place since we thinned it out. 

I have come to the conclusion that the ravens tell other animals when something is good.  Like telling the ground squirrels there is open ground up here now.  We didn't have very many at all before the thinning, and now there are probably over a hundred out there.  I guess we will start trapping them.  Good thing I don't have a horse anymore, it would get a broken leg stepping in one of the many holes out there.  

Yesterday I adopted a new kitten.  She's sleeping and purring in my lap right now.  After hiding out all afternoon and night yesterday when I brought her home, she's come out to play today.  John is gone, so she came out.  When he's home she stays hidden. I didn't know kittens could still purr when they are sound asleep.  I'll post a picture soon.  She's been moving around so much I can't get a good photo, and now I don't have my camera or phone anywhere near me while she's still.  I named her Tabitha.  It was Sneakers, but that name makes me think of smelly gym shoes, so I changed her name. ☺

The big thing of the week is I signed up with a website called "Hipcamp".  They get landowners to rent out camping spots on their properties.  Like Airbnb for campers.  They handle all the bookings, payments, etc.  We made the round pen area into a nice camping spot.  Turned the shed part of the woodshed down there into a little restroom with a composting toilet, built a shower stall for a solar shower, and I am going to build a covered kitchen area very soon.  There is a fire pit, a grill to go over it, and a good amount of firewood all ready to go. We provide water, too. I flagged the trail up to the "Rocks" better so anyone can follow it.  The field scout and three of her friends came up and camped Wednesday night.  She wrote a good review, and they enjoyed camping, even though the weather wasn't all that great.  We kept getting short showers off and on.  The kind that is just enough to get you nice and wet, then it quits, the sun comes out, and then it rains briefly again.  They still managed to have a campfire, play some games, and hike around a bit.  They got to hold the baby goats and see everything around here.  Here's the link to our campsite. https://www.hipcamp.com/montana/pine-needle-farm-cashmeres/pine-needle-farm-cashmeres.  Hope this link works...

We are only an hour and a half away from Glacier National Park, so if you want to see the park without staying in a crowded campground, it's a good day trip up there from here.  We've done that many times over the years.  It's a long day, but quite do-able.  




Friday, June 16, 2017

Baby Goats, Helpxers

 Wildflowers are blooming all over the forest now.  This was taken up on the "Rocks" behind our place, with Haskill mountain in the background.
 The two oldest chicks hatched so far.  5 and counting.  There should be some more on Monday!
 Carl, one of the cashmere boys.  I think he's "buck quality"!  His coat is softer than the others, and he's a good looking boy.  We'll see how he looks in a few weeks, but I'm thinking he'll be a great buck.  He will also be for sale come September.

We had a great couple from Missouri here for 10 days a week or so ago.  They helped us a lot while they were here.  I also gave them spinning lessons, both making a respectable yarn first time ever spinning.

The wood stove is going, has been for two days again.  It's a cool, damp June, which is normal. The flowers sure are blooming well this year!  All the rain we had earlier and now some more, and they are going great.

I'm going to have a booth at the Glacier Farmers Market in West Glacier starting a week from today!  It is Fridays from 3 to 6 pm in the town of West Glacier, right outside Glacier National Park.  It runs till September 8th.  Should be fun.  There were some neat booths there last year.  Both food and lots of crafts.  Some of the best pies around are there too!  If you are in the area, come check it out.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blessed

  I am so blessed.  Bluebirds have moved in again, I'm almost positive it's the same pair that were here in 2012, which means they are pretty old for wild birds.  But, they are nesting in the same place, Mrs Bluebird is acting the same way as in the past, checking herself out in all the windows.  Although, she isn't bashing into the windows like last time, so maybe it isn't the same pair, either that or she got smarter.  Who knows.  It is fun listening to them talking as they are bustling around setting up house in the corner of the eve of our house.  Not all Bluebirds need a real "bluebird" house it seems.  These two are making a home on a couple of boards nailed up to the rafters that are 24 inches apart.  So they have a very wide space to build in.  The babies will have a nice "patio" in which to hang out on while they get their wings operational.
  There are a lot of song birds up here this year.  Way more than in the past.  It's so nice when I go outside to hear them all talking away.  Since my cat Reggie died a couple of weeks ago, there won't be a cat stalking and killing birds anymore.  He did in quite a few Junkos earlier this spring.  I think I'm going to stay away from cats for a while.  The neighbors' cats come around at night, so they can get the mice and other rodents that are out then.
  Two cashmere babies are born now.  Cedric on the 10th, and Ace on the 14th.  Both are doing well.  On my Instagram page "cashmereannie", you can see lots of pictures of these two, and most of what is happening around here.  

  The last couple of days have been beautiful summer days.  The garden is starting to come up.  I see some peas emerging.  John is in charge of all the gardening, except the flowers, this year, so I'm not sure what all he has planted, or in what beds.  I know another greenhouse in is the works.  Too bad I don't eat what comes out of them.  Peppers, tomatoes and eggplants are not high on my list of foods I like.  They are way at the bottom, or not even on it.
  I've been getting a few commissions for needle felted animals.  2 skunks, a camel, a couple of bears, a white buffalo, and a dog.  Just have a skunk left to do.  I have some other animals for sale on my website, please check them out.
  Time to get back to working on the skunk....

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Kidding time

 Cedric was born May 10th at about 11 pm.  A beautiful full moon was shining and it was relatively warm out.  He had a sister, but she was stillborn, so he's all by himself.  There are two more does due this month, so he'll have some playmates pretty soon.  He's so tiny that he will need to grow some before being able to play with bigger kids.  He is smaller than his sister was.  I'm thinking he will be about the same size as the next ones when they are born.  Celeste always throws smaller kids, but they are nice and healthy with a precocious attitude.  Cedric already has the look about him. :-)

Melody and Dove, the dairy girls, are a month old already!  They are a couple of good looking kids.  Better than last years by far, out of the same mom.  Lily's udder is doing better this year, too.  I had to milk her for a couple of weeks before the kids were born so it didn't get mastitis, and gave her lots of garlic and vitamin C.  She's got a good udder now, nice and soft and plenty of milk for these two, and a little left over for me.  I keep the kids on their moms till they are three months old, then wean them and get all the milk myself.  Dam raised kids seem to be stronger and healthier than bottle babies.
The weather finally warmed up for a few days and we got some much needed sunshine, but now it's chilly again, cloudy, breezy and rainy.  There were even a few snowflakes earlier.  Now it's not doing anything, so I think I will go out and do some yard work.  The grass and weeds are growing fast now!  Gotta spend some time with the kids, too. :-)

Monday, May 1, 2017

All New Website!

I now have a totally newly designed website, thanks to Bronwyn and Courtney.  They spent hours on it, and it looks way more professional and organized than what I had.  Thanks, you two!!  Please check it out and let me know what you think.  www.pnfcashmeres.com  Feedback is most welcome.

It was great having the Aussies here. Despite the rainy/snowy weather they got quite a bit done.  I have a new computer desk thanks to them!  Two of them built it while I was in town with the other two.  John got his new greenhouse spot dug out, too.  Plus they made a nice rock and sand path through the muck to the gates of the goat pens.  Brought in a good amount of firewood, finished the new goat stand I was gifted, and probably a few other things that I can't think of right now.
This is a picture of our place from the drone they have, too. Cashmere pens on the left, dairy goats on the right.  Pretty cool, I'm going to have to save up and get one, that would be handy to find the goats when they are out in the big world, and check out this area up here from the air.  I could have lots of fun with it!!  As you can see, we have a lot of roofs with many colors.  It was free and since we can't see all the colors from down here, that's okay. :-)  It keeps things fairly dry and that's what matters.  Plus, it kept it out of the landfill.  Recycling is a good thing.

We are getting a lot of rain/snow!  Over 4 inches above normal precipitation already for the year.  Guess we don't have to deal with drought conditions this year.  Today started out somewhat sunny, but it's totally cloudy again now and lightly raining, which since I'm about to go out and feed, is not a good thing.  Oh well, if it would warm up a bit the grass would really grow!

Well, time to go feed.  Let me know what you think of the new website please! Thanks...