Farm Life

Farm life hasn’t been too farmy lately. I haven’t started any new projects, in what seems like months, in anticipation of moving. And if you have been reading for any amount of time, you will know how crazy that drives me. I always need something to do; something to keep my mind and focus on. So instead, I have been doing more “regular life” stuff rather than farm related activities.

My booth at the local indoor farmer’s market is doing pretty well. I have had a good response to some of the items I sell there and people seem to enjoy watching me spin yarn. Frankly, I probably wouldn’t have the motivation to spin otherwise so it is good to get something done and lure customers in for the kill sale. So far, my most popular items are my hand-stamped cards (I make all my own stamps too), my cold process soaps, and my professionally-bound farm coloring books. I have also sold some raw wool and some hand-painted lockets, but they aren’t my big sellers. This is my first time selling my creations to the general public so it has been a learning experience to say the least. It is also kind of fun to talk to people who have never seen my blog before… Believe it or not, I am not actually famous in the real world. Only on the internet.

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Our daughter also had her fourth birthday early this month. She requested a chocolate cake with lots of rainbows on it so that was interesting to try to pull off. Our big thing right now is trying to decrease our sugar intake to mostly honey. We have been off of refined sugar for awhile, but we are attempting to get to that next step. So I made Cami’s cake with all organic ingredients: whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, eggs, safflower oil, and Frühlingskabine honey. It came out surprisingly well! I will admit, however, that I had to have my mother make the buttercream frosting because I tried twice and failed miserably. My mom did have some organic powdered sugar on hand for the frosting. I figured that since the cake had no sugar in it, the frosting could. It was a compromise. It’s not like I made the frosting a foot deep anyway. Cami loved it and was spoiled rotten by our family on her birthday. The kid even received one of those pink electric Vespas for kids to drive around the yard from my brother! He obviously doesn’t have kids yet…

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In case you haven’t heard, California is currently experiencing an extreme drought. I think I read that it is the worst drought the state has had in 150 years. It is so visibly dire, that you can see the old mining town that is usually hundreds of feet below the water here at New Melones Lake. Most of the state (most notably San Francisco) pipes water in from our county’s rivers, lakes, and dams. So when I say it is raining outside right now as I type this, it is a big deal. We can only hope that it rains enough to make a difference in the drought conditions. But then again, I also have to wonder what kind of effect the rain will have on the hundreds of thousands of acres of forest ashes we have in this county from the Rim Fire this summer. Obviously our county is taking some big hits lately.

In much lighter news, I am scouring the tri-county area for some reasonably priced, reasonably productive dairy goats. I am not picky about the breed we will be starting out with. I just want goats that are healthy and can give me some milk. I am looking for a doe in milk and a doeling in one of the following breeds or even a mix-breed: Nigerian Dwarf, Nubian, Kinder, Saneen, Toggenburg, or Alpine. I am not interested in meat breed goats, obviously, and definitely not La Manchas. They give me the creeps a little bit. I want to go around taping ears on the world’s population of La Manchas. I think we would all be better off not being able to stare right into the ear holes of a goat.

Anyway— I don’t think it will be too hard to find what I want by spring. I’m not being too picky, but I have noticed that the majority of goat owners around here have the meat breeds which are not productive milkers. I had someone try to steer me towards Kiko goats, which are a very resilient meat breed, but when I asked how much milk they get from each doe, they replied, “one quart a day”. Well… folks… I can get one quart a day from a Nigerian Dwarf and be feeding it half as much as a standard size goat. C’mon. Any fencing tips/tricks/magic-juju is always welcome as well as leads to moderately priced goats in Tuolumne, Calaveras, or Mariposa counties.

Now I am off to the Market to peddle my wares. Wish me luck and lots of sales!

3 thoughts on “Farm Life

  1. That’s a heck of a cake! I hope your daughter didn’t suffer a sugar rush after eating the frosting. I would have. 😦
    Hope you make lots of sales and that it rains all weekend!

  2. I sell soap at a farmer’s market in the summer and it’s really interesting. The things I think will sell, don’t. And the stuff I think is gonna fall flat just flies off the table! It’s odd. And fun. Also a GREAT way to make connections in the community, which is always a good thing. I love chatting it up with people.
    It’s exhausting, though! I’m seriously thinking about not doing it this summer and spending more time on veggies. And sitting in the shade with an iced coffee….
    I dig that cake! So cheerful!

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