We have had the opportunity this summer to meet a lot of new folks and pass out a ton of cards to people inviting them to view this blog and get to know us. You must know that I am a multi-talented goat, running this place with aplomb and sass, making sure my caretakers Wench and Builder are towing the line and doing the best by us.
Because the basic tenants of the Mary Kay Philosophy (which is how we operate) state that you never stop, never rest on your laurels (whatever those are), we are always seeking new markets. Fiber artist, Chef or rabbit enthusiast, we have something for everyone.
Here on the mountain top we are a many faceted operation - just in case you are unaware of what we do, here's a list:
(1) first and foremost, we are a fiber farm. As a fiber goat, and the GOAT COMMANDER IN CHIEF of this place, I can unequivocally state that fiber is number ONE around here and the most important thing we do. In order to achieve our lofty fiber goals, we are home to the four breeds of angora rabbit (English, French, Giant and Satin) and currently 18 angora goats in white and colors, with two token sheep thrown in for good measure (and wool).
As a facet to the fiber farm, we are also a dye studio. We do import those yarns we cannot grow, such as super wash merino with nylon, bamboo, cotton or yak added for socks or lace - because we aim to please our clientele, and also because wench gets bored with the same ole thing and she wants to change it up every now and again...or, if you don't buy that story, because she has fiber A.D.D. and just can't get enough. (that's the real story)
(2) secondly, we are providing yarn seeds for other fiber farms - in the way of breeding stock for the aforementioned breeds of rabbits and the occasional baby goat (never before 6 months of age). I do hate to see the little ones go on to new homes, but, let's face it, we can't keep everyone.
(3) We have eggs. Thirty nine hens to be exact, who produce around 3 dozen eggs per day. If you need eggs, call us! We have some markets available to us, and our garage refrigerator is the neighborhood egg store, but, seems these days we always have extras. Pastured chickens, happy hens, who get a non-GMO feed and all the scraps we and the neighbors provide (it takes a village after all)
4) We raise rabbits - lots of them. We started with and are continued to be dedicated to the American Chinchilla rabbit. Critically endangered, we seek to bring back the breed and build the best American Chin we can - for show, breed stock and meat.
The Champagne d'Argent is rather new to our barn, we've had them about a year. These little fatties are very cute and hearty, and we love watching them fade to that pretty silvery color. These are primarily for show and backyard breeding stock.
The Commercial New Zealand's (non-pedigreed) are here for several reasons... when the demand for rabbit meat is at it's height (usually spring/summer) these guys can work to produce very well; we test our Chin bucks for the 'c' gene with the NZ does, and understand that not every backyard rabbit raiser is interested in a pedigreed show bunny to produce meat for their own table. For this reason we offer breeding stock from our healthy herd at a slightly lower cost than our fully pedigreed show buns. (no photos available right now)
So, you can see that we have our proverbial fingers in a lot of pies. I try really hard to (run that wench ragged ) keep my caretakers busy, as retired folks get lazy if you let them. It's a tough job, but good thing I'm a hard working goat who is up to the challenge.
Upcoming events include..... the ARBA convention in Indianapolis in two weeks. For the first time, wench has no rabbits for sale or pre sold at this event, and is only bringing enough carriers to bring home our contestants - Avillions Casse Noir (broken black senior french angora buck), Clems Marciano (his identical son, jr. buck); Clems Prasanna (satin angora sr. doe, even though she's only a junior, she's competing as a senior); Clems Piano Man (6/8 American Chin buck) and Clems Windsor and Annisette (Champagne d'argents - intermediate buck and sr. doe). We are hoping to not get the first off the table award.
SAFF. We are providing the Angora rabbit demos with Aunt June (my favorite) of Abbott's Rabbitts and will be offering about ten angora rabbits for sale there - yarn seeds as mentioned before in french and satin, and a couple of proven does who are ready to help other herds. We will have our english doe Willa on display, and be taking names of those interested in a future litter. She's not quite old enough to breed, but perhaps in the later fall or winter she'll be ready. All of our yarns and other products will be available over in Barn F at the Blue Ridge Fiber Works booth.
In between convention and SAFF I'm sending wench to a couple of local rabbit shows and generally cracking the whip to get her ready for the spring fiber shows - Carolina Fiber Fest - Powhatan - Toano
So that's what's been going on around here. We are happy to say we have three new (out of season) baby goats here - one bottle baby because Hera was pretty surprised when pistol pete dropped out of her butt, and she didn't know what to do. So now wench gets to feed a new baby. Good for her, keeps her busy, and she likes being a goat momma. hahahah Thanks, as always, for reading Frankly Speaking!
Here's my parting shot - if you notice, this post has a lot of photos but none of me? !! WTF?!?!?!?