Here’s a few shots from the last week or so….
question answered: how did I get myself into this
I was asked this question on Instagram and I promised to answer it. So here goes… I’m not from a farming family at all. But really my maternal grandfather was a citrus rancher around the time of the Depression. And my paternal grandfather was a subsistence farmer in N. Carolina. And my Bill’s maternal grandparents were farmers in the Poconos and he has lots of great memories about growing up harvesting and canning vegetables. So maybe our farming roots really do run deep.
I grew up in S. California and worked in healthcare and travel and loan origination and apartment owner until I met Bill in the early 90’s. Also during that time, I learned how to weave and dye and began my creative journey in the textile world.
We moved from California to Oregon and then on to Maryland. And when we came here, I told Bill that I would love to have a little farm with goats and chickens. Little did I know that he had always wanted to have a small farm as well. So we did just that.
So remember I’m a weaver, spinner, dyer and cat owner. I didn’t know anything about goats. But I liked how Angoras looked. So one day at the Howard County Fair I found a set of goat for sale. Our thinking was that we would just get 2 and we would see how we liked having them. We got a small Amish building that served as a barn and fenced in our large lawn for them. I thought that I would just have some fiber to spin and I could weave with it.
Soon we were buried under lots of pounds of fleeces and I realized that there was no way I could keep up. I had to send them out to be made into roving and yarn. And from there the business of making farm yarns and dyeing them and commercial yarns has grown and grown.
Thanks Kyle for asking the question. Do you have a question? Add it to the comments and I promise to answer them in the future.
10 Great Gifts for the Shepherd in Your Life
Here are some great gifts that I would love to have.
1. Muck or Bogs boots–These are not only necessary when it is rainy, muddy and snowy, but you will be in STYLE while farming!!
2. Hand knit hat– If you don’t knit, then ask a friend to make one for you. This one is made from my Puck’s Choice yarn which is naturally charcoal yarn made from Puck’s fleece (border leicester), Stripes (Angora Goat) and a black alpaca fleece from VA. Each skein has 200 yards, enough for a hat. We sell it for $22 per skein.
3. Carthart overalls and jacket– This is absolutely necessary in the winter. These are so thick that you stay warm and dry in the worst weather.
4. Handwarmer packs– Cold hands make working outside really hard. And there is always outside work to do in the winter.
5. Premier feeder–I really need a bunch of these so that I stop getting “in the way” when feeding really hungry sheep and goats. Premier1 sells plans for these.
6. Rocky coats–These coats are durable and colorful. Rocky makes coats in a number of sizes that just fit sheep better. Our Cormos are covered year round so that we have the whitest, cleanest fleeces. See Demi in the back? She is sporting a wonder Rocky Sheep Cover.
7. Field Guide to Fiber–This is a small field guide that you can use when you are dreaming about your future flock. There is great information about so many breeds, their history, fiber types and great pictures.
8. Heated water buckets–an absolute must have in the winter here in the East. This is about the limit of what I can carry.
9. Lambing Supply Bucket–This is a great starter kit for your first lambing or kidding season. It is available from Sheepmen Supply here in Frederick, MD but they do ship all over the country.
10. Animal Care Class at FGF–We do offer sheep and goat care classes here at the farm. Our next session is January 25th in the afternoon. If you take some time to learn, you will be prepared to have your own flock.
Wishing you a fantastic holiday season from all of us at Flying Goat Farm!