Well…over 2 months with no blog update…I guess the doldrums of winter can carry the blame this time around, but now that spring is officially here, if only by the calendar and not quite by the weather; it’s time for both the gardens and our spirits to awaken and arise.
Weather wise it looks like we are going to be off to slow (or at least later than planned) start on a few of this year’s projects; however projects afoot we do have.
All 5 of our baby goat arrivals are thriving, and are by no means babies any longer – in fact it’s almost time to say goodbye to a few of the boys and send them off to their new homes; of which are yet to be determined so if you are in the market for a young stud buck to sire a herd of your own…well we have the boys that will do the trick.
Last month we had our first real scare involving the health of our Ungulate beasts, as we thought we found signs of Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) in Momma Goat.
CL is highly contagious and results in recurring abscesses on the afflicted, and given its contagious state and global prevalence, it is often referred to as the curse of the goat industry throughout the world.
Luckily our panic was averted after some important (and costly) blood sampling resulted in a clean bill of health…As it turns out a “hay sliver” can present some of the same symptoms, all of which clear up in a matter of a couple weeks without any long term impact on the health of the animal; or spreading to others in the herd.
If nothing else, this adventure continues to provide us with a never ending opportunity for learning.
Along the continued lines of an “animal” update; we recently welcomed the arrival of bees on the property, and now have a separate sectioned off Bee yard that is already actively buzzing away, and looking for sources of food and pollen…if only the weather would accommodate.
It has always been our desire and intention to learn the ways of the apiarist, and have some hives of our own; however with so many other things to learn and get started, we had decided to postpone those plans.
That said, as is the case with many things “farming”, when an opportunity presents itself you just have to take the leap – and just such an opportunity was presented when we heard of beekeeper looking for spaces to house his hives.
Although we don’t own these hives, or the little honey producers there in, we are grateful for the ability to trade some housing space in exchange for the education opportunity and maybe some honey, all the same.
This winter we also learned a valuable lesson in organization, planning, and attention to detail, and the disappointment a lack there of can create.
Although the long term plans for Sunshine Coast Lavender Farm include the propagation of our own plants, in these still early years we are reliant on the wholesale purchasing of our plants from a reputable supplier, and as such had spent some time preparing and planning for the supplier’s January 31, 2017 order deadline…of course it would have been all the more beneficial if I had been paying attention and realized that the order deadline was actually December 31, 2016.
With a degree of self loathing and disappointment after missing the deadline, we placed our order anyway and adjusted our schedule from a spring planting, to a mid-summer planting when hopefully our order could be accommodated…hopefully...if any stock remained at the wholesaler.
Well as luck would have it, spring has not brought the best of weather to many regions, and as such in some twisted sort of farming irony, bad weather has actually equated to our good fortune.
Our supplier has ended up with a number of orders that cannot be delivered on schedule, as the intended purchaser cannot take delivery due to the weather, and as a result our order was moved up the line…long story short I’m making an impromptu trip to our supplier next week, and should be returning with another 1000 +/- plants ready for planting, so we are now back on schedule in that regard.
In other news:
It’s seems like it’s been a long winter, and as gloomy as that can often be, it did allow us the time for more planning, product development, and brainstorming.
Along those lines we have some exciting news with respect to new products; opportunities involving local partnerships; new barn construction plans; and some grand opening dates/events… but I think it’s best if I save some of those stories for the next blog post…for now here are a couple of teasers…
As always thanks for following; and please be sure to check us out on Facebook and Instagram for more pictures from around the farm.