So much has happened since the beginning of 2023!
Opening up our farm for farm stays was one of the best things we’ve done! We absolutely love the stories and variety of people we’ve met. Love hearing about their adventures, where they’ve been and where they’re headed to. It never gets old sharing our story either! We love educating on our fiber animals, our mill processing and the different fiber arts one can do. We also plan to spend more time producing hand crafted items to offer as they’ve been a huge hit for our visitors and on our website!
Our fiber herd and other critters:
Yes we do miss the crias, but are still very happy with our decision to have transitioned over to an all male herd. The boys are less stressed not having females around and it’s nice to not have to have so many separated pens! The addition of our donkeys has been fabulous! We’ve grown to love them so much and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their babies! We have a few exciting additions coming over the next couple of months so continue to watch our social media pages for updates!
We’ve been processing regularly for about the last 7 months. We’re still learning new things on a regular basis. We’re loving what we’re doing and with the ups and downs would like to share a few details. We’ve been asked often if we’ll be expanding and hiring-the answer is no. We have definitely firmed up our staying family owned and ran motto and do not plan on growing into hiring outside of family. Part of retirement from our pre-mill life was being able to just be with us, family time and make our own schedule.
On another note, we have unfortunately learned my contact dermatitis on both my hands does not do well with high lanolin wool and it has been a painful start to our new adventure and has continuously gotten worse. My ring finger has swollen so much that my wedding rings no longer fit and the size has gone up by 2 sizes. Yes, I have prescription topical creams-but this doesn’t prevent the allergic reaction, it just helps sooth the oozing, very painful wounds. I’ve worn gloves religiously and John has picked up assisting as much as he can and there’s still too much cross “contamination” and even handling the wool after being washed still has a negative reaction. Having never worked with wool regularly, and especially high lanolin wool, long term, we had no idea that my hands would have this type of reaction!
With much contemplation, we have decided to limit our wool intake-we know how much this saddens many in our community and it was not a decision we came to lightly. We’re going to finish out the wool orders we currently have on hand and take the remainder reserved 2023 wool orders one at a time. That will give us an idea of what we can handle in the future-which would be small orders only, and any orders of any type of fiber are required to be extremely well skirted and little to no vegetable matter, no poop tags, etc. We've found the dirty fleeces take us up to 3 or 4 times longer to process, which slows everyone down.
Again, this saddens us as well, but it is what best fits with our goals and to keep us healthy, physically and mentally! We will then re-evaluate here at the end of the year for 2024.