Call for November availability: please update by this Sunday 10/29 and I will make the schedule Monday morning, 10/30
1. Breeding season arrived in the form of yearling, Gimli. Flashy, young, eager, and enthusiastic. Rather than deep dive into goat mating culture, I'll link a good article on rituals and habits in case you're curious (you are). Knowing Gimli is a multisensory experience...
2. For now, our two doelings and limping Beau (and at night: Persimmon (lil horns) + Caraway (brown ears).+ Rain's black twins as well) will be hanging out in the smaller, formerly kids stall to avoid pregnancy. During the day the boys can be released to their mums and Joy can go in/out depending on if she's interested in the buck or not.
3. Our PM goatherd shift is retiring for the season! Grateful to our PM herders for all their kid chasing and herd wrangling. Our PM team had several new members this year; proud of you all for your fastidious care. Some options:
If you are a PM herder who might be interested in moving to an AM herder slot (1-3x/mo) over the winter, reach out for info! We have a need for AM goatherds, especially on the weekends, from 9-11/9:30-11:30am (Nov-Jan).
If you are a PM herder that would like to shift to participate in group gatherings/work days/mucking nights instead of a regular shift, that is also an option
If you'd like a winter goat break, please fill out this reflection form before you go! I read and take seriously each thought, critique, and suggestion.
4. AM Goatherd shift will no longer be herding out, but will be responsible for the PM chores of finding + washing tomorrow's jars, mixing AM feed for the next day, as well as taking the goats on a leisurely 30 min graze. I'm hoping (?) that as milkmaids gain experience and efficiency, AM goatherds will be able to focus on cleanup and hay/water/straw chores upon arrival instead of milking chores. New AM Goatherd chore list is on the whiteboard.
5. A reminder that MM1 should ideally be done milking the first pair of goats as MM2 arrives (8am/8:30am, depending on start time). Again, you're welcome to begin MM1 at 7:30am but only if MM2 is okay ending their shift at 10:30am. I know you all have busy engaged lives and lots of pieces to juggle--if you'd like to write in the notes on the schedule itself once it's created as to whether or not you have a hard start/end time that might be helpful for you all to be aware of each other's time restraints!!
- I'm meeting the vet this morning to get some more information and drugs... We have a third goat (Rutabaga, Rain's all black wether) developing neurological issues. My (and our vets) hypothesis at this point is meningeal worm. This is what I've been treating Georgie for. But apparently Beau has been suffering from it too. I think I treated Georgie in time (maybe not aggressively enough?) but Beau may have lasting consequences (given her seizures I assumed Thiamine deficiency and treated as such). My assumption is that they are getting it from eating apples off the ground. My hope is that the vet will say that the frost will eliminate this issue for the year, but I don't know for sure. This article explains more--honestly it's one of the more horrifying diseases out there, but now we know.
- I've been experiencing a lot of anxiety around this developing health mystery. It's very difficult to watch animals suffer and not be properly equipped to help. In addition to all this, my own house kitty Rudy disappeared three nights ago (very unlike him to adventure far). It definitely feels crazy rolling the dice on next season already (Gimli) when this season feels so precarious but I suppose it's the hopeful thing to do... so here's to keeping on.
- Despite the tribulations in Leah land I'm still experiencing my on-brand enthusiasm for new ideas. Particularly, a community garden + community chickens at the farm!! In addition to perfecting/simplifying/expanding milk + herd shifts. If you have ideas for either or would like to chat or form some kind of casual committee/coffee date around either idea, would love help dreaming/planning 2024. You can also fill out the 2023 reflection form and share your ideas this way. <3
- That said, our tiny food community drops are over this month. But Stillwind is still attending Fulton St Market on Fri/Sat--go visit!; Beth will be selling holiday pies (follow @kittywhiska or email Beth Gordon <firstname.lastname@example.org>), and I think milkmaid Kate still has honey to offer, so feel free to reach out to her if you need any-- Kate Haan, email@example.com. Excited to add new stuff or your stuff next season... to continue growing our tiny food community. It's been so good! Thanks for taking part!
- Molly (our longes-standing volunteer, huzzah) offered up the idea to have an online site/app/message board for volunteers. Our community has grown and it's physically difficult to disseminate information without causing overload or feeling really impractical on my end. I love this idea. It would be ideal if it could 1) be a place to reference updates 2) share tips and connect with other volunteers 3) hold the work schedule + even send shift reminders?? That might not all be feasible in a single application, but if anyone has experience/ideas/suggestions on how best to do this, let me know. :) Slack??
THANK YOU ALL for believing in the herd, reading my emails, being extraordinary humans with good hearts. I value you all and am excited to keep getting to know you.