I have always been a maker of lists, as long as I can remember. To do lists at work, to do lists at home, grocery lists, Christmas lists, packing lists, short term lists, long term lists, even bucket lists... the list goes on. My favorite thing about to-do lists is checking them off... DONE! I have learned some things stay on the list forever, because they are never fully finished, or because they lead to adding more items to the list, which is commonly the case.
Looking back at my posts for 2015, I was surprised to see I didn't post a list as I had in 2014 - although there were many written on paper. So, I'll post it now, with the things I can mark off as DONE
Accomplishments for the house:
1. Gravel driveway
2. Concrete porch
3. Concrete driveway pad
4. Rock on front of house
5. Grass seed planted
6. Porch stained
Accomplishments for the farm:
1. Blueberry bushes planted
2. Apple trees planted
3. Strawberries planted
4. Planted grapes and built a small arbor
5. Garden fenced
6. Beginner crop of garlic harvested, and larger second crop planted
7. Goat area fenced
8. Goat barn remodeled to add milking room, chicken coop with brooder pen, and goat room
9. Enclosed porch addition to goat barn (my babies needed more room)
10. Rotational grazing paddocks fenced on hill
11. Built (temporary) hay tent for storing round bales
12. Added a new buck and a new doe to goat breeding program, and added a few born here
13. Successful year raising lambs (only lost one due to worms! that's a big improvement over 2014)
14. Milked non stop for 7 months (stopped due to vacation)
15. Learned to make cheese
16. Learned to make soap
17. Successful egg sales (chickens earned their keep)
So, what's in store for 2016? Finishing things on the old list, and starting a new list! There's plenty more to do.
Meanwhile, Happy New Year!
Footnote: The purpose of this blog is to document our progress and day to day adventures as we create this little farm, and to share with those who enjoy a taste of farm life without getting your boots muddy.
Science project - checking results
Two weeks have passed since we completed step 1 of our science project, checking and treating the sheep with either anthelmintics or Copper oxide. Today, we re-checked them using FAMACHA score and fecal samples to see which treatment was most effective.
Where's my hay?
These little kids are spunky and growing like weeds.
December 13 was a great day to mow the lawn, one last time for the season.
More on Soap
This project has become more fun and interesting than I originally expected. Fear of lye has become determination to master. The first recipe I tried on 11/30 turned out to be lye heavy, The reason, is I selected the wrong type of coconut oil when running it through the lye calculator (who knew there was a difference between 76 degree and fractionated coconut oil? not me). I realized something was wrong when I tried using the soap and it left my skin feeling very dry, not moist as I had expected. I re-ran the lye content using the correct (76 degree) coconut oil and discovered I had used almost a full ounce too much lye. This created a 0% superfat level (meaning the lye used up all of the oil in the soap leaving no extra) which is too harsh to use on the skin. All is not lost however. I found a way to use it to make laundry detergent by shredding it up, adding baking soda and washing soda (soda ash).
So, since the first recipe was a flop I had to try, try again.
My second attempt was a 8% superfat (moisturizing) with additives - oatmeal and local honey. I can't wait to try this one.
Next was a basic 5% cleansing bar using fats and oils that can be purchased in the grocery store.
Both of these were made using the hot process technique so they can be used (and gifted) by Christmas. They have been pH tested, so I feel much more confident this time.
My name is Christy Franklin.