February on the Farm: Waiting is the Hardest Part

Tom Petty had it right, the waiting is the hardest part and when you have a little farm, with winter comes lots of waiting. It’s still a ways away, but right now we’re waiting for kidding season to begin. It’s our first year breeding a mini-nubian, so I’m excited to see her kids with those striking Roman noses and basset hound-like ears. For the business the waiting is rewarded with the surplus of goat milk that comes with kidding (we’ll be starting to make lotion this summer!) but really the best part is having all the babies on the farm, watching births and first steps and the way they spring in the air once they get their footing down. Needless to say, it’s worth the wait.

Depending on where you live there can be a lot more waiting than other locales. I was thinking about this last weekend when were outside at 8 in the morning in the vegetable garden getting the paths weeded and ready for gravel. Yes it was windy, and crisp, but there we were working outside in the middle of February when other parts of the country are buried under snow. California is paying for it as we enter another year in drought, but for us it has meant we’ve been able to tackle a few projects unseasonably early (and now that we’re done please let it rain!).

The big project for us the last couple months has been the soap studio. I started making soap a few years ago when we moved here to use up the excess goat milk, and last summer we started up the business. As a hobby there was enough room in our little home office for a few gallons of oils and a couple molds, but once we started selling and scaling up production, that poor little office was engulfed with tubs of oils, curing racks, shipping boxes and our craft fair tables and baskets. It became obvious trying to gear up for the holidays that this wasn’t going to work, so we started work on a soap studio here on the farm last month.

It’s almost completed. My husband did his DIY magic and I’m almost all moved in. I have to admit it feels weird having a place for everything in this room, I was getting used to the “jenga” stacking of everything in the old space. But I’m getting used to it quickly. From the window I see our vegetable garden (another work in progress) and can catch glimpses of the goats as they roam around. I’m hoping to be able to host a few soap making classes by summertime here too—let me know if you’re interested or sign up for our newsletter. I can’t wait to put the new soap studio to good use!

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