Homestead Update: Feet, Foraging, and Fiber

Today was our hoof trimming day. I tell ya what, it’s my least favorite part of goat ownership. But we just don’t have enough rock for them to file down on their own. The rock we do have doesn’t seem to do the job, nor does cinder block, but I haven’t given up on the cinder blocks yet.

So this is after about 4-6 weeks

Overgrown hoof horn
After trimming

Luna’s feet are notoriously (within my own family) high maintenance. I was hoping her buckling would get his sire’s feet, but no such luck. He’s got his Mama’s fast-growing hooves. Realistically, hers need trimming every 2-3 weeks. It’s ridiculous. But we love her milk and she’s super sweet so… we deal with it.

But my youngest enjoys spending time out with the goats. She is closer to little Tumnus than she is to our dogs. She watched his birth and was the first one to really bond with him. It takes me about 15-20 minutes per goat, depending on how badly their feet need cared for and how cooperative they feel. It just kills my back and legs and arms…so…whole body. But- there’s the relief of it being another 4 more weeks before I have to mess with it again.

I also did some foraging with my kiddos. My oldest daughter wants to be a “healer” when she grows up. She has an eye for identifying plants and the compassion and interest in science to use her skills for medicinal purposes. It’s so much fun teaching her and watching her in her element.

Today we harvested some self-heal, sumac berries, and black walnuts for their husks.

If I can get my children to be quiet for quiet time, I plan on carding and spinning some of Maggie’s wool. I have a bag that I’ve been meaning to get to for a while, and she’s already needing another shearing so I figure now’s as good a time as any to get a start on my fall and winter fiber crafting.

In fiber crafting related news, I’m working on a poncho for my oldest daughter, a sweater for my youngest, and a hat for my soon-coming niece, due in a couple more months!

Niece’s hat
Start of poncho
Sweater back

And this is sock #1 of 2, that I’ve been promising my husband since last Christmas. It took a long time to get the “local” yarn in. I had originally wanted to work with some yarn made from Icelandic sheep wool, because we are debating adding Icelandics to the homestead later on. But what I got was alpaca. And seeing as the shop was having a hard time during lockdowns, I just accepted my skein of alpaca yarn and decided to see what it would behave like in socks. It isn’t super soft, nor does it have a lot of memory or stretch. It wouldn’t be my first choice for sock yarn, but it made a decent boot sock and the durability of the reinforced heel I did is comparable to the store-bought boot socks my husband has worn out.

I excluded the arch support ribbing as it was a complaint of my husband’s in his store bought socks
Reinforced heel

I’ll be finishing up the 2nd sock probably in time for Christmas.

I’m plugging away at each little thing, getting the harvest preserved and stored and enjoying the end of summer and taking in each moment with my children, the good and the bad, because I know both are fleeting and they’re growing faster than my mama heart can bear it. It really is a blessed life I live, to God be the glory.

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