Monday, June 30, 2008

Update

I've been really bad about updates here recently, am trying to get back on track. I've changed my work schedule so I'm only working Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Champaign and have Tuesdays and Thursday to devote to soaping and candle making (amoungst other things of course!).

We've enjoyed a wonderful spring and early summer. I don't ever recall having such moderate weather. Usually we jump from snow to smothering humidity so I'm not complaing at all. The downside is its made all the plants etc much later than usual. This spells delay for the bees as well. Generally we expect our first honey "flow" late May. This year it was mid June, almost a month later. We are expecting we'll be able to take honey off our hives this week and will possibly have it at Market this Saturday!

The goats are doing very well. Babies are growing like weeds and the does have settled into the summer routine very amiably. I'm now milking all four and we are awash with milk. Time to do some serious soaping! :)

I'm happy to have a more relaxed schedule for summer and hopefully will be able to devote lots of time this week to making candles for Market Saturday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Strawberries!



I made some yummy strawberry jam with these! The flavor is unparalleled, the only drawback is that with the cooler spring the berries aren't very sweet. Doesn't matter in jam though!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wrapping Soap

We wrapped lots of soap in preparation for Market.

The heart shaped bars are very popular


My favorite soap. So of course its blue.... :-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Urbana Farmer's Market Blog

I was really pleased to see the Urbana Market now has a blog! This is a great idea and hopefully will be well utilized. Here is the info about the Farmer's Market from the Market at the Square page:

Ready: May 10 – November 8, 2008
Set: Every Saturday morning
Go: 7 AM-12 noon, rain or shine
Located: Corner of Illinois & Vine Streets in Downtown Urbana
Market at the Square is one of the largest and most diverse farmers’ markets in Illinois, and helps demonstrate Urbana’s firm commitment to sustainability.
This gateway into Lincoln Square Village and historic downtown Urbana has enjoyed steady patronage since its inception in 1979, and a recent surge of interest in farmers’ markets nationally has translated into enviable growth for Urbana’s market.

Market at the Square showcased over 150 registered vendors in 2007, and patron attendance reached into the thousands each weekend.
Patrons can choose from a wide variety of made-in-Illinois goods at the Market, including fresh produce, meat and dairy products, prepared foods, plants, and flowers to jewelry, pottery, wood workings, candles, bodycare products, garden d├ęcor, clothing, and more!


This is a very impressive Market really by all standards and I'm not saying that because I'm biased but because it's reality. I've been to other markets both in the US and overseas but thoroughly enjoy the other vendors and atmosphere here.

This is the market I sell my soaps, candles and whatever else I make during the week. Tomorrow's forecast doesn't include rain so I hope to attend! :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

More Rain

I didn't end up going to Market this past Saturday either though I really missed it. I had to get the goats sorted out - the floods and constant rain have made everything so difficult. Water levels earlier in the week forced me to bring the male goats up to the doe's pens but they have quickly trashed it, reducing the pens to muck and mud. Friday night yet more rain was forcasted so I made the decision not to attend. In the end I was glad! Although we only got a couple thunderstorms for a few hours early in the morning all the water up stream hit us and water levels rose to such an extent the town was blocked off again. What an odd year! In my memory we haven't had flooding like this so late in the season. Goats are somewhat sorted out, I took the two bucks (males) out to a neighbor's farm and shut them in his barn. They're unhappy to be there but at least they're safe and dry. The does have discovered how to open their gate to my great chargrin. Its making the whole housing issue dicey. I'm sure I will work it out somehow! :-)


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away

Our farmer neighbor informed us in January that this was going to be a drought year. Um, yeah about that.... when is the drought supposed to start?

This has been one of the wettest springs in a while. Usually our crazy IL weather will have about a week of spring weather and then jump directly into smotheringly muggy summer. Not this year! Most of the plants are aproximately a month behind in growth. The farmers are still trying to plant the rest of their crops. Its unreal!

Personally I love rain. But for my animal's sakes, I hope it stops soon. We had to run out at 5:30 this morning to pull up the goat pasture fence so it wouldn't get washed away by the rising flood waters. Everything is so over saturated, even though the rains have stopped for now the water will continue to rise as we get run off from the fields and larger cities where there's concrete instead of earth. Our pond has overflowed its banks and is creeping up to the pen where the male goats live. Unless it stops I'll have to move them in with the females - NOT ideal. The bees are on a raised platform so they should be fine unless it we get a substantial storm.

In the meantime the poor goats are cooped up in their shed. The mud is unreal and I seriously hope the rain at least holds off for a while now.