Check out http://www.et-farms.com/ for the updated sales page! It even has some pictures of our critter's fleeces on it.
We are about three weeks from the end of the quarter, and therefore freedom to work on the farm and other aspects of our business. Here is a list of the things we hope to accomplish during the summer:
1. launch http://www.et-farms.com/ Version 2.0 full of new features and resources.
2. upgrade the barn including: a ceiling vent, gutters, french drains around the perimeter to deal with the drainage issue inside the barn, hanging another gate, possibly installing cabinets or shelves
3. improve the "pastures" (in quotes because what we currently have are patches of ground covered with thistle and daisies). To do this, we need to: pick sticks (some more), nuke the undesirable vegetation, analyze the soil and fertilize appropriately, seed, and finally let it grow. We'd like to get this done by next February.
4. fence the rest of our pastures after the fall rains begin
5. perhaps buy a livestock trailer
6. perhaps man a stall at the Oregon State Fair in September, and the Polk County Fair in August.
Other projects include upgrading the WABA website (http://www.alpacas-waba.org/), working on our business plan, going to seminars and classes, lining up breedings for our girls, and awaiting Dawn's cria, due in September (but she was a month late last year). I'm also going to devote some more time in training the alpacas. I'd like them all to walk on a halter and load up into a trailer easily.
Currently, I've begun training Milhouse, Consuella's little boy out of Tocto. He's still only a baby--2 1/2 months old--but I want to get him used to being handled. Plus, it means that I get to put my hands in his crimpy golden fleece!
This urge to train Milhouse probably has something to do with the fact that we saw two hand-reared baby alpacas at AWE (Alpaca Western Extravaganza) in Portland last weekend. Those 2-week old babies adored people, and walked among them with no fear. We were talking to a friend at one point and looked down to find the baby leaning against Charles's leg! Talk about adorable! When we got home, Charles looked at Milhouse wistfully and said, "I suppose it is too late for Milhouse to be that friendly." I suppose it is, but I don't want a critter that friendly if it means we have to hand-feed it (especially since that means that the mother rejected it or worse). However, the earlier and more often that we work with Milhouse, the friendlier he will be.
Have a good spring day!