Wednesday, January 7, 2015


It has been nearly nine months since my last blog entry. If anyone is still following the blog, you probably assumed I had abandoned it. To be honest, I thought that might be the case as well. As 2015 gets underway, though, I've decided to provide a long overdue update. Much has changed since my last entry. I'm sure that I'll miss many things in this post, but will try to at least cover those that are most significant.

The first major change is that we have added a new member to our household. No, we did not have a baby. The addition is an adult. Our friend Jen is currently living with us, and will be building her own small home on the property next year if all goes as planned. She is currently evaluating various alternative building methods and hopes to finalize a floor plan this winter.

Having Jen here has allowed us to accelerate many of our plans, including the plan to launch a farm-based business. We plan to participate in a local farmers market this year, selling excess produce as well as soaps, lotions, and other hand-crafted items.

Way back in early 2013 I announced the chosen name for our farm. As we began serious planning for the farm we decided to revisit the name. With Jen now involved in the operation we wanted her input on the name. We had also not been able to acquire a domain name that exactly matched the original farm name, and neither of us were happy about.

After much debate and research we found a name that we are all very happy with. We are now known as Daggletail Farm. I'm sure that you, like everyone else we've shared the name with, are wondering what Daggletail means. A daggletail is the lower ends of a garment which trail in the dirt or mud. In other words, the hem of a dress, skirt, or pants legs which are soiled from dragging in the mud, which happens frequently around here.

Our plans to set up at a farmers market this year, combined with our desire to have a 4wd vehicle that three people can ride in led us to buying an additional vehicle. We looked at many options and test drove several. In the end we bought a 2007 AWD Ford Escape Hybrid. So far we have pleased with the decision. The cargo capacity will be a big help for transporting items to market. Driving a hybrid will also fit in with the overall image we hope to construct for our farm and business.

Much of our free time of late has been spent planning, either for the business or the much expanded garden we have planned, or attending educational workshops and events. We spent the past two days in Lexington, attending the 2015 Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference. Back in October we attending Kentucky Sheep & Goat Development Office's Annual Producer Conference as part of the Small Ruminant Profit School, which we'll finish up in March. We are currently evaluating several upcoming events to decide which we will attend. These include the Business of Farming Conference, the Organic Growers School Spring Conference, and Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, NC. I know that we will definitely be attending the Kentucky Green Living Fair in early April.

As you may have guessed, we've decided to acquire small livestock in the near future. At first we were trying to decide between sheep and goats. Attending SRPS has helped us make that decision. We plan to start with goats, with a focus on milk production for our own use. Down the road we hope to also have a small alpaca herd for fiber production.

This winter and spring are shaping up to be busy around here. Jen will be bringing several cats to the property, which she has rescued over the years. We plan to construct a permanent structure for them in the Spring, but are putting up a temporary straw bale structure now so they can be relocated here as soon as possible.

We will also be building a chicken coop this spring. This will involve a re-work of my initial design to provide space for a larger flock than originally planned. We are also considering a different location for the coop than we thought, which may mean some additional work clearing the area. The biggest task, though, other than construction, will be cleaning up the old lumber that we intend to use for the coop construction. We hope to complete this task during the winter.

Our plans to expand the garden also mean additional work prepping the garden plot. We only used 3 permanent beds last year, which will be nowhere near enough for this year's garden. I hope to start laying out new beds soon and hauling manure for them.

As you can see, there have been many changes taking place over the past several months. The coming months are shaping up to be busy as well. While I may never post as frequently as I once did, I hope to begin blogging somewhat regularly again.

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