Wednesday, August 31, 2016

WEEK END GET AWAY




 What a wonderful place to land as first stop on our wedding road trip! Saturday morning found us (myself and my good friend Donna) winding our way through the mountains to the west of Redding headed for Ferndale.


 A mutual friend was tying the knot and we were each others "date" to the affair. 

After traveling for about three and one half hours we landed at Trinidad beach in you guessed it Trinidad. We met up with Donna's granddaughter Brittany and her brand new to her fiance Jon. Jon had just proposed to Britt the night before on bended knee and after asking permission of her Grandmother , Grandfather and father. Just love the respect this showed on Jon's part. Not the best photo below but from the smiles one can tell  the future bride and groom are pretty excited!


Then we took a stroll on the beach pictured above and had a nice lunch in a cafe up the hill with the happy couple. A great beginning to an epic weekend!



After checking into the Ferndale Best Western Country Inn (a lovely place by the way) we finished arranging the gift for the happy couple. What did we give? Since the couple are both up to the eye  balls in the cow dairy industry we choose a nice plastic tote with some sturdy clean up towels for the milk room. Added a Jersey crossing sign. Similar to the one to the right only with a Jersey likeness and Jersey Crossing on it. We then added a nice round of Cowgirl Creamery cheese , some cracker selections and a bottle of wine. A change into our party clothes and off we went to the wedding . Whch was in the front cow pasture of the dairy and decorated to the nines in country flair. Below is the tent set up where after the ceramony about 100 folks toasted, ate , drank and danced into the night. Still wondering what the herd of Jersey thought about the invasion.
 

Bright and early we were up and on our way Sunday morning headed south on  California's infamous coastal highway 1. Miles of beautiful ocean to see


 
 and we landed at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. https://www.mendocino.com/glass-beach.html  
read the link for a bit of history. And this is what we found.



After the beach we turned off at 128 going to Boonville and found some lunch at the Boonville deli in Anderson Valley. The town was pretty quite but won't be in a couple of weeks when the county fair begins. Sheep dog trails and a huge fiber show including a contingent from the Navajo people sharing their many fiber talents. After a brief visit with a goat friend in Hopland off of highway 101 just south of Ukiah we headed home around Clearlake and up I-5. 

Back home for a few days pen cleaning commences today along with a copious amount of laundry. More post to come with the setting up of the new loom, soap making for the revival of the Soap Works on Ash Creek and more. Stay tuned as you won't want to miss what is happening at Walnetto Farm!




Friday, August 26, 2016

ON THE ROAD AGAIN




I just love the Highway Men don't you?Who you say? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49gFNzFU_AM  
Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson,Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash.

 I was lucky enough to see these guys at the BIG Fresno Fair while showing my goats there. Epic absolutely! 


So now when I am headed off the farm road tripping that song hits the CD player first off every time. And all my grand girls know the words and if they are with me we sing it from the heart. 


If you remember a few post back I was bemoaning the fact that I am back to blogging while this year still holds a few road trips .This weekend is one of those so if you don't hear from me for a few days I am busy having off farm fun. A wedding is happening and it is in the lovely northern California coastal area. I am really looking forward to seeing more goat friends and spending some time in a the great little hamlet of Ferndale (http://www.victorianferndale.com/  )

I hope to bring home photos to share of the adventure and spend the coming week , the last of August, beginning prep for the fall and winter with the goats. Lots of pen cleaning, feet trimming, occupants of pens rearranging will be going on before we are cold season proof. 

Enjoy your weekend to the fullest whatever you do and wherever you go. Don't forget to say "Howdy" in the comment section when you visit. And I will get back to you when I return home. 

 
 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016



Soap yup soap comes in all forms from liquid to solid. And all types from glycerin to castile to cold pressed which produces those wonderful bubbly solid bars that always slip out of your hands at the most inconvenient times.  It comes with fragrance or none , a variety of colors or not. Infused with herbs or smooth as a babies bottom.

We have been making cold processed goat milk soap here at Walnetto Farm for over 20 years. Our soap is one of many ways we have used the milk our girls produce at about a gallon a day per doe. So we often find ourselves swimming in milk. As many folks who have dairy animals as part of the homestead we then began the journey of how do we use this great abundance our girls have given us? 

Soap is a great way to use the milk as since there are no FDA  regulations that rule out using raw milk in soap or restrictions that the milk must come from a certified raw dairy. In fact the restrictions on what most personal products (shampoo, conditioners, creams and lotions etc) must have or maybe more importantly must not have in them it is pretty much open to the producers discretion. However with that said my personal opinion is as with so many things in this world that go on or into our bodies less is better. So make sure to read those labels and not only check for where the product is produced but where did the individual ingredients originate.

Our standby for years has been pretty much the standard olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, castor oil, goats milk (but of course) , sodium hydroxide* and essential oils. Choosing to do one thing well instead of many things maybe not so well.
Family and friends love this soap. It has nothing caustic in it.
 
 *Sodium hydroxide the dreaded LIE. Yes I did not spell the l-y-e correctly. Before anyone calls the grammar police let me explain why with a great little article found at Hoegger Supply Company (http://hoeggerfarmyard.com/the-farmyard/soap-making-2/saponification-explained/ )

Saponification Explained

In simple terms, saponification is the name for a chemical reaction between an acid and a base to form a salt. When you make soap using the cold process soap making method, you mix an oil or fat (which is your acid) with Lye (which is your base) to form soap (which is a salt).

How exactly does this happen? In order to understand it, you must consider the chemical makeup of the acid and base being used in the reaction.

The base must always be composed of one hydroxide ion. For the most part, people use lye (one sodium ion and one hydroxide ion) as their base. You will notice that the sodium ion does not take part in the reaction at all. For this reason, other bases like potassium hydroxide can be used as well because it too is made up of one hydroxide ion. Potassium hydroxide is more prominently used for liquid soap making.

There are many different types of acids that will react with your base and saponify. Your acid could be olive oil, coconut oil or tallow among others. Each acid has a unique combination of triglycerides (compounds made of three fatty acids, attached to a single molecule of glycerol) which combines with the base (lye) differently. The amount of base needed to react with the acid will vary depending on the chemical makeup of the acid.  See the saponification table help page for guidelines.

As you combine, and stir the carefully measured acid and base together, they start to react. The triglycerides within the acid release the single glycerol molecule (which turns into skin nourishing glycerin) allowing the fatty acids to combine with the hydroxide ions within the base, forming soap.

So folks what we have here is the big l-i-e about lye in your soap. When saponification  takes place it renders the lye inert. Per the dictionary chemically inactive. synonyms : unmoving, motionless, immobile, inanimate,still, stationary,static. Or simply two reactions occur. The first reaction is glycerol turning into beneficial glycerin and the second is the acid and the base combining to form a salt which is the soap.

There is soap produced without the benefit of lye. They are lovely in their own right but their producers claims of sodium hydroxide soaps being hazardous are erroneous. And while we are talking soap the large percentage of commercial soaps you will find at the market or shop of your choice do have lye in them. But wait you say "not mine not on the label".  Look again but look at a different wording such as sodium cocoate, sodium  palmate,sodium palm kernalate,sodium talowate,  sodium olivate or lastly saponified oils. Once again read your labels you are worth the trouble so are any members of your family. 

I make every effort to buy local for my ingredients. I like to have a face and a voice to go with the product I buy and keep it close. To me local is no more than 50 miles from my farm. But when I have to purchase from further away I try to be sure it is from someone like minded and a small family owned farm or business. So far my soap is made from with ingredients produced or businesses in the Northern California area into the Pacific Northwest. 

Hope you have enjoyed your visit today and maybe learned a few things. The reason for the ramble? I did a soap order today and will be making soap ready to go to homes in about 6 weeks. And yes Walnetto Farm will add a soap page to the blog when the time comes. Have a peaceful evening ! 












Sunday, August 21, 2016


 


A Shasta County sunrise as the "Dog Days" of summer are winding down.
We have been busy with much in the last year and I miss blogging. I read multiple blogs daily and am inspired to get back at it. I picked a funky time to get going again as I still have a few journeys off the farm to make before I start preparing barns for winter and cozy down here at home.
I have been off the farm more than I have in years since my Daddy passed a year ago. Lots to do concerning the legalize with that type of situations and I give big kudos to my youngest sister for handling it in a swift professional manner. I hung around a lot for moral support and to get to know my baby sister again. 


Lots of smiles from the graduate and her cousin. Aubrey is our first Grand Girl to graduate from high school with her cousin Emily on the left following hot on her lead in June of 2017. I have NO idea how this happened as they were just little's yesterday.






Then there was what is quickly becoming the annual Oregon trip with the three oldest Grand Girls and myself. And squeezed in between was a visit from the youngest Grand Girl Genna.  I have two weddings this month to attend. The first yesterday on the coast north of  San Fransisco about an hour plus. A lovely day for my friends daughter to wed. Cool weather and good company held on a farm couldn't ask for more. 

I am in the process of giving the blog a remodel. Please be patient and don't be shy about offering your thoughts on the new decor. Constructive comments are always welcome.