Usually the months of March and April are the busiest times on the farm for us, as we would normally be welcoming new arrivals now; kids from our British Guernsey goats and lambs from our Soay sheep, however Jess and I made the decision to not to breed this year for various reasons. In retrospect I wish we had made a different choice considering the situation we now all find ourselves in, but of course hindsight is 20/20. Looking back through photos to share with you I came across pictures of last years babies, and couldn’t help but feel a little sad. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great not having to get up and bottle feed babies 4 times a day when you’re working 40 hours a week. It can be an exhausting, logistical nightmare, but this year is different of course. I am now furloughed for three months from my full time job at the airport and have too much time on my hands. I can’t help but feel what a wonderful distraction some baby goats would have been. They are so fun to watch and so sweet to cuddle.
Still, there is plenty of work to be done. Feeding and milking twice a day, cutting fresh branches for browsing, mucking out, hoof trimming, worming, and mending fences to name a few. The other thing that we now have time to do is up our soap production and experiment with new scents and formulas. I recently made a bergamot, rosewood, and vetivert soap, using a different formula to our normal bar, which includes shea butter and chamomile infused jojoba oil. It has about 5 weeks curing time left before we can try it out.
The Isles of Scilly has some of the most pristine waters in the world so Jess has been working on a seawater soap, traditionally called Soleseife. We’ve added our own twist by using seawater and goats milk in combination, and that should be ready for trial in 6 weeks. We love this idea and it gives people the opportunity to literally have a little piece of Scilly at home. We also plan on doing a totally pure saltwater bar (no milk) to cater for vegans.
Although this is a difficult time for everyone, there are signs of spring and new life everywhere which is a tonic for the spirit. Everyday I’m grateful for our lovely animals and the chance to have something to focus on. And even though there are no babies this year, the big girls won’t let you get away without a cuddle.