July Update: Summer at the Farm

July update: It's always busy at Windy Thistle lately, between the Fenton Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings and our first class of 2021 finally happening! Closing our farm in 2020 due to the pandemic really hurt. We've missed everyone so much but, we're open again!

The lush beauty of our forest past the gardens and the bonfire pit.

We had such a good time this weekend. The market is slow, there aren't many vendors, but I feel like it will improve over time. We have some nice folks out selling their wares and even nicer folks showing up and chatting about herbs and farming with us.

Then we had our first class of 2021. It's been a long time, waiting for enough people to get immunized so that we could open back up. Our class was Goat's Milk Cold Process Soap and it was a lot of fun. The house is filled with the aroma of lavender. I slept like a baby last night. Lavender promotes restful sleeping, in case you didn't know.

Goat kids out grazing

In any case, we had a fine time. We also took a traipse through our barnyard and campground. It's a very humble affair but if you are looking to escape to peace and privacy, it's the place to glamp at. I say glamp because staying at Windy Thistle comes with a lot of perks, like coffee and fresh baked goods, big full country breakfasts, bonfires, and more. Reservations are required, just send us an IM.

It was supposed to be Oregano in that bare patch. Fail!

After our hike, it was back to the kitchen to finish up our soaps past the teeming formal herb garden. Everyone goes home with a small loaf of soap for themselves and everyone seemed pleased with what they accomplished. The soap did turn out well.

Only one or two Paprika Peppers show, but there are at least fifteen on this plant.

GOATS: Our goats are producing roughly a gallon of good creamy rich milk a day now. If you've never tasted it, it's like sweeter cow's milk. Goat's milk is more easily digestible by lactose-intolerant folks, too. You have to come to the farm to get it but that's not a bad thing, the farm is a nice place to visit. We freeze the milk so it makes a safe trip back to the Big City. We'll be tiptoeing into cheese making soon, so be watching for that new product on the horizon!

Fiesta coming up for scratches with MJ right behind her.

All our does are doing well. We’ve left our Blaise and our newest doeling, Angelica, to stay as a bonded pair and they are doing well. We’ll be keeping Angelica to increase the herd. The ladies are trained to come to the milking stand but all Angie has to do is stand there and look cute.

Momma and Baby doing just fine!

Three of our boys are FOR SALE: All of these handsome boyos are weaned and ready to go to market. They are purebred French Alpine Dairy Goats and pretty ones at that. We raised them as bottle babies, so that it’s easy to handle them. They are affectionate and good boys at this age. $150.00 each. We’ll be keeping the one that doesn’t sell.

From l-r Aspen, Cedar, Bing Cherry and Dogwood, the youngest.

GARDENS: Our tomato beds are teeming with baby green tomatoes. I am not exaggerating when I say there are hundreds of tomatoes out there. It's been a slow start this year, due to the rains, but they are finally taking off. I hope to have some ripe ones at the market this coming week. We've got peppers coming in slowly, too.

The view from the steps.

I'm afraid the lettuces and Cilantro has bolted for the year, so I'm sorry you folks who love some fresh on your tacos. I'm letting the rest go to seed for a second crop from the same plant - Coriander Seeds. All the other herbs are doing well.

The squashes and melons are also finally coming in if I can get ahead of the squash borer beetles. Nasty little critters. Still, most of our squash and pumpkins are growing well. I'm really looking forward to the autumn harvest season there.

Roo Paul and a couple of his Queens

CHICKENS: Our flock of Leghorns will be moving to a new home at the end of the summer, so we’re preparing to say goodbye to Roo Paul and his Queens. If you want an easy chicken that lays lots of extra-large white eggs, this is the breed for you!

Jersey Giant Ladies greeting Fiesta in the morning.

We’re replacing this flock with a new flock of Jersey Giants for Julius, our big rooster that is with our mixed flock right now. They are a rare breed, black with a beautiful green sheen. They are about half grown now and are allowed to roam the barnyard as they please right now. They do a round of the yard every morning as soon as their pen is opened. They check on everyone, so charming.

Julius strutting around.

July 18th, next week. The Second Soap Making Class and it has two openings left. I am considering a third Soap Making Class if enough people show interest. This would be in August. If you would like to be in a class, please send me an IM or contact heartwynd@aol.com.

Starlight: I see you! Come see me!

JULY 25th, two weeks from now. TIE-DYE ON THE TARMAC! You bring two 100% cotton garments and we'll dye them together. We've been tie-dying for over a decade. We know lots of different patterns to teach you.

We'll start this class at noon and it will run until 4pm. It's $20.00 per student. All kids must be accompanied by an adult. We'll be wet! We'll be colorful! We'll have a great time! Wear old clothes! Make your reservations, to-dye!

VISIT US SOON! As always, come out and visit, sit on the porch and chat. Smell the flowers, taste the herbs and just relax. Pet the goats, the chickens, and the turkey or let your kids feed them! We're only 40 minutes south of S. St. Louis in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks Hill Country in Dittmer, MO.