Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Grand Gallivant: An Off-Grid Cashmere Goat Farm

Handmade strawbale house, solar panels, goats.

This is our first day off at Pine Needle Cashmere Farms (although I also took yesterday off because I have a cold/laryngitis), and we’re spending it at a library in Kalispell, MT, trying to catch up on internet stuff. Our hosts, Ann and John, live on a small acreage in a national forest, in a strawbale house run on solar panels and well water. Zach and I live in a small camper nearby, and we’re soaking up everything we can learn about how they built their house, how they keep it running, and how to care for chickens and goats.  We’ve scooped a lot of animal manure, hauled a lot of wood, and eaten a lot of delicious food (including goat burgers, which taste like good beef). 

Cedric is my favorite-- he's so cute!!
The goats themselves are adorable, and Ann knows each of the 45 goats by name. We’ve helped to socialize the kids (aka we get to cuddle baby goats), milk the dairy goats (who are both super sweet), and disentangle them when they get their heads stuck in the fence. Ann says she’s going to teach me how to spin their wool (cashmere is their winter coat). 

I’m still feeling under the weather and can barely talk, but Ann has been dosing me with cultured veggies and vitamin C, so hopefully I’ll be up to snuff soon! In the meantime, it’s interesting to see a homestead firsthand and to learn that it doesn’t have to be as primitive as I might think. Lots of good food for thought.

We’ll be staying here another week, then heading on to Glacier National Park. I’ll blog again when I can. 



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