Goat Milk Stuff
Thanks for taking the time to keep up with Goat Milk Stuff!  Here's what is new this February…

Cranberry Spice

Cranberry Spice is now one of our regular soaps (instead of being just a holiday scent).  In the past month we've had many people ask for it, and the people have spoken!  This was a recent decision, so our supply is currently limited as we have one batch available now, and another batch curing.  Once this second batch has fully cured, we will make the Buy 9, Get 1 Free option available for the cranberry spice.  

Unscented Deodorant
In addition to rosemary mint and citrus, we now have unscented deodorants available as well.  The unscented deodorants (obviously) don't have any essential oils added to help combat odor, but people who have problem with scent find they just have to apply it a bit more frequently. 

Limited Editions

All of the limited edition soaps are marked down to $5 for a full bar and $3 for a half bar while supplies last.  With the exception of some custom blends we may develop, this will be the end of most of the limited edition scents until the holiday scents (Cider Press, Evergreen, Frankincense & Myrrh, and Pumpkin) become available in August.

Free Shipping

Just a reminder in case you missed the announcement in the January newsletter - free shipping is available on all orders over $50 throughout the year.  You don't have to do anything or add anything to your cart; it will all occur automatically.  I would like to encourage you that if the $50 minimum is outside of your budget, try to find a friend or family member to split an order with you so you don't have to purchase a smaller quantity and pay for the shipping yourself.

February Giveaway

We are bringing back giveaways for 2016! This month we're giving away a $25 gift certificate to be used on our website or in our farm store. You can find the entry widget on the Goat Milk Stuff blog.

Since you're already signed up for the newsletter, all you have to do to get your first entry is put the email address that you used to subscribe to this newsletter in the widget. It's that easy! For extra entries, you can follow us on various social media sites or answer a question. Just make sure you go through the widget, so your entries are counted. Good luck!

Valentine's Day

We wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day.  We have chocolate goat milk soap available (for those of you looking for a non-caloric gift item).  We also have delicious chocolate covered goat milk caramels that make a wonderful gift.  

Orders placed by midnight on Tuesday, February 9th, are guaranteed to ship out on Wednesday, February 10th.  If the USPS does its job, your order will arrive by Saturday, in time for Valentine's Day on Sunday.

Newsletter Special

This month's newsletter special is a Valentine's Day Gift Set at half price.  This special set includes a bar of chocolate soap, 5 of our chocolate caramels, and a chocolate lip balm.  These are available while supplies of the chocolate soap lasts and there is no limit to the amount you may purchase.

Farm Store

We've made a big change to our farm store - it's now double the size!  We moved out of our original office area, and then removed the wall to enlarge the size of the farm store.  With the addition of all the food items, it was really difficult fitting everything into the space we originally designed.  The change isn't complete - we have to fix all the signage and we still have more wall containers on order, but we're really excited about the difference and hope it makes shopping easier for everyone!

Indigo and Jade are particularly excited and trying to claim which side of the farm store they are now in charge of!

Baby Goats and Their New Barn

The baby barn is almost complete.  We still need to fix the fencing, add a hayloft door, clean out all the tools, and move the bucks out from their existing area (which will belong to the doelings) and into their new pen.  We're super excited that the babies will have much more room to themselves!

If you are looking to purchase dairy goats, we will have many baby goats available for sale.  We work hard to make sure the babies go to good homes, so please reach out to us if you are interested in offering a goat kid a good home.  You can put a deposit down on 4H wethers or doelings at these links.  

We're not sure if we will have any milkers for sale (we evaluate that after everyone has given birth).  You can be added to our waiting list at this link if you are looking for milkers.

Behind the Scenes Baby Goat Experience

This year, we're doing something we've never done before. The Jonas family has been running 24 hour shifts in the barn during kidding season for the past few years - but this year, if you're local, you now have the chance to join us during one of the easier time slots.

If you're interested in getting more information or scheduling a day, there is more information on the Behind the Scenes page

Machine Milking

Construction is underway on the new machine milking building.  We're super excited for this final piece of our farm puzzle to come together.  Last year, the boys milked 40 goats by hand.

This year, we've bred 67 does, and that would be a really big challenge to milk twice a day by hand.  The boys are actually strong enough to do it, but managing that much milk, one bucket at a time, would take too much of their time.

The new machine milk parlor will be adjacent to the existing doe barn. 

It's making slow, but steady progress.  The roof just went on, and the windows and doors are going in.

This building will contain the milking area, a viewing area so people can watch the goats be milked, the bulk tank room (where the milk will be stored, chilled, and bottled), a fodder room (where sprouted grains will be grown for the goats), a bathroom, and a storage room.

The weather hasn't been super cooperative, but all of us (especially the boys) are praying for speedy completion because the number of goats who have had their babies and need to be milked will be increasing very soon!

Homestead Happenings

January is a fairly slow time of year on the farm.  It's the time that the Jonases go on vacation to Florida with Grandma and Poppy to relax after the hectic Christmas holiday shopping season and recharge for the upcoming kidding season.

While we were gone, we had a little bit of snow that the goats enjoyed.

But mostly the goats have just been hanging around in the barn being fat and pregnant. 

It's really funny to be in the barn at night and listen to all the grunting and groaning that they're doing.

Our first kidding of the season didn't go very well.  Fashion went into labor and it was obvious something wasn't right.  When Jim went in to investigate, he discovered a "butt first" presentation.  That wasn't the big problem.  The problem was that there were obvious remains of a decomposed twin.  Jim was able to deliver the kid (Fastball), but he only lived for a few hours.  The delivery wasn't overly traumatic, but we're guessing that the uterus environment was too toxic and he had been affected by it.

Our second freshening was a much happier event!  Hazelnut (who last year gave us quads) presented us with two very healthy, ten pound twins! Havarti (a girl) is the lighter one on the right and Hero (a boy) is the one with more black.  They're both big and strong and doing very well!

And if you want to see them working on their standing skills, here is a short video:

Our third freshening was also somewhat traumatic.  Three weeks ago, Persephone aborted a single kid.  Today she went into labor with two very tangled up kids.  Both were upside down and all mixed up.  Jim spent over half an hour untangling them.  Persephone was finally able to deliver them, but they were both stillborn.   

While we were mourning their loss, Jim was making sure Persephone was finished only to find ANOTHER baby!  This one was was alive and Persephone delivered a doeling we named Pollyanna.  

This is the first time we've ever had a goat abort and stay pregnant.  Persephone has also never had quads before (triplets was the highest), so we're guessing it was just too many for her to carry.  It was a crazy experience and we're just so glad to see both Persephone and Pollyanna doing well!!  Persephone is now the oldest goat in the barn, so we don't know how much longer we'll have her.  We were so excited to have a daughter that looks a bit like her!  

Farm life is full of ups and downs and births and deaths.  We don't usually lose many kids during kidding season and for whatever reason, it almost always happens with the first several goats that go into labor.  We're hopeful this was the last bad one of the season.   But many kidding seasons have taught all of the children (as well as Jim and myself) to be resilient and to rejoice in the happy events because you can never take them for granted.

So far, it's been a rather slow start to the kidding season, but with 67 goats having been bred, we're sure it's going to get crazy busy soon! If you want to keep up with it, we post about what's happening on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and use hashtag #gmskids.

We thank you so much for all of your support of our family and our business!

The Jonas Family
Jim, PJ, Brett, Colter, Emery, Fletcher, Greyden, Hewitt, Indigo, and Jade

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