I would like to say thank you to Mrs. Ballard and Mrs. Freeman for allowing me to spent time with their 3rd grade students at Jefferson Elementary School this afternoon. I really enjoyed getting to speak with the children about our llamas and goats. They were very interested in learning about them, and of course they loved seeing pictures of our baby llama Kris.
I took some of the llama fiber and talked about how the llamas are sheared in the spring and how I wash the fiber, dry it, comb it and spin it into yarn. When I was talking about spinning I mentioned it is like trying to rub your stomach, pat you head and move your feet in a different direction, while keeping a wheel moving in the right direction. Of course being third graders they all started rubbing their stomachs, patting their heads and stomping their feet. I guess I need to remember that children take what you say to heart and have to try it. I thought it was great that they were getting that involved.
I brought samples of some of my oatmeal facial soap so they could each take a little bit of it home to show their parents and try it out. I then talked about how I packaged the soap and will be selling it this spring and summer the new Mayes County Farmers Market. They were excited and I’m sure I will be seeing some of them there.
I not only wanted to tell the students about our animals, but I also wanted to show and talk to them about how something that starts out as a hobby, can turn into a business. This is what we are doing with the soaps, lotions and eventually yarn made from the hair or fiber from our llamas.
We also talked about my website and I told them I would be writing about my school visit, so I hope some of the students and their parents are reading this and that they will leave me a comment about my visit today.
I think what they enjoyed the most was seeing the pictures of the baby llama and hearing about the new babies we are expecting this spring.
An update on the upcoming expected arrivals are: Our llamas that are due this spring are Ebony, who is due late February, early March and Missy who is due late March, early April. Now the questions is where are we going to put everyone because also due in late March and early April are 8 goats, Nora (who had triplets last year, and as big as she is getting it could happen again), Collinsville, Echo, Bea, Little Girl, Jill, Barb, and Beauty. We will have lots of kids running around this summer. Right now we have Jolie and Baby Kris in the milk barn and I’ll be moving Ebony over in the next couple of weeks. I guess we might have to use Steve’s new machine shed for a barn for a while. I already put some hay in it this week because it was too wet to get to the barn with the truck. I’ve been moving hay over 1 bale at a time, but using the 4-wheeler.
I hope some of the students who I talked to today will ask their parents if they can come out and visit. Who knows, they might even be able to help me milk a goat, or brush a llama.
There were a few giggles when I talked about using the llama beans for fertilizer. But the fact is, it is a natural and as close to organic as manure can get, it has almost no smell, so it is ideal for indoor plants. It is extremely rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and most importantly it will not burn your plants. I will be selling it in 1 cup bags at the farmers market this summer along with a recipe for “Grayslland Acres Simply Llama Bean Tea”. It is a tea, not for the human body, but for your plants. 1 cup of llama beans will make 10 gallons of “Tea”.
This past weekend, since we were snowed in, Steve and I made a couple of batches of soap, some goat milk lotion and some lip balm (that doesn’t contain goat milk). We hope to have a line of these products for sale at the Mayes County Farmers Market. Right now we are trying to get just the right recipe.
Well, that is about all I have to write about this evening. I hope you enjoy my updates, because I enjoy writing about what is going on at Grayslland Acres.