Anyway: first up, here's a video for you: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TKdUPbtE_xk (ever since I upgraded to iOS6, I can't link to YouTube. :bangs head:) This is a Lego LOOM - totally cool!
We're planning on breeding EVERYTHING this year. The Alpines in a few weeks, the Nubians in November, and the Cashmeres in December. This means we'll be done kidding in June....after all the colostrum is out and the kids are on bottles, we start "The Plan":
Milk the Alpines and Nubians into the machine. Dump that milk into the tote; have Herself run it to the house and filter it while I put the Cashmeres on the stand and milk them out. THAT milk goes into the tote (same, now empty, or different - doesn't matter.)
That milk either gets used for soap, or frozen (for the next crop of kids, or for soaping.) Once the freezer is full, that milk will get filtered into the drinking/cheesemaking side of things. (Seriously, milk is milk. I'm going for label appeal, here....:lol:)
Make cheese at least 1x/week - the whey gets reserved for soaping. (You have to mix the lye with some form of liquid before adding it to the oils. A lot of soapers use 1/2 the total fluid amount as water, to mix the lye; the other 1/2 is milk and goes in with the oils. I've been experimenting with using WHEY to mix the lye - so far, I like it. My soaps are coming out lighter (because the lye burns the sugars in the milk, and makes for brownish soap), and I'm still using 100% goat milk products.) It can be kept in the fridge, or frozen - if frozen, it needs to be weighed out in ziplocks and frozen flat. (Adding the lye to frozen milk/whey not only keeps it lighter, but it'll melt the "ice" and make for cooler soaping temps.)
I need to experiment with adding cashmere fiber to the lye solution....that's how you use silk fibers. I'm still not convinced it actually adds anything to the soap, but hey - why not? :lol:
I'm still trying to figure out the online portion of my "plan". Do I use my etsy shop, and pay those fees, or do I set up a page on my website? Either way, there will be Paypal fees.....etsy charges, too, but I don't think they're outrageous. I also need to talk to Cyn....because of the State Taxes issue. Right now, I'm not expecting to get "rich" with this - I just want to have the goats pay for themselves. Not sure how that works, state tax-wise; national-wise, you apply the expenses to the income, and only pay taxes on any profit. (Right now, that's a moot point. I've spent FAR more on soaping supplies in the last month than I can see making in the rest of the year. :shrug: In fact, I have expenses that - IF I included any income this year - would be a loss-carryforward for next year. Ah, well....)(And yes, I'm tracking it. We have Ranch Manager - Goat Edition, and I have a category specifically set up for "Soap". Granted, I need to list the molds and oils I just bought...but right now, we're at a pretty good loss for the year without that. :lol:)
Anyway, that's the current plan. IF we're here, that's my outline for next year. And if we're not...well, whoever takes over can use it.
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