Some of my earliest memories are of listening to the bell on "Nanny's" collar as my Daddy led her to the shed for her evening milking. Nanny was a black and white Alpine who gave two gallons a day of the most delicious, creamy sweet milk that Daddy would turn into heavenly ice cream or Mama would pour on my oatmeal with raisins. I loved Nanny and her little buck kid "Billy", laughing hysterically when Billy would head-butt me and my little sister right down into the dirt, much to Mama's dismay and horror! After we moved to a city lot and had to give up the goats, I never gave up the longing for the sweet, homesteading lifestyle and all that went with it.
Thirty years later, as the mother of five, I was finally able to bring that longing into reality. We purchased a pretty little acre of land and began our journey of raising goats, chickens, gardens, and children all together. Daydreaming about a quaint, simple farm with "a couple of goats, and a little brown cow", we truly did not imagine in those days the large and vibrant herd we have now!
I knew that I wanted Nigerian Dwarf goats from the very beginning, but we tried several different breeds in those first few years. We had a naughty little Pigmy goat, several elegant and exotic LaManchas, some silly and loveable Nubians, and we even experimented several times with Mini-Nubians, but the darling little Nigerians with thier rich, creamy, sweet milk had my heart.
Fifteen years and counting of careful purchasing, breeding, selling and keeping, showing, then finally commiting to 305 day milk testing and annual Linear Appraisal and my herd is "almost" where I want it to be...I keep telling myself that in a year or two it will be perfect and I can reduce down to 6 does and 2 bucks...hahahaha!
Truly though, this life has been a dream. Hard, painful, frustrating, but also so very rewarding as I have seen my children learn about the circle of life in the most beautiful and natural way, and as I have learned the quiet patience that comes from being a farmer. I have learned the rewards that come years after a process is started, and that taking time to slow down and just enjoy the small moments that take you there can be the breath of peace that carries you through the most difficult times.
So welcome, take a look at our goats (you'll find the links to thier different pages there in the sidebar on the left) and please feel free to contact us! Our favorite part of this journey is sharing with other homesteaders and helping you get started with a herd of your own.
.:Miller's Fairywood :.
David & Beth Miller