Hello dear friends. What a glorious day it is, here on the farm. Summer has arrived and a slower pace to the daily chore routine is a very welcome relief to me. Hotter days mean the goats eat less hay and browse more. It also means they sleep more and are less demanding on my time. I actually managed to finally finish getting my garden in over the last couple of weeks and I am happy to say it is flourishing! Guess my thumbs aren't as black as I had originally thought. With a bit more time to myself I have been able to continue actively pursuing my new passion of trying to spark inspiration in others. The more energy I seem to commit to this venture, the more exciting it becomes each day.. I am actively planning with several individuals who will begin offering new programming here at Sky River Meadows in the coming weeks. I am stoked and I am pretty sure the herd is as well! Each new idea we are exploring, the more ideas we seem to spark. The goats are very curious about all of the new activities and I am excited to see how each new skill they learn will enhance their abilities. For the time being it makes sense to continue to hold my Goat of the Week stories and instead focus on sharing updates about farm happenings. These are busy and exciting times! I am so grateful that I am able to have the help of my volunteers here again. Even I have to admit that I am tired and can't continue to sustain this pace for much longer. Having other avenues to bring in new revenue streams will ensure we survive through these unstable times. As I am always seeking the positive in every situation, I can think of no better way than that of a mutually beneficial collaboration with other practitioners who can offer their services here. Or even better, for them to team up with my herd and I in new and creative ways. I am bursting to share some of the news, but it is too soon yet. One collaboration is ready to begin though, and the first event is this upcoming Wednesday evening, and is completely sold out!
I am so honoured and excited to be partnering up with Trinity O'Brien of Muskoka Hot Yoga! Trinity will be partnering with the SRM herd to begin offering Goat Yoga here at the farm 3 times a week through to the end of July. Trinity will also be offering some her own programs here at the property, which will allow her to reach her clients in a safe, socially distanced environment. Through the coming weeks, the herd and I will be blessed not only with Trinity's offerings here, and connections it will bring, but we will also receive the healing benefits of Trinity's singing bowls, as well as her wealth of experience and knowledge, as she guides her participants through some amazing experiences here this summer. You can read all about Trinity, and the amazing work she does on her Muskoka Hot Yoga website. https://muskokahotyoga.com/
You'll also find a schedule of events, and information on how to register, what to expect, and what to bring for any of the programs she will be running here.
Trinity had this to say about offering her programs here at SRM:
"I have loved goats since I was a little girl. Combining yoga with goats was a no brainer. You can not be in a great mood when around them. They are playful, friendly, oh so cute and personality to spare! The goats bring a playfulness of yoga to a whole new level. If you love to laugh, and feel good, you will benefit from joining me on your may to breathe, move and play with these adorable therapy goats at Sky River Meadows. I look forward to seeing you soon!"
To say I am excited about these collaborations is an understatement. I know that by supporting each other through these challenging times, we can all come out better and stronger than ever on the other side of this crazy year. By aligning with like minded individuals to continue to try to help support our communities, we can't lose. It is also a huge comfort to me to know that I am not struggling through these times alone, but others are struggling too and we can help each other by working together where we can. If you have an idea, like Trinity, on how you can bring something to help support our community in partnership with the herd or the farm, please reach out! I would love to hear from you!
Normally at this time of year I would already be in the midst of the newest generation of the herd arriving. My breeding plans for the year were thrown off with the unexpected death of one of my main bucks, and then COVID. For this reason, kidding season hasn't even begun here, but we are fast approaching the first births of 2020! SRM My Precious, and SRM Mystique are both due to give birth on July 3rd, and SRM Hermione is due August 2nd. In the meantime, young Romeo is receiving all the baby snuggles (even though he is getting stinky) at the moment. He won't look so little when the new arrivals come and then he will have to compete for attention again. I took this beautiful picture of Sharon, one of my lovely volunteers, cuddling Romeo while we were visiting with seniors at their windows last week. These two have formed a special bond and Romeo was sound asleep in this picture. You can't see in the photo for privacy's sake, but right beside Sharon is a window lined with smiling faces of the seniors at Muskoka Landing in Huntsville. For anyone who asks, "What is it like to volunteer at Sky River Meadows?" I think Sharon's face says it all right here. If you've ever thought about reaching out to offer some time or skills you have to offer, now is the best time to reach out. The benefits of volunteering here are innumerable, and possibly even immeasurable for all of us, as the work we do is so fun and far reaching. Now more than ever I think my farm, and others like it, will become powerful places of healing, and that means we will need all the help and support we can get. I think if anything, COVID has taught me why resilience is so important. Life is ever changing and we need to be able to adapt with those changes. I refuse to allow this virus complication to slow down my work or how I want to help my community. With each new challenge in life, we are invited to discover new ideas and inspiration we hadn't previously considered. Working with others and dreaming new innovative ideas is creating a life force of it's own here at the farm. Volunteers can also get in on the excitement, and be involved in some pretty magical moments. Reach out to me to find out how you can get involved :)
For the closing of my blog for this week, I want to take some time to sing praises to my herd, and to my team of volunteers and friends who continue to help out around the farm, with the herd or with my work. The past few weeks since reopening my barn doors, my herd has surprised and astounded me daily with their open, willing hearts, and abilities to always, ALWAYS know exactly what to do, and with whom. If anything I think the time the herd and I had in isolation together, gave us all a long needed rest. Being back in action it is almost like the herd is inspired alongside me to work harder to help more people every day. Goats who previously would never come forward to interact with guests have since come out from the shadows and are beginning to shine with their own gifts. Oddly enough, even my herd Queen Bonnie, who is wild and unfriendly, has been allowing several people to pet her. I am shocked each time it happens and then try to touch her myself, but NOPE! I know my place with her and it doesn't include unwanted touching! It could be that both my herd and needed those many weeks in isolation for a much needed rest and reflection period to see where we are needed most. Some have asked me how the herd faired through the quarantine and I won't lie, it has been challenging. For twelve years these goats have interacted with, been loved by and created bonds with many volunteers and guests. Many of those relationships are just as important to my animals as they are to the people who've fallen in love with them. My entire herd became depressed for weeks after being cut off from their sense of "normal" as well. I think since reopening we've all been given a new sense of purpose. Emotions have been really high from each and every person that has visited in recent weeks. Everyone has been through a lot and the stories and experiences being shared are amazing to listen to. We've all endured much in a few short months. Often as in the case of in my line of work, things are not easy to put into words. Even for me who has spent every day with this gang for twelve years, I find it impossible to put some things into words. The photos I have shared in this post are some of the magical moments I've managed to capture here recently. If any of these photos speak to you, reach out and book a visit. Now might be the perfect time to hear the wisdom of some pretty remarkable little goats :) Until next time, with love Angee