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Recorded on February 9th, 2022
[The following transcript was auto-generated using Otter.ai. If there’s a discrepancy between the audio and text, please reach out to me and I will correct it. Thank you.]
Kayliegh Harte 0:00
I almost gave up but my mom was actually the one who said don’t give up. It doesn’t make sense. You guys looked at everything and there’s there’s should be you looked at everything. You guys are supposed to be allowed to have this and she saw the difference just having them for three weeks made in my son. And she’s like, we can’t not have them on your property. It’s amazing what’s happening in front of our eyes. And she wasn’t wrong. So I was like, Alright, you’re right. I can’t not fight
Matt Derosier 0:40
this is the FarmHop life Podcast. I’m Matt Derosier. I’m joined today by Kayliegh Hart of Chicken Harte Homestead. Kayliegh is new to homesteading raises goats and sell soap in New York. How’s it going, Kayliegh?
Kayliegh Harte 0:43
Good. How you doing?
Matt Derosier 0:45
Doing good. Thank you. So you, I reached out to you, and you message me back. I appreciate that. And you said you’ve barely started homesteading, like, at this point, a year and a half. I want to say two and a half, two and a half now. Okay. So how did you get into it?
Kayliegh Harte 1:15
Wow, we we had friends who have just like a whole bunch of chickens. And we were starting to get eggs from them because we were like, you know, let’s let’s try like real homegrown eggs and everything. And we fell in love with like the flavor and the quality of the eggs. Like even just the color of farm grown eggs yolks is completely different from store bought. And my husband was eating just tons of those constantly making trips to my friend’s house to go get more eggs and go get more eggs. So I cracked a joke with him one day, like we might as well just get our own chickens. And he’s like, okay, and I’m like, really? And I just I flew with it. Literally like 10 minutes later, I was down at the farm store ordering chicks because I knew if I gave him enough time to think about it, he’d second guess it. We even have a coop nothing at this. But I was just like, okay, chicken. And that started it.
Matt Derosier 2:09
Thankfully, chickens like, even though you didn’t have the infrastructure, they’re pretty easy. I mean, you can literally buy a box of stuff to raise them at, like almost any farm store and get up and running in 30 minutes. So yeah, at least it’s easy that way. So how did you what what happened after that? How did you get into the goats?
Kayliegh Harte 2:32
So we got really into the chickens. First. We we did a lot of YouTube watching. And we just we’re watching all sorts of different YouTubers with their homesteads and the things that they were doing. And we’ve come across a lot of them that it wasn’t just chickens or ducks or geese or something they had, you know, other farm life. And we’re limited as far as our property goes, as we are only on a two acre lot and we’re in a village. So we’re very limited with coding rules and everything of what we could have. And my husband’s like, I really want to have goats. So we looked into it and we just decided to figure out which breed we wanted. We figured out the Nigerian dwarf seemed like a really good fit. They’re slightly quieter and they’re smaller breed and good for dairy and we just we went full throttle. It wasn’t just get to because you know, they’re herd animals. It was. Let’s start off with like 11 or 12. Oh, wow. Yeah, we weren’t playing.
Matt Derosier 3:34
I guess not. How was the goats? Oh, there you go.
Kayliegh Harte 3:42
Yeah, here’s, this is forky. He’s our newest little baby. He comes from incredible show lines and milk lines. So he’s gonna bring some really nice, nice babies to the herd.
Matt Derosier 3:56
I’ve never watched anybody milk a goat. Is it difficult?
Kayliegh Harte 4:01
I could not do it by hand. I tried and I just made her so angry and so ornery. So I wound up. I felt so bad for I was like, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. But um, I wound up just getting a milk machine from amazon for like 110 bucks, and it works beautiful. And she stands there nice for it.
Matt Derosier 4:27
That’s pretty slick. On time, does it depend on
Kayliegh Harte 4:32
maybe 10 minutes from start to finish for one goat?
Matt Derosier 4:36
Just once a day, twice a day.
Kayliegh Harte 4:38
It depends on how when you want to do it. You could do it once a day. You could do it twice today. It depends on if they’re feeding babies and if you want to separate them. I like to just do it in the morning. I don’t really like to be bothered and it’s hard to get out of the house because of our son being autistic. It’s hard to get out of the house and trust Him alone for a few minutes if I have to run outside so we always have to schedule things for very carefully around him.
Matt Derosier 5:01
Sure. So do you want to do you want to get into about using the goats with, with your son?
Kayliegh Harte 5:11
Sure. Um, so we initially weren’t really planning on using the goats for for anything to help him. But we’ve noticed when we first brought in the chickens even before the goats that um our oldest son who’s severely autistic and mostly nonverbal, he started to want to get involved and he would come out and he’d want to pick the eggs or, you know, just kind of look at them. And he thinks that they were funny when they were rolling in the ground. And then we brought the goats home and it was a whole new ballgame. We started naming them after, like his favorite Disney characters, hence forky from Toy Story, and it gave him a way of relating to them and like immediately because oh, they have a really cool name, you know, we have a goat named Suzy Sheep. She’s not a sheep, she’s a go from Peppa Pig. Um, but it helped him relate to them. And once we brought them in, this nonverbal child starts telling them good night, every night from the window and he goes out there and he wants to help me haul the buckets of water to go bring to them and stuff. The one downside we realized is because autistic kids can be very sensitive is that well, it’s not a downside it’s actually a really good thing that they can’t have a dirty housing at all it has to be super clean because he’s like sensitive to the smells from them. So like the buck pen, he doesn’t really go into much because the Bucks no matter what they have, they have a musk to them. But the the Joe’s in the weathers they he he does, he really enjoys them. And right now this little, this little dude literally goes upstairs every single night and talks him in and then they sing him a night night song and they tell him it’s time to go to his crib because he sleeps in a pack and play with the bed sheet over it.
Matt Derosier 7:01
That’s really great. I that’s such a great story. That’s, that’s why you when he told me like what it is you do and whatnot, I was so excited to get you on because I was just like, I’ve never heard anything like this before. This is amazing. Just like I don’t know, it’s just a feel good thing that like, hey, there’s similarily I have a I would say a mentally challenged cousin and him and horses are just like him and his horses. Just that’s all he like. He’s just as like horse chores, loves riding horses just loves playing with his horses, just like there’s something about connections with animals. And
Kayliegh Harte 7:47
absolutely, people don’t realize they have a school around here, which is one of the reasons why I kind of encouraged him to do stuff is there’s a school for children like him around here and they have a whole farm that the kids go to and they help and they do things for these animals and they all really love it so there’s there’s definitely something to it.
Matt Derosier 8:09
Yeah, it’s it’s really powerful. And like I think you like you said it’s it’s underrated for sure. So, I guess back to the goats I’m I’m a little curious about your restrictions in where you live. You can have goats, but not so what what are the things that you like can’t have,
Kayliegh Harte 8:33
I can’t have a rooster.
Matt Derosier 8:35
Kayliegh Harte 8:36
I can have up to 18 chickens. Nothing else is written in the code as far as like other fowl. Our property size in all technicality, there’s nothing written saying we can’t have a cow or we can’t have a horse. But we live on two acres, I’m not going to do that to a cow. And I’m not going to do that to a horse. It’s not fair. Um, but um, know that there’s, there’s some restrictions. There’s nothing written in in our code about goats. We actually had an issue where the village code enforcer had come to the house, and he had told us that we had to get rid of everything. And we did at first got rid of the first two goats we have, which we have back now. And we looked further into it because we’ve looked up all the coding, everything said that we were allowed to, to have everything that we have. And I actually had to get his boss on him and they had to bring in the village attorney to look through the code and everything to find out that he acted too quickly and telling us to get rid of things without looking into it that it’s not written and because it’s not written, we can have those things. But since the connection Riley is developed with them, I spoke to his doctor and she wrote us just as a backup in case they ever changed the law. And we’ve had fall into like a grandfathered in thing or whatever she wrote us. A doctor’s note for him that basically states that he as long as he has his condition of autism, which is a life condition can have an entire herd of goats so they’re safe.
Matt Derosier 10:15
Good. That’s I liked that you went over that guy’s head instead of fighting him. You’re just like, you went. I like that. I like that tactic a lot. But put him in his place.
Kayliegh Harte 10:27
I almost gave up. But my mom was actually the one who said don’t give up. It doesn’t make sense. You guys looked at everything. And there’s there’s should be you looked at everything. You guys are supposed to be allowed to have this. And she saw the difference just having them for three weeks made in my son. And she’s like, we can’t not have them on your property. It’s amazing what’s happening in front of our eyes. And she wasn’t wrong. So I was like, Alright, you’re right. I can’t not fight. So we fought we got the two back. Unfortunately, one was supposed to be a breeding buck. And where he went was to rescue and he got castrated. So we don’t get to use him as a breeder. But he’s the happy little weather telling us when our girls are in heat now. So
Matt Derosier 11:14
there you go. Still Still making them work.
Kayliegh Harte 11:16
Matt Derosier 11:19
So then what else do you have on your homestead?
Kayliegh Harte 11:22
We have a bunch of chickens. And we have a miniature pig. She lives inside the house. We’ve actually had her longer than we’ve had any of the other farm animals. Her name is Peppa, she she is six years old sugar gassed. Yeah, right. She’s six years old. She lives in the front room of the house. And she’s just she’s like a pet. She’s like one of the dogs. And then we have three dogs, and a bunch of little inside furry critters. We love animals in this house.
Matt Derosier 11:52
I can tell. Yeah. What about what about your garden?
Kayliegh Harte 11:58
My greenhouse just collapsed with the winter. So it needs to be redone? Yes, sure did. Well, it was one of those like pop up greenhouses. So it lasted a good two years. And this year, I knew it just was kind of already shot. And I’ve got other plans in my head of what I want to do. Which brings me to my goal of this summer is I’m going to learn how to use a chainsaw. I want to build Yeah, I want to learn how to build kind of like a cabin like structure around the raised beds that I had built. And I want to turn it into like just like a really cool with like the natural wood we have a lot of trees that we had felled. And I want to take a lot of the wood from those trees and just create kind of like a cabin base with like the side paneling and make just like really intricate looking neat greenhouse. I’ve got some summertime goals, I try to come up with like one or two things that I want to learn that’s new every year and like little projects that are like okay, let’s get this done this year. And maybe next year we’ll focus on that we try not to overwhelm ourselves with you know, let’s get it all done.
Matt Derosier 13:03
That that definitely backfires. Because then you’re just drowning to try to get everything done. And then nothing gets done. Absolutely. Like, I’ve got a rock path that I started building for drainage, because all the water runs off the gravel driveway to one side of the house, and then it just kind of work digging out the hard dirt. And then, you know, putting in drainage there and I stopped. And I don’t even remember why I stopped but doesn’t matter because right now it’s just a muddy mess. Because there’s no more rocks, they stopped using the rocks. And it’s been like that for two years. And so yeah, from a different plan or just finish it. So yeah. Yeah, so what so bigger greenhouse nicer greenhouse. What motivates you to grow your own food?
Kayliegh Harte 14:01
The quality of food and my son I think a lot too, because he he’s not just autistic. And most autistic kids also come with ADHD, which he has a nice case of in addition to his autism. And there’s a lot to be said about food and the quality of the food and the fake preservatives and everything and the dyes and stuff that are in a lot of like storebought foods, basically exasperating the hyperactivity and his inability to focus and stuff like that. So having more natural foods come from a place that we’re familiar with that we know we know where they came from. We know if they were sprayed with anything, which they wouldn’t be because I just don’t like doing that. But we know exactly. It started as this teeny tiny little seed and it grew into something and I mean, there’s pride there too. You put a seed in the ground, you water it, you take care of it, you nourish it, you hope the moles don’t eat it and And then if they don’t, you’ve got something to put on your own table, which is it’s really pride. There’s a lot of pride involved in that.
Matt Derosier 15:08
So in, in doing the growing your own food and feeding it to your Have you noticed a difference in his behavior or attention or just by feeding him homegrown food.
Kayliegh Harte 15:23
Um, we’re still getting to a point where he’s getting more food from us than than the than the grocery store. But right now we don’t have any any dose in milk. But I did notice in the summer when we had our one dough that was in milk that had kidded, he was getting his medicine and her milk morning, afternoon and night. And because he was drinking the goat’s milk that came from the farm, we knew what we were feeding her I did notice his behaviors were a little bit different in in a good way. And he was a little bit calmer. I mean, granted, he was getting medication, but it was just, it was a noticeable difference in his focus. And this summer, he blossomed in speech and everything else. And he was eating some vegetables and stuff from the garden as well. And things it was just not as much store bought stuff. As it was from home. You know, his eggs are now always from home, we have that, you know, it, it seems to be I think we’ve seen improvement in him whether I can say definitively that it’s because of the food or whatever, I can’t. But this, we’ve seen a lot of growth in him this year.
Matt Derosier 16:39
That’s awesome. So is would you say that a goal of yours is to just just keep producing more of your own food? And then last buying from the store? Is there a Is there a point like, is it 100%? Is it 75% 50?
Kayliegh Harte 17:03
Absolutely, um, I’d like to expand more on the greenhouse. I am not the best with the green thumb. I’m working on it. I figure like 30 years to charm. The first year I had done pretty well and got all the way up until about a week or so before it was time to harvest a lot of stuff. And something went through the greenhouse me at least I would say 80% of my crop. Oh no. So it was I think it was like moles or something they crawled up through the raise. I’ve raised beds that are about like 21 inches deep or whatever. And whatever it was crawled up through I think it was moles. So the next summer this last summer, I physically dug out each and every race bed and I did a huge luxury beds. So I had to take the sticks that were still in there because it was Hugo culture. So there were sticks in the bottom, and then all this other stuff and I had to dig it all up and all out. And I lined the bottom with hardware cloth. Like these little suckers aren’t getting up through here this time, filled them all back in that was like a weekend’s worth of work. You know, the kids are at school, the husband’s at work, and I’m out there just shoveling.
Matt Derosier 18:19
Oh my gosh, they said it’s like so much work, but it needed to be
Kayliegh Harte 18:24
good. i He my husband so funny because he enjoys the work too. But I’m like my dad, I get working on a project. And I’m like, I don’t care if the sun’s going down. I want to finish it. And I’m like, fully engulfed in it. And he’s like, come inside and eat dinner, take a shower, and I’m like, it’s fine. And he’s no, come inside. So he’s kind of my, my ground. He keeps me keeps me actually drinking and eating.
Matt Derosier 18:50
Yeah, sure. I completely understand. I’ve been there. Yeah. So that’s cool that you do who will culture ins inside of inside of a race beds so you
Kayliegh Harte 19:03
didn’t have enough dirt to fill the van and that’s really expensive. And I didn’t have the huge heap of compost until this year or anything. So I had to come up with something to fill the bed and to make it high enough. So I learned about Hugo culture and I said you know what, this sounds like an awesome thing. It’s just going to biodegrade inside and create more of a healthier soil. So I said let’s go for it and we had tons of sticks and stuff because we had a bunch of trees felled so I just went out and collected as many sticks as I could and filled the whole bottom and we had straws filled up with straw and then I put some compost and then dirt on top and did it right inside the raised bed. It was a good way of filling it.
Matt Derosier 19:46
That’s great. So what other like methods or techniques are you trying on your place?
Kayliegh Harte 19:54
Um, we we’ve tried a lot of things. I mean, honestly, YouTube leads us to so many different ideas and Looks like one person says, Oh, do it this way the other one says do it that way. And sometimes we’ll combine them and make it our own way. I did a water piping system because I’m too. I like to farm. But I also like easy, I don’t, I do not like lugging water. I think it’s a waste of time and a pain in the butt. So I came up with I found a video again on YouTube and kind of made it my own and ran pvc piping from the hose spigot and put it all together and made two new spigots one by the chickens one buy the greenhouse, and then have it where all we have to do is turn the hose on and it’s got ball valves to turn it on or off and different ball valves and different lower and high points so you can drain it out so it doesn’t pop in the winter time. And that helped us because I’m lazy and I would rather just have a hose right where I want to be and not lug a pail of water to where I hate winter time. Like I want the spring now because I’m wondering what
Matt Derosier 21:04
I can absolutely relate. I put on this year, it was like I think he was Prime Day or something like that. And I bought five irrigation timers that like hook in line with a hose. So the little watering that I have to do for like my postage stamp of a lawn because the rest of it’s like I’m on just over two acres also. The rest of it’s just like sage and nap weed and just kind of like the sage nap we can go away but like anyways, the lawn barely needs any, any any watering. But I don’t want to do it. So I just put it on timers and let it go. So yeah, I mean the thick like to do like those little tricks. It just lets you put in like the 510 15 minutes here and there to the other things that you really want to absolutely to get done not like these mundane, carrying water or carrying a hose or whatever it is. So absolutely things like that always, always work out. Tony is that an issue? Your goats eat your hair.
Kayliegh Harte 22:23
Not all of them. This guy though, will just chow down and I tell him it’s hair not Hey, and he just doesn’t listen.
Matt Derosier 22:30
Well if it didn’t smell like hey, I’m assuming
Kayliegh Harte 22:34
no, well, it could I mean, I’m outside.
Matt Derosier 22:38
So So what have you tried that worked?
Kayliegh Harte 22:42
Matt Derosier 22:45
homesteading is working out really well. I’m glad that it doesn’t always for everybody.
Kayliegh Harte 22:50
No, no, it really doesn’t for everybody. But we found a part of us that we didn’t know existed until we did this and it brought my husband and I closer together it brought the kids and us closer together the heck and gave me a business to do from home and I’ve been thinking for years how how can I possibly maybe work for home from home and spend more time with my son his behaviors require me to be home so I’m constantly stuck doing like, you know, evening shift of some kind of job that is only like one to two or three days a week because I can’t be away from him too long because it affects him. So um, it’s got me to a point where you know, my hope is that you know, by this time next year that I’m not doing a side job at all anymore that I’m working straight from the house and then I can have all my focus here on the farm and the family and everything else so homesteading. It did it brought us a lot of a lot of good.
Matt Derosier 23:54
Good. That’s great. So what what hasn’t worked so far? You’re trying, you’re trying new things, a little bit of this little bit of that. What hasn’t worked?
Kayliegh Harte 24:09
Ducks don’t buy ducks.
Matt Derosier 24:13
Just because they’re messy.
Kayliegh Harte 24:14
They’re horrible. They’re so sweet. And they’re loving and you hatch them from these little eggs and you’re like, oh, and then they love you and they follow you around. And then they grow up one day, and then they act like they don’t know you have to chase them into their house because they don’t know how to listen. They flatten all of everything and turn it into a muddy mess and they like shoot poop it’s not even like a chicken where it just falls it just they shoot wet. Gross. It’s just nasty. No ducks just we’re not. They’re not for this homestead. Just just put it that way.
Matt Derosier 24:53
That’s fair. That’s fair. Not every not every animal can be for every every play. There’s no one size fits all. Like, I don’t think I’d really want goats. So, I mean, I thought about sheep. We almost pulled the trigger on sheep, but we have like a lot of infrastructure that we would need to do in order to keep sheep. But you Yeah, I don’t know. Because I’ve heard a lot of people have a really great, great time with ducks, but I feel like they’re also very noisy.
Kayliegh Harte 25:29
They can be they can you know, it’s really noisy a guinea hen.
Matt Derosier 25:34
I haven’t heard that. Are they noisy?
Kayliegh Harte 25:36
Oh my gosh, they’re horrible. We just, we have my mom’s I, during spring, I had shout eight guinea hens for her. And we gave them to her and I helped her set up. But you know, what we thought was a really safe habitat for them at her property. And it was safe against most things, but not a bear. And one survived out of ball eight. So I told her I was like, You can’t leave him there because the bears gonna come back and I brought my trail cam over and hooked it up inside of my says you watch he’s going to come back. I took the guinea hen home with me and let it live with the chickens. And lo and behold, on that trail cam, there comes a bear crawling in there like Hey, where’s where’s the rest of the meat? You know? So. But yeah, we have him and I can’t wait to return him. I mean, he’s nice and cool looking. But he is loud. They’re like an alarm system. Anytime we come walking down the driveway. They’re just and then any like, don’t The one thing is good is like if if the deer are walking around in the yard or Fox or something there they are an alarm system. So they are loud, but they’re useful loud. Like not like ducks.
Matt Derosier 26:51
I did not know that. I’m gonna have to after this I’m gonna have to look up what a guinea hen sounds like cuz we got a, like a catalog for poultry. Like, Hey, would you like to buy more meat birds this year? Not this year. But. And guinea hens is one of the things sorry. And yeah, we both got problems today. But that’s alright. We’re working through it. Yeah. And guinea hens was was in was in the catalog. And I’m like, Oh, I’ve heard you know good things about these like my wife and I we like watching homestead rescue even though we were
Kayliegh Harte 27:35
watching that last night, over the top dramatic.
Matt Derosier 27:37
It’s just funny though. But in so they used guinea hens I think in one of the one of the episodes. And so we thought about it because they’re supposed to be like good foragers and whatnot. And I was just like,
Kayliegh Harte 27:49
I don’t Yeah, and they’re really good for ticks. That’s why I hatched them for my mom. It’s because she had, she had such a bad tick problem on her property. We went for a walk through her yard. And five minutes later, we’re back at the house and pulled five or so deer ticks off of us. Center I says I can’t bring the kids over here until we do something about it. And she’s she’s very homeopathic and you know, just was cool, actual things and stuff like that, you know? So I said to her, I said, get yourself some guinea hens or some chickens. But the guinea hens can eat over 3000 ticks in a day. I think it’s 3000 don’t hold me to that fact. It’s either 1000 or 3000 but it’s definitely in the 1000s and that’s just one guinea hen. And I think that the ticks are attracted to them because of their body heat or their carbon monoxide or something that they expel and they go right to them to just be eaten or something because we had gotten her aid and they were in a small spot on an 11 acre lot now she doesn’t use the whole 11 acres but the section that we were having issues far away from where they were there were no more ticket issues and they weren’t being let out constantly so that something was good about them being there they the numbers completely dwindled.
Matt Derosier 29:13
Complete side question with your mom being more homeopathic was there anything? Like any suggestions that she had for you? For your oldest son? being autistic? Like, Hey, I just I have no idea what anything would be like?
Kayliegh Harte 29:37
No, I’m really always offered advice. I don’t think there was anything medicinal, you know, like or Billy, whatever, you know, I’m offered as far as his condition goes. A lot of the times like, like she was just telling me a whole bunch of things to take because we just got over COVID You know, he she was you know, take zinc and vitamin C and Vitamin D and, you know, take drops of oregano essential oil mixed with olive oil and put it on your tongue and hold it there as long as you can. And she’s all these things will help you and I know they will. But um, I don’t think there was anything other than, you know, just the typical, we got to get him into speech therapies and occupational therapies and the right school and stuff like that. Nothing really medicinal wise at all. I don’t remember.
Matt Derosier 30:27
I was just curious. Because like, I’ve known people that that are like that. And like, my wife is in a herbal class right now. And she came back from class, she every her classes are two hours, two hour sessions once a week, and she’ll just like, unload everything that she just learned on me. And it’s super cool. Like, you know, oh, wow, I didn’t know that about what like this thing are like metals and like rose hips. And, you know, we can make a thing out of this. But we got little hairs and I don’t know, it’s just like little, almost like, a lot lost. It’s almost like lost knowledge, like, it was not taught, like, conventionally. So
Kayliegh Harte 31:24
now you’re told Big Pharma is what is it supposed to be in that they’re supposed to be the fix all cure all, and not realizing that growing in your backyard could be something that may help you better? I mean, I don’t know how many times I’ve used something herbal and found that it’s treated me way better than, you know, taking that cough syrup. You know, some school remedies. I mean, for COVID Right now, you know, one of my biggest things for the coffee is a spoonful of sugar with a couple of drops of whiskey on it and you eat the sugar and it works better for my cough than roba tests and guys, you know, huh, that was grandpa’s grandpa’s secret recipe for for getting rid of a cough.
Matt Derosier 32:06
I might actually remember that one. I’m not like a I’m not really a drinker or anything like that. But
Kayliegh Harte 32:12
it’s not about a couple of drops just about getting the whiskey to just kind of just gently coat the sugar and you eat the sugar. You’re not doing it for the whiskey. You’re doing it for the or with the whiskey on it.
Matt Derosier 32:27
One of my favorite things is when we go and get sushi in town, they give you pickled ginger, and it’s really good. And anytime like my stomach’s not feeling right, I eat a couple slices that pickled ginger and it’s really good. We tried making it ourselves once. It was not the same. It was and it took a whole took a long time to like peel it because it doesn’t really peel it you more like shave it.
Kayliegh Harte 33:01
Let’s gonna say it looks more like something that’s kind of like a route that shovel so I think you would just like a carrot.
Matt Derosier 33:09
Yeah, because it has like all those nooks and crannies in it. You really take more like the edge of a spoon in like scrape the skin off the ginger and then dice it up my dice sorry, you slice it. And then the pickling brine might have been a little bit oily or a little weird on ours as well.
Kayliegh Harte 33:30
Pickling is an interesting thing to take to take on. It’s not every pickle can taste totally different. Getting the Brian just right is is like I feel like you have to be year’s worth of like Master. It’s got to be it’s like an art.
Matt Derosier 33:48
That is true. I was I was working on this ranch in Montana. And they’re like, Would you like some sauerkraut? And I never had like, I’m a I come from like meat and potatoes world. Right? Like I’m I’m not eating sauerkraut. But I but I was like, whatever. I’ll try it. And so I tried it I’m like, This tastes like pickles. No one told me this tastes like pickles. This is great. And like, next night she opened another jar like would you like some like sure tastes totally different. Like I don’t know what it tasted like but it didn’t taste like pickles. So I mean just from batch to batch and who knows what when they were they were even canned or jarred the same day or whatever. But so what would you say the biggest challenge in homesteading is as you face so far.
Kayliegh Harte 34:52
Um I would say our lot size is been a pretty interesting challenge. is trying to accommodate what we want to do around what we’re allowed to do, because we have to follow so many rules. Um, yeah, I’d say that’s pretty much like the biggest challenge. And where we’re where we’re located, we also have to plan for things based off of like, you know, what’s it going to be like in winter, what’s it going to be like in the summer is there going to be a certain like we had issues with the lower half we have, our property kind of cuts into to almost, we have what we call our lower field. And that was not usable up until last summer, because it would flood. And they finally they fix the issue of drainage that was outside of our property line. So we weren’t allowed to fix it. But they finally came in whoever owns that property, fixed it, and dug it out and has it now where there’s nice big, the water goes where it’s supposed to go. But there was like a whole good, I would say, half an acre, we couldn’t use because of flooding. So it’s just a matter of like, figuring out. You just got to think really, really good before you do stuff. But I mean, we’ve got everything I think we’re going to want. I mean, eventually I do want a horse, but that’s not going to happen on this property. And we’re here for at least the next 10 years. And wherever we go, everything’s coming with us except for the house. So
Matt Derosier 36:26
sure, yeah. You know, that flooded area would probably be pretty good for ducks. Yeah, it’s not again, um, anything that you wanted to do that you couldn’t physically do on this property? would? Would you be able to use your your mom’s place? Or like a neighbor rent some rent some, like a lot near you? Or is that that option? Have you have you researched that at all?
Kayliegh Harte 37:02
I mean, there are options, like I had thought about maybe doing my own hay. Um, because hay gets expensive. And we have a hard time like this time of year right now we’ve come across like our hay, our hay guy, he’s out, there’s no more hay. So now, we have to find like other sources and stuff like that, which we have, you know, a local farm store that’s literally right down the road. And they always have hay, but it’s like, where we would pay $6 a bale now we’re paying $10 a bale, you know, so it’s, it’s a price difference. Yeah. Um, and we do it. So we are thinking of adding more structures, like a hay storage structure of some sort, or something like that, which we can do on this property with no problem. What do you call it? I was going to do like maybe like hanging fields or something like that my mom offered up part of her land, which would be great. But I would have to plow it, which I don’t have a plow, or any of those things. And I’m definitely not going to do it by link. But I won’t, I won’t just hate the field that she has. Because I don’t know what’s in there are very particular about what I feed my goats. And I’ve heard horror stories about you know, like milkweed getting into a batch of hay and all sudden, half the herd is dead. So I’m, I’m very, very picky about looking at my bales of hay before I give them to them. My animals eat probably better than I do. Um, and definitely, much more timely than I do. But, um, yeah, we’re very, we’re very picky about all that. So.
Matt Derosier 38:51
Um, one option that a lot of people do around here, because the buying hay equipment is expensive, is that they just hire out someone to Hey, their properties that RV is Hey, so like. And typically you don’t even have to pay them for it. They just take a cut of the hay. So like, hey, I’ll take I’ll take 100 bales and you take 80 or something like that, whatever, whatever it works out to be. They’ll just, they’ll just do it because they like
Kayliegh Harte 39:32
I’ll have to look into that. I did have a friend of ours was was offering services to help people scale but I never asked really what it was involved in it. We don’t have enough property to really just be like, Hey, come here with your big crazy equipment. And hey, though, he’ll be like, you know, one swoop and he’ll be like, you know, I
Matt Derosier 39:52
can’t turn around now. Right,
Kayliegh Harte 39:54
exactly. Or he’ll get trapped in the mud because there’s there’s some pretty mucky spots and stuff. certain spots on the property. So, yeah,
Matt Derosier 40:03
there was one. One guy I was talking to. He, he, he does hang for like mainly. And he’s he’s a ranch kid. And he went to this neighbor’s property like, Oh, is there anything in here in this field that I should know about? Like? Nope. And so he’s he’s hanging their field any think they hit like the wellhead or something like that or something weird on their, on their property that was sticking out and that was covered with the hay couldn’t see it. And so he, like the money that he made. Selling the hay was less than the cost of repairing the thing, plus the equipment that of his own that he that he ruined. And so he’s like, I I want to be mad. And I still am kind of mad. But like, you told me there wasn’t anything in this field. And you didn’t want any of this. Hey, I was just going to like you just wanted it. Hey, you’re just gonna give it to me. That’s fine. But like, come on. This is now. This is now a lot of work for me. That’s right. Yeah. So what would you tell somebody that wanted to get started in homesteading, or specifically goats. Um,
Kayliegh Harte 41:40
I’d say definitely check to make sure that you are allowed to have whatever you’re allowed to have. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen stories of someone saying, Oh, we just got these goats. And then now the village is telling us we can’t have them or their town is saying this not allowed on our size property or in this specific zone. So definitely, just be mindful of where you live and what the rules and regulations are for where you live. Also, dream big, but start small, don’t plan to finish everything in one year, it’s not going to happen. Make yourself small goals that you know you can achieve. And you’re going to succeed you know, it’s not going to happen overnight. And it shouldn’t happen overnight. You know, your hands get dirty every single day because that’s what you’re in it for. You don’t it doesn’t just start one day and stop the next you know, you’re in it for life, you know that they live, you know, anywheres between 12 and I’ve seen 16 years on a goat. And if you’re not going to devote your time to having that animal forever, or if you’re buying them for meat, that’s one thing but you know you’re buying a living creature. So make sure that its life counts for something and that it has a good life while it’s on your property. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people just giving up animals all the time and it just bothers me when they come to my property. That’s their forever home.
Matt Derosier 43:06
That’s well said. Especially I see a lot of people giving up roosters, a buddy of mine put out an ad on Craigslist and I think Facebook marketplace like I’ll take all your roosters, all of them. And people are just dropping them off by like the dozens. And he ended up with at rousse is on his property. fed them for about two to four weeks, I want to say and then in a weekend process them all stocking up the freezer. So I was like, that’s pretty smart.
Kayliegh Harte 43:46
I mean, that’s a good way to start up the freezer. But I mean if that person raised that roosters, like yeah, I hope it has a good home like I mean that one’s a hard one. I’ve hatched I’ve had chicks before and I’ve had to give up roosters you know that one’s that one’s a different some I mean like I knew I couldn’t have them but you know you want to hatch chicks you take the risk of you know, you have to get rid of some so you try your best to find them a good home but roosters they typically go to freezer camp you only need one or two on the property.
Matt Derosier 44:17
Yeah, otherwise they’ll just fight like so you’re into the so in your Are you selling goats currently?
Kayliegh Harte 44:31
We have three Eidos bread right now. The first one I’m not 100% sure of her due date. She stood for the buck two times and went into heat two times. So I’m not sure if she’s doing March or if she’s doing April. I’m keeping a close eye on her though around the first possible due date but we have one do anywhere March 19 or April 10. We have another one due April 14. And then we have another one you may 6
Matt Derosier 45:00
Let’s see is that is that normal that they’re spread out from like, that far of like a month?
Kayliegh Harte 45:09
Um, well, ours, a lot of ours are young, because we just started out. So we have a lot that are, you know, not even quite a year old yet, you can breed them as early as seven or eight months old if they make all of the body requirements. So you want to make sure that they’re at least 40 pounds, or larger. This is the Nigerian dwarf goat breed, I’m not talking about, you know, the larger breeds or anything like that. But you want to make sure that they’re at least 40 pounds. And that they have it’s called thermal thermal, the thermal, it’s basically their, their pin bones on their back end, you have to make sure that you can’t just, you know, touch them like this with space in between your hands, you have to be able to really make sure that the light enough to carry these, and they’re overall just they look like they’ve got good size and, and everything else and that they’re healthy and, and stuff. So we only had out of our five, those, we had one, she just three years old, so she definitely is fine. And then we had two younger ones that were the right age, and that did meet the physical requirements. And then we have two other little girls that are the right age, but they just have not met the physical requirements yet, they’re just on the smaller side, some grow quicker, some grow smaller. So um, I mean slower. So we have three that are bred right now. And we’ll probably retain a female or two from these kings, but everything else is going to be up for sale. They’re all adga registerable. So they can be shown. And they they come from most of them have very good show lines and milk lines. But it’s a few generations back all the breeders, we got ours from hadn’t done shows or anything like that with them. So our plan is to get my son taking me the goats to show and getting our girls on milk testing and stuff so that we can bring those hidden genes that you know, are a few generations back back into into play and get them their pedigree to go a little bit higher.
Matt Derosier 47:13
Sure, that makes sense. Now, can I ask what you sell your goats for?
Kayliegh Harte 47:18
It depends. Like this little guy, when he starts making babies, they’re going to be a lot more expensive, because his dad is a three time grand champion three Time Best in Show, two time best in breed. And a whole bunch of other stuff and also comes from stellar milk lions, he’s already like a star beat buck. And then his mom, same thing, she won a few shows or a show or two. And she has her milk star already. So he’s going to be pushing some really good genetics into the herd so his babies will sell for more expensive. The ones that we have, we have to play it safe, we can’t just sell for $200 and hope that somebody doesn’t turn them into meat, their dairy goats. They’re not meat goats, we love our animals, we don’t want to see them turn into somebody’s food or go to auction. So we sell them for a little bit more expensive and they are adga they are good. They all look really good. They can be shown. So are those go for a start of $450. I had our bucks start at 350. And it the price is subject to change depending on certain features that they come what they come out with. And weathers are always 200 $250 Because they’re castrated bucks. They’re only as good as a pet.
Matt Derosier 48:38
Okay, so like, what kind of features would somebody be looking for when they’re buying a goat?
Kayliegh Harte 48:45
It depends on what they’re looking for it for. So they could be looking for a stronger dairy lines. So they may pinch the skin and look for looser skin on the goat. A looser skin on the goat means that the bag has the ability to fill even on a buckling buckling pass over a lot of their milk production jeans to their daughters, more so than their moms do. So, um, they’ll be maybe looking at like the skin or they might be checking out like, you know, do you have pictures of the other to see what they look like. I mean, I’ve seen some of the others like this little guys, mom’s otters are like, way bigger than my head. I mean just these giant things, but you also want the connection of the others on the back end to be strong and solid because you don’t want that bag hanging on the ground. You’re looking at bacteria kids not being able to feed because it’s too low to the ground. So you need strong structure in that. That honor. There’s also an LA appraisal scores, which we’re going to we’re going to be getting eventually everything costs a decent penny to do you know and we’re not made of money. So we’re gonna get there eventually. But there’s the LA appraisal which is basically like Like, basically like, like a appraiser will come to your property, but they appraise the goat. So they see the way it stands, they see how it holds itself and, and how thick it is here thin it is here and they tell you, you know how long its neck is. And they’ll give it a number that’s number to have is between 90 and 100, that means you have an excellent quality goat, it’s not the easiest to obtain those numbers. So you’ll see more often like in the 80s, which is just a very good condition to go. And that’s it’s still a really good goat to have. And then there’s show history, you know, like did the parents win shows and stuff because that’s also an indicator that the babies may be able to, or it can be passed on in certain which ways and stuff. So there’s a lot of different things people would look for. And then there’s, you know, regular everyday people who are just looking for like a pet, but they want a certain color pattern. Nigerians come with such excellent color patterns. Actually, what forky is here is my absolute favorite. It’s called a sham Jose. And it’s a black underbelly with black legs, and the brown body with the black stripe down the back. But then there’s a lot of different other ones you’ve buckskins you’ve got Moon spots, Moon spots are different little like misplaced spots of different color. On the go. It can be anywhere and a lot of people look for moon spots, people sometimes want blue eyes over non blue eyes, or you have foreign goats or you polled goats. There’s a lot.
Matt Derosier 51:39
That does sound like a lot. It’s It’s interesting trying to figure out, like, what the values of all those characteristics would be like? I don’t know, is it more 404 5500? Tie and six? So like, it’s weird to like, is there? What’s the, what’s the goat market? by you? Like, is it competitive Are you like, it’s like you and one other person that are goat breeders.
Kayliegh Harte 52:14
Um, if I had to, for the most part travel to get my goats, I haven’t found a lot of people locally by me who, um, who have this breed, the one I didn’t even know she existed until like, last year is the one I got forky from and she’s actually only about 15 minutes away, and works right down the road from me. So we’ve become friends now. Um, but she’s got she’s got goats that are I mean, I can’t even compete with hers, because she shows everybody and she’s got them all on milk testing. Like I can’t I’ll, I’ll catch up one day. But But I mean, market wise. I mean, I’ve traveled up to five and a half hours away to go get my guys. So I mean, I think if you put them as a reasonable price, and you know, you show people that you care, and that your goats are well cared for. I mean, there’s also disease testing, I do that I think it’s very important to disease test your herd, you can introduce things to your herd if you don’t, um, and a lot of people like I will never buy a goat that’s not from a herd that’s disease tested. Some people will. So I mean, there’s, there’s a market where someone could be selling one, but they may not test for stuff, and they could be giving you anything you know, so I don’t really do it to be in competition with anybody. I do it because I need milk. You got to breed them in order to get milk. And they just happen to be their own little moneybags there too. So it just it it helps
Matt Derosier 53:52
do you sell the goat milk itself.
Kayliegh Harte 53:55
Um, I don’t really want to get into selling food products or dairy products or anything like that. I feel like there’s way too much red tape to go through to do it safely and not get sued. So I don’t sell the milk and I only like give eggs to friends and stuff like that I don’t really bother with like farm food stuff. I think there’s just, um, it’s out of my realm of comfort level, I think so I do the soaps. And I really enjoy the soaps I keep them as natural as possible. I refuse to use fragrance oils or anything, um, any colorants or anything like that in there. Anything I do for color and stuff comes from like actually infusing something from a plant to get that color from the plant to go into the soaps and essential oils and things like that. For scenting. I’ve also infused oils with like vanilla and stuff because you can’t get enough of vanilla essential oil. It doesn’t exist. So like you have to infuse other oils in Just to get like a vanilla scent, so I stay as natural as possible, but I’d rather do the soap side of things, then the food and then I’ll keep milk for ourselves like Riley loves yogurt, and she loves milk. The kids used to run outside to watch me milk Amber. And that’s our Big Mom and goat we were milking the summer, they would run out there, watch me milker and then be waiting for me inside when I’d come inside with the pail and pull the strawberry syrup out of the fridge. And I look at them and go, it’s not even cold yet. So I mean, it was a fight to even take any of the milk for soaps, because the kids were too busy going on a drink. Oh,
Matt Derosier 55:48
really funny. Yeah. How many kids do you have?
Kayliegh Harte 55:51
I have two boys.
Matt Derosier 55:53
Okay. Um, that’s really funny. Sure, that made me forget my question. Oh, I remember, do you do goat milk lotion at all.
Kayliegh Harte 56:09
I’m actually in the process of I’ve designed it, I’ve made the recipe, I’m going to make a body butter, but it’s not going to be a goat milk. When to start, I’m going to start with just a regular body butter because as soon as I introduce any kind of water substance like milk or anything like that to lotion, you need a preservative to put in there. And I’m still doing my due diligence on research of what I want to use. Because I’m very picky about you know, stuff like that, because it’s not exactly natural, you know, I mean, so soap has lie in it. It’s just you can’t get away from that. So it’s also something that’s not 100% natural, but it changes chemically as soon as it touches the oils. So I’m still trying to figure out what preservative I want to use. I’m pretty sure I know which one I want to use. But I have not made that yet. But I will be making a a body butter. Probably this week, I’ve already designed it but I haven’t been in my my soap room really, to make anything or touch anything since I had the COVID because I don’t want to contaminate anything until I’m better. You know.
Matt Derosier 57:20
That’s fair. We use a goat milk lotion on my son’s legs. He he gets eczema pretty easily and pretty bad. And we tried a bunch of different stuff you want to talk about like Big Pharma or whatever. Like the Johnson and Johnson ag eczema or a vino baby lotion, stuffer, whatever didn’t do jack for it. We just do very little goat milk lotion on his legs and that like every night it’s been no problem. Like he used to get it so bad that it would be like oh gross, like what’s wrong with your legs? And I don’t even know how my wife found out about that. She probably somebody she follows on Instagram that does like goat milk lotion. And so she’s like, I’m gonna buy some like, try it whatever. And so we tried it. I’m like this stuff is like made of miracles or something. I don’t even know that.
Kayliegh Harte 58:33
So funny that you say that because both my kids have horrible eczema. My mom has horrible eczema. My grandmother has horrible eczema. I don’t really have it, but I watch everybody in my life suffer from it. So I cannot advertise that my soaps or my products are to treat eczema because I am not a cosmetologist. But what I can say is I’ve researched a lot into the specific oils that I use in my soap, and the super fat content that I leave, which if you don’t know a super fat content in soap is a it’s a percentage of the oils that are not turned into soap that are left in it to continue to hydrate the skin. So if you have a zero 0% All you have is something that’s cleansing that’s probably gonna leave your skin super dry and not fun. But what I do is I do a 7% super fat which is kind of high, but Eczema is a dry skin condition. It’s only treated by moisturizing the skin and keeping it clean and everything else so I use the 7% fat and my soaps and I use hemp seed oil is really really good for eczema and certain essential oils and stuff are also really good for eczema. Since I started using my own soaps on And the kids, they’ve had a world of difference in their skin they have not broken out at all this winter. And then my grandma was having such a hard time that the soap itself by itself was helping but it wasn’t it was not helping her enough. So I just whipped together a bunch of the oils and I turned it into a staff with some essential oils that are really good for the same thing and they’re good for eczema in there and I brought over this jar of just a salve that I brought over which is fine because it doesn’t have any waters or anything in it. So it’s good for you know, a year on the shelf just good shelf life. And she’s been using it just putting it in certain parts of her her skin and stuff and it’s been clearing it up for her that’s actually what I designed me the body butter to be as because I wanted something that wasn’t like a greasy salve. I wanted something that’s more like the consistency of lotion with the same qualities as that because I have a friend at work too, who tried it and she has terrible eczema. She came to me one day and she is I don’t know what to do. And I says put it on there and don’t Don’t go easy on it, put it on there and see how it goes. And after a week she came to me like almost crying that she’s so excited she actually had to run to her parents because the first time in a long time her skin has been clear doesn’t treat eczema it’s just good stuff.
Matt Derosier 1:01:35
Just good stuff. I think you should put that on the on the label. Am I just good stuff I’m wrapping up here. Do you want to tell people what you’re doing with some of the proceeds from selling your soaps and stuff,
Kayliegh Harte 1:01:57
I would love to I’m so we are so grateful that we’ve been given this opportunity to do what makes us really happy and to watch our son just starting to thrive from being around these animals and that he’s getting so much from them. And we feel like you know, we’ve been given like this gift from the universe. So we we’ve decided to give back a percentage. So every soap or lotion or whatever we sell when we really start getting getting going. Everything we sell is going to we donate 10% to a scholarship fund called the Devin Houseman Memorial Scholarship Fund, we donate 10% of it every single month to to this fund to help kids like my son get into into certain colleges or programs or it’s it’s these kids don’t get an opportunity like a normal kid to Excel or to get scholarships and things because they don’t meet the typical requirements. A lot of them aren’t even able to technically graduate because they’re working on like an IEP. And they’re not classified as a normal kid. But like one of them may have a dream of I want to open up a candle store. And I’m really good at this. And I know what I want to do. And some of the money can be donated or not donated, but given to the kid as a scholarship to help them get their feet on the ground. But it’s meant for children who are special needs or have special gifts to give them an opportunity that they might not they might be overlooked for and any other place. And it’s it’s just a beautiful thing. We know the the two parents that started it, their son passed away in 2021. He was it’s so weird, but he was so much like my son. I mean he was much older, but like almost to the tee. All the stories I hear and stuff. I feel like I’m hearing stories about my son. And it was just a tragic thing that he passed away and he was such a kind sweet soul and they wanted to do something because of you know, in honor of him and in memory of him and they started up this amazing Scholarship Fund and their first year their goal was to reach $20,000 That was this year, they had to reach it by December, December came and they were at $25,000 which 5000 more dollars was their next year’s goal to get it up and they’ve only been increasing and climbing and climbing and every single month I sell soaps every single month. I’ve been almost doubling what I’ve donated the month prior which is just It’s heartwarming and it’s it’s I feel so good that we do it and I really appreciate all the people who have bought soap and everything from us so that we can do it. Um, baby goats when we sell them. We don’t do a percentage, but we do $50 Off the top of every baby goat, you know, so I sell a baby goat for $450.50 of that 450 goes right to the scholarship fund to try and help these kids Excel and get a chance to further themselves in life.
Matt Derosier 1:05:24
That’s amazing. That’s really cool. Maybe we can talk about this more after what I was thinking about today in prepping for this was like, what if she set up like, sponsorships for like the goats, like, sponsor a goat? Like whatever, like, I don’t really know exactly how that would work. Maybe, like, the breeding bucks. You like, since you’re gonna keep them in, you’re gonna name them? Or, or your son’s gonna name them? Like, Hey, would you like to sponsor forky for like 100 bucks or whatever. And like, that 100 bucks, you would, you know, be added to your monthly amount that you write your check or whatever percentage of that amount like these someone sponsors that go for could go towards that scholarship fund. I don’t know. Just just like, just an idea. I had like floating around, like, how could other people get in on what you’re doing is just like, I don’t know, just just curious. So. But hey, was there is there anything you want it to wrap up on?
Kayliegh Harte 1:06:50
Um, I definitely wanted to hit the donation. Thanks. I thought people should know. You know, what, what we do with the money and everything else? Um, I think I think I’m pretty good.
Matt Derosier 1:07:07
All right, where can people follow you?
Kayliegh Harte 1:07:10
Right now I’d say the best place to follow me is on our Instagram, which is chicken heart homestead.
Matt Derosier 1:07:16
I will have links to that. Okay.
Kayliegh Harte 1:07:19
I do have a Facebook page. We don’t have a ton of followers. But I will be, especially in March and April. I’d like to gain more followers on there. I’m maybe posting live pictures of the live videos of the births from the goats. Some people may think it’s gross, but I think it’s fascinating. So I’ll probably be doing that. On our Facebook page. Our website right now is under construction, I’m having difficulties changing the domain name to the one that I’ve paid for, from the one from like, the free Wix website and stuff like that. So I’m having an issue, getting that resolved. So right now I can’t really give it’s supposed to be chicken heart. homestead.com. But when I pull that up, it’s not leaving me to anything. So I’m not the most tech savvy person in the world. So I’m trying. But Instagram is definitely the place to follow us. I post on there at least two maybe three times a week, sometimes even more, because I’m bored. And there’s, there’s a lot of forkie content these days. He’s been doing tricks and actually he’s got two new tricks that he’s going to be debuting soon too. So
Matt Derosier 1:08:33
I’m gonna look for that. I’m gonna look I’m gonna watch for that. So nice. Well, cool. You can follow FarmHop life anywhere in everywhere. Trying to make it hard to avoid us. So this has been great. I appreciate your time.
Kayliegh Harte 1:08:49
No, thank you. I appreciate yours. Hey,
Matt Derosier 1:08:52
everyone, thanks for listening. I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment review or send us an email FarmHop firstname.lastname@example.org Those are always great to read like him subscribe as well. But most important is sharing this podcast. We really appreciate it. You can check us out on all the social medias, Twitter Instagram Tik Tok float me we and Odyssey. Farm hop dot life is where you can see stuff that we post on our social media pages and sign up for our email list if you can stay in touch FarmHop life.com is the main site where we’ll have lots of exclusive stuff that we don’t share anywhere else, and some merchandise to help us keep going. Additionally, you can listen to the podcast there and add it to your player of choice. Also where you can sign up for our email list to let you know of new episodes, interviews or big changes. Check it out. Thanks