Ok, let me explain that. My parents moved to a small 30 acre farm in Fruitvale, Idaho, in 1986, the spring after I graduated high-school. It only has about 10 useable acres; 9ish acres are up a hill (a very steep hill, not useable even for grazing), and another 8 or so on the other side of the main road on a more gradually sloping hill but are undeveloped in any way.
The main acreage is below the main road and gently slopes down to the river (the Weiser River). We believe it sits on a small underground lake because the property subs (releases) water slowly but continually, like it has a multitude of small springs over certain portions of the property, making the land soft and somewhat swampy in those areas.
The property is known as the Old Whitecoff Ranch, and used to be a part of a bigger spread many years ago. Even though, technically, the property would only quality as a farm in western terms, we have always called it "The Ranch" because of its local historical name.
That is why we chose "Black Alder Ranch". Black Alder for the alders growing along the river banks and Ranch for the historical reference and family tradition. If, and when, we decide to relocate to another property, the name Black Alder Ranch will still represent the full meaning of our connection to the land and to our hopes and dreams for our own piece of paradise.
So, we have now been on the ranch for about 2 1/2 weeks. I know some people have said I am being hasty, but they do not realize that I have not been waiting just 2 1/2 weeks to get some critters, I have been waiting since before 2005!
I had been looking through craigslist, somewhat desperately I have to admit, searching for some affordable livestock. No one really understands how important it is to me to start our new life, to take that first step back to my roots and towards the future I want for my family.
Anyway, so I had been perusing craigslist and oh my gosh, livestock is expensive nowadays! Bummer lambs that we used to get for $15 are now basically non-existent, baby bottle goats are going for around $100 and weiner pigs are between $85 and $100. Don't even look at cows, for 1-2 month old calves, not even weaned, prices start at $400!
I really wanted to get something for my kids and myself, to officially start our farm. A few days ago I saw an ad on craigslist selling goat kids for $35 locally. I immediatly sent off an email and the lady called me back later that evening. She ended up being someone I knew and we arranged to come over to their farm first thing in the morning and pick out two baby goats.
The next morning, just as we were getting ready to go, my husband answered the phone and it was her husband, apologetically explaining that he had already sold all the goats but had not told his wife until this morning.
I was so dissapointed, I actually cried. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and posted an ad myself "wanting to buy" a couple baby goats. I had an email by the next day and we were able to go down and pick out two baby girl (doe) boer goats from sisters Lisa and Celia of Grays Creek Ranch in Indian Valley.
Black Alder Ranch has its first livestock!