This is a copy of the email I sent out today, adding here so folks can see.
I hope you’re finding this to be an easy winter. The sun is on the horizon and I feel so much hope for all of us in the bigger picture!
Here…well, I don’t even know where to start so here goes.
I guess at this: I was wrong, completely wrong. I’ve been trying over this fall and winter to figure things out. I know what I want to achieve, but how to get there has completely eluded me in the time since I sent the last email. Though I try hard not to ever make hasty, emotional decisions, I think that’s what I did.
Last fall was a culmination of events that led me to feeling completely overwhelmed and like I was failing at everything. I want to try to explain a little but if the back story isn’t interesting, scroll to the bolded paragraph for a quick summary.
It started with opening a shop back in August that I began prepping for in July. I had absolutely no idea how all-consuming that was going to be. The ramifications at home were massive. I’d been a stay at home mom and farmer my entire marriage until 2021 and whoa, I have mass respect for you folks who work outside the home and manage to keep everything farming along!
At the same time we were prepping for the shop, we had our first negative experience with a buyer, who took a puppy home and then told us he had parvo. I’ve always stood behind my animals and this was a very distressing situation. I asked repeatedly for medical records that still haven’t materialized. None of the other puppies became sick. I still don’t know what happened there and likely never will, but I found myself defending the truth about the situation in a Facebook group and being called things like, “a terrible breeder.” I know this is the type of thing that can just happen, but I have always put integrity and honesty first in my business and this one hit me hard. It still is.
I could go on, but essentially it was a very hard, overwhelming season and I felt like everything I did was turning to ash and the urge to just give it all up was strong. I’m also trying to feel out this unfolding spiritual path and do the right thing, but on that I feel like I definitely got it wrong.
As many of you wrote me to say, what I’m doing here is of value to folks who are looking for goats and dogs raised as naturally as possible. And I know in my own heart that I work hard to find good placements for them and give them the absolute best care and environment I can while they’re here. That has to be enough, because not breeding them, not following my gifting and my passion is inauthentic as well. And in a toxic world, goats that can thrive naturally are pretty awesome.
So, that’s a long winded way of saying this:
I’m sorry to have caused a ripple and let so many of you down with my previous decision. I’ve chewed on this all fall and winter and have concluded that I was completely wrong. Little Avalon Farm will continue the way it has for years, offering (disbudded) goats and livestock guardian dogs raised as naturally as possible.
As I’d announced last year, we will continue with the new reservation policy of sending kidding announcements to the kidding-specific mailing list. I won’t open up sales until all kids are born and photographed (unless we have super late girls) so that everyone has a fair shot at getting what they’re looking for. If you’re not on that mailing list, click the reservation link to learn more. We’ll see how it goes since this is the first year doing this, but I’ll probably give the reservation list a few days before posting publicly any remaining availability.
In Other News
If you’ve been buying minerals from the Little Avalon Herbals website (thank you!), it is being phased out because I moved to a new website. The resulting chaos made it easier to just get a new domain and start over. All goat care products are now here, including new 4-pound mineral bags for herds that go through 1-pound bags too quickly. We’ve had a great response and are working to get pallet order in so we can be more consistent in inventory levels.
We have a new litter (another fallout from being at the shop so much but hey, thanks dogs, we’d have bred you if we weren’t being weird and trying to confuse things!) from Halo x Saoirse. I am feeling spring rising in my blood and can’t wait to get out there working with them. There is no greater joy than that connection to the animals I feel. It truly is who I am and I am excited to fully embrace it again with no reservations. The shop has stabilized, things are looking great and kidding starts in 6 short days!
I am truly sorry for all this wishy washy. I’m back to–relatively–normal now and excited to be your regular friendly goat and dog farmer again.