I am a certified herbalist, Master Gardener, beekeeper, and I hand-spin/weave animal fiber. The Herbal Hare is not only my email address, but the name of my blog, and a business I would like to start growing and selling herbs, herbal products—such as soaps and lotions; beeswax candles and honey, and yarns made from natural fibers. All do quite well at local fairs and fiber festivals and would bring in a healthy flow of revenue. People like knowing that what they use on their skin and in their bodies is free of harmful additives and, ask any avid knitter, yarn made from animal fiber is far superior to the cheap acrylics found in the local department stores. There would also be classes and workshops offered, “weed” walks, and herb tours.
I learned to process wool/fiber from start to finish while working at a living history museum…including shearing, plucking, scouring, and carding, as well as the aforementioned spinning and weaving. I also managed a 9000 square foot herb garden at this museum, and directed the 12-15 volunteers who helped work it, gave tours and lectures similar to what I’m hoping to offer with The Herbal Hare. That herb garden included warmth-loving spices, such as cardamom and turmeric. I have additional work experience working in a greenhouse/nursery, which is necessary for those warmth-loving spices/herbs in the northeast.
What I have in mind is to raise the animals needed to produce the natural fibers myself. I currently raise chickens and ducks, and have two “pet” Nigerian Dwarf goats. These last were “free to good home” and a good segue into raising goats as they came from a small farm where children kept them well socialized. My doctor has recommended goat’s milk for me so I would like to add a small herd of dairy goats to the mix. Any bucklings would likely be wethered and used for Leaf It to the Goats.
**The attached was originally a final project for a grant writing course I took with SNHU as part of my degree. It provides a detailed plan of Leaf it to the Goats.