About Our Homestead
The Waggin' Tail Farm Story
Farm life for us started out as a joke as Mark was contemplating how to clear some woody debris around the yard. One day he told Carrie that he could either do the bush hogging himself, or we could get some goats and allow them to do the work for us. So, along came two Boer/Nubian goats.
We built a small shelter (The Bushwack Shack) and took classes on proper goat care, milking, making cheese, and molding soaps. This made us think bigger scale and more long term. It evolved into planning our barn while we were deployed to allow us to get more goats, then we began expanding our garden so we could be self sustainable.
Today, you can see how much we have grown from our first ideas to being a part of the local and worldwide health and natural products movement.
The Mancini Team
Mark - The Kilted Farmer
Short Story - Kilts are awesome and so is being outside.
Long Story - When I was growing up I was around farm animals very minimally. For a few summers I went to a farm camp in the town next to mine with my younger sister, she has always been the farm girl. Me I just always loved being out in the woods. My uncle used to take me hiking and taught me how to read a map and compass, we went camping, canoeing and fishing. Many skills that helped as I started my journey thru the forestry program at UMaine and into the Army. When I got a bit older my father would take me with him when my Italian side was making homemade air dried sausage and homemade Italian wines, both are skills that have proven very useful and delicious in farm life. I enjoy working with my hands and with some engineering knowledge I began construction on our many buildings around the farm for our animals who were coming soon. First was the chicken coop (aka The Cackle Shop) so we could have our farm fresh eggs, mmm so good. Next was the ground work for our barn. I was able to work with and learn from our timber framer and helped cut the wood for our timber frame construction. Once erected we got the roof on and I started the long task of closing up the barn. The following summer we got four dairy goats; our wonderful Toggenburgs. They were followed shortly by our fiber goats. We continue to add more animals to our farm and many more buildings, which you can see in the following tabs. Many folks say we're crazy having so many different animals and who knows? Maybe we are.
Carrie - The Fiber fanatic
I grew up running barefoot through my grandmother, Faye's greenhouse and my parents' gardens, listening to the pressure cooker chugging along in the kitchen and the, "POP" of a sealed mason jar lid. I was spoiled by fresh veggies, homemade apple pie, and home cooked meals. I never dreamt that I would be launching into a variety of animal caretaking. In fact, if you had told me ten years ago that I was going to become a farmer, listening to pigs squealing for their supper and snuggling with baby goats, I would've told you that you were out of your mind. The truth is, sometimes the most unexpected dreams come true, and I'm finding that it is a most challenging, but yet rewarding and eye opening experience. My great grandparents started a farm shortly before the Great Depression began. In its heyday it did quite well. My great grandmother, Rose, was undaunted by the challenges of farm life. She cooked for all the field laborers, made her own butter and preserves, ran a roadside farm stand, and even saved her house from burning down on one frigid January morning. She taught me how to knit and my mom taught me to crochet at the age of 9. While I was studying abroad in college it kept me busy on various long Eurorail rides, as well as awakening my artistic energy during dry spells through the years. I collect yarns and fabrics from all over the world and use them to make someone happy when the time was right. I am in heaven when I enter a yarn or fabric store, or tool around in the fiber tent at the Common Ground Fair. Just as it was when I was serving in the military, when it comes to the farm and our products, I love knowing that I can be a part of something bigger than myself - in this case, it's nature and her creatures. The best part of being a farmer is knowing that those who provide the products I use are treated with dignity and respect, and are rewarded for their contribution.