December News from Blue Rock Station:

It’s time for our annual vacation from consumption; “Thanks for Nothing” season.   On December 1st we began our sixth year of spending four months on a holiday from consumption.  No shopping for anything. Watch for our end of December newsletter video with news about BRS.

For now the holiday presents are waiting to be wrapped, and the calendar is full of appointments for filming the new workshop videos. The plans for Yule are almost finished, and the Christmas popper supplies are ready to be assembled. I haven’t decided how I will decorate this year – I’m more interested in creating some new dried flower/weed decorations and perhaps adding to the Yule party photo booth costumes by making some fake reindeer antlers.

The goats are getting ready for January – a month that will be filled with healthy kids coming into this world.  If you’d like to join me for some goat midwife lessons tell your loved ones to purchase that for you for a holiday gift.  We’re anxious for milking season to begin again, so we can finish the cheese making video workshop webinar.

Business trips to speak at conferences, and consulting to help new farmers form their plans for putting together a way to make a living are all on the agenda. The holiday spirit is upon us with decorations, parties and gifts.  And each year we think the winter months will be slow and peaceful.  My how we delude ourselves.


While many of you will already be finished with your shopping, some of you may need a sustainable gift idea. Get in touch with us to put together a personalized gift that can include:

  • A special tour of Blue Rock Station
  • Two days of goat midwife lessons
  • Tours for the entire family
  • High tea at the Overlook
  • A cheese making weekend (or consulting, personal cooking class or eBooks on goat health or business)
  • A day at BRS for goat kidding season (Jan. 17 to 25th)
  • A scholarship for a solar installer class
  • A day of living life at BRS with chores, lunch prep and a fun activity (to be decided together)
  • Or create your own with tiny house weekends, Earthship 101 planning days, and much more.

All gifts will include a post card of either the BRS animals or buildings (you choose) and we can send a hand written note or you can use one of the post cards to describe the gift you’re giving. Let us know your budget and we will be happy to find a way for you and your loved ones to connect with us.

Where you can find us for solar training:

There are still a couple of slots for the January class at Zane State College in January in Zanesville OH.   If you need a place to stay during the class, please be in touch with us for recommendations, or perhaps we will have a sleeping cabin available. You can register at

Upcoming Workshops at Blue Rock Station:

Check out some of our other upcoming classes.  Please register early because all of our events have limited space.


  • December 1st:   Release of the book The Business of Goats by Annie Warmke and Carie Starr

  • December 12th: Join Annie and Carie at the PA Women in Agriculture Network Women Growing Justice Conference at Chatham University’s Eden Hall Gibsonia PA .
  • December 15th:   Release of the new Blue Rock Station podcast series


  • January 1st:   Release of the book Solar Installation and Design Level II
  • January 5thOpen House Tour 1 pm to 3 pm
  • January 7th – 11th:   Solar Installer certification class, Zane State College, Zanesville OH
  • January 26th:   Free School: Nurturing the Activist in Me: Join Annie Warmke and Melissa Ayotte (1 pm to 4 pm) to  discover some of the basics of how to use some of that energy generated by today’s news to make changes in your everyday life, or the life in your family and community. Free School registration is required by contacting Annie Warmke.   Only six spaces available for this hands-on fun afternoon.

The Critters:

The goats definitely hate all of this rainy weather. Each morning they remain in their nighttime resting places, waiting for me to appear and magically bring sunshine. To top it off, it’s deer hunting season, complete with loud noises coming from the holler and the woods. Tomorrow I plan to keep the goats shut in the barn yard.  Although I don’t look forward to the giant load of soil-producing manure I will be faced with the next day, I don’t want to take a chance on some inattentive hunter deciding that one of them is a deer. The hunters this morning kept pulling off of the road and watching the goats in the pasture.   Makes me wonder if they really know what a deer looks like.    After seeing the parade of pickup trucks on the road, I decided not to take any chances for the rest of the week.

Food, the Heart of Sustainability:

This past month I’ve been busy working on creating a cheese making video.  This got me thinking about how to preserve cheese. Let’s say someone gifts you a big chunk of cheese, or your favorite kind of cheese is on special at your local market, or you have the good luck to buy up a bunch of cheese ends at the meat/cheese counter.  I like to slice the cheese into small bite-size pieces and place them into a clean jar.  I add balsamic or apple cider vinegar or olive oil with garlic cloves and tighten the lid.  After about a week, the cheese chunks will be infused with a delightful winter flavor and ready to use as salad toppings, scalloped potato flavoring or – well, use your imagination. If the cheese stays covered with the liquid, it will last in the refrigerator nearly forever. Bon Appetite!

Words that Guided:

Just for today I will tell myself that I am sorry for not loving myself enough, and then think about one way I could do better.

Kindest Regards, Annie

Pregnant Goats Hiding From Hunters – News from Blue Rock Station
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