This is a guest post from Jonhangel Sanchez of El Redil De Mi Tío Carlos (The Sheepfold Of My Uncle Carlos), a raw milk producer in Venezuela.
Crowdfunding Update 10/25/2022
Since we started our fundraising campaign, we have been praying for the dream of my father and our entire family to come true.
Today, with great gratitude and longing for a better life, we tell you that we have finally achieved our first goal: 20 new sheep for our farm, which will help us increase our meat production, to make our work and life in the self-sustaining farm as more lambs are born.
Few are the words that I can write to express in its entirety the happiness and gratitude of my father and our entire family for your support. With your great help and our hard work we will be able to achieve the exponential growth of the entire herd for the production of free-grazing lamb meat in our region.
The arrival of the new herd at our farm has been pleasant and we have made an effort to ensure that they have the best quality of life: they sleep peacefully in our sheepfold at night, protected from the cold and inclement weather of the rainy season.
We also integrate all the sheep in our health program with the dewormers, vitamins and medications necessary to restore their full health. All the sheep manure that we collect from the new herd is being mixed in the composting area to make organic fertilizer.
In addition, several of the ewes that arrived are already beginning to get pregnant by our ram Snicker, so in the next 5 months, this new flock will begin to give birth to a new generation of lambs.
Our farm begins to have a new wave of progress, quite exponential, that we must face energetically and responsibly to preserve the course towards the dream that our Uncle once had.
We promise you today that we will work hard to achieve it and that we will focus on improving the activities of our family farm more and more: from the early rearing of the new lambs, through the best free-pasture feeding that our land gives us, until the moment of elaborate the cuts of lamb meat that will be the food of many families throughout the region of Táchira, Venezuela.
We have a second goal of $800 to be able to bring home a new herd of 10 goats, to increase the production of raw milk on our farm so that my mother can produce more yogurt, cheese and all other kinds of recipes that she loves so much passionate to cook, the increase in milk production will help us to explore a new area of milk cuisine such as mature cheeses and raw goat’s milk ice cream.
In addition to helping us increase our budget for the care of the entire herd and the sustenance of our family.
Thank you all very much for your great support, we’re really grateful for every contribution and retweet that all our friends throughout the world have made. May God bless you all and guide you, each of the people who read us, to achieve your dreams, happy and together with your families. This experience has shown us that there is no affection and bond stronger than that of the family. Thank you so much for everything.
Original crowdfunding post
Jonhangel started a GoFundMe for his family’s farm.
$800 will buy them 20 sheep, and another $800 will buy them 10 goats, from an esteemed local herdsman. Read what he sent me below.
Hello everyone, we’re the Sanchez Utrera family, we salute you from Táchira, Venezuela!
4 years ago we founded our family farm “El Redil De Mi Tío Carlos” (My Uncle Carlos’ Sheepfold) when our Uncle Grandfather sold us his last 2 sheep before he left for heaven.
In his homage, we keep his legacy alive, dedicating ourselves to raising free-grazing goats and sheep in the green hills of the Andes. With the raw milk of our goats we make cheeses, desserts, yogurt and kefir; and with the meat of our lambs we make steaks and hamburgers that we sell on orders made by our customers or at local farmers’ markets.
With our effort and teamwork we have been able to grow our herd. Over time we were able to acquire a herd of Toggenburg and American Alpine goats to produce milk and which have recently begun to have their first babies.
We give our entire herd the best care, we seek to guarantee their happiness, well-being and health with the best practices: we do not depend on food based on grains or processed products nor do we use antibiotics or medicines derived from ivermectin.
Among other activities, we recently started raising chicks to vary the agricultural activities of our farm and thus explore a new field, white meat.
We also make organic compost with the manure from our goats and sheep, rich in minerals and excellent for the growth of gardens and entire plantations. We’re currently in the process of formalizing our compost production in order to sell it in specialized establishments for this type of product.
Our goats graze freely through the more wooded sections of the farm. They really enjoy jumping through bushes and eating from the highest ones. Their curiosity arises because they very much enjoy feeding not only on the grasses but also on the legumes that grow on the trees and shrubs on the hills.
A balanced diet between grass and leaves of both types helps our goats to produce protein-rich milk that will serve as a fundamental ingredient for all kinds of preparations in the kitchen.
In all this time we have learned to prepare traditional foods with the products that our farm offers us. Raw milk is a food with great nutritional capacities and incomparable bioavailability. It is the raw material for many of our artisan recipes.
In the cheese section we have a wide selection. Cream cheese, natural and with spices such as garlic, rosemary and spicy pepper. Fresh cheeses such as Curd, Pressed, Paisa and our native and traditional cheese, Gochito Cheese.
With the help of cultures in jars, we produce Kefir with a high probiotic value, in addition to making Greek Yogurt with the technique of straining the milk for use in all kinds of dishes, salads, dressings or as a spread on bread. And among our wide selection of desserts we have Ponche Crema (Milk Punch), blackberry cheesecake, waffle cake with cream, arequipe, sourdough bread and many other preparations that we make with this valuable and versatile ingredient that is raw milk.
Truly the goats taught us a whole new and vast world within the gastronomy of diary.
On the other hand, caring for sheep, although it is a similar activity, has its differences.
Sheep and rams enjoy the calm and the low pastures more, they usually live in the flattest areas, their feeding on this type of vegetable fiber guarantees their optimal protein conversion.
With each lambing season our flock grows and the mother sheep and we will have to give them the best care. Our lambs grow strong and healthy, the secret is to guarantee their well-being and happiness so that they maintain their growth for many months.
We don’t separate our lambs from their mothers, they share as much as they can until weaning, which happens when the mother decides it’s time and usually that happens 5 or even 6 months after the lamb’s birth. In this way the lambs drink milk during all this time and with the acquired protein they naturally achieve a great size and weight.
In addition to this, we supply salt to our animals so that they can obtain the necessary minerals for their growth without the need for products or chemical medicines that impregnate the meat.
We are in favor of a totally organic diet for all our goats, sheep and their offspring, their healthy development will be compensated in healthy foods rich in proteins for our family and clintes.
Our lambs usually reach a commercial weight of 28 kilos on average, from their meat we make all kinds of cuts that we sell in the local market as well as by orders throughout our region. In addition, we make delicious lamb burgers that can never be missed at a family barbecue or with friends.
We are pioneers in disseminating the benefits and great culinary value of organic lamb meat in our state and we seek to increase our production in order to reach many more people and provide Venezuelan citizens with products of great protein and nutritional value.
With your support we will achieve it together and make this great dream come true.
Today we come in search of your support to be able to bring to our farm a whole new herd of sheep and goats to be able to increase our food production and thus help my dear father to retire from his job as a laborer so that he can dedicate himself to what he loves so much.
He is passionate about: raising sheep and making cuts of meat.
We have organized a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe in order to raise the funds to bring 20 new sheep home that will help us double our production of lamb meat.
With these new sheep we could produce an average of 1,680 kilos of meat rich in protein so that it can be sold and thus feed many people and families in our region of Táchira, Venezuela.
In this way my father will be able to support the entire farm and our family and in the same way it will allow him to experiment in new fields that interest him many, such as the production of raw and smoked lamb meat, a sector still unexplored in our land.
An increase in raw material will help us to create close ties with customers and butcher shops throughout the region, we will be able to continue improving our farm, building infrastructure for new herds, acquiring more tools to optimize our work and even buying a vehicle to transport products to get our products much further.
With his support we will be able to make my father’s dream come true, so he can meet again in the place he loves so much together with his family and he will be able to dedicate his days to what he is most passionate about.
The small seed that these new 20 sheep are will be in a few months a harvest of blessings for our family, our farm and our land.
Please consider supporting us through GoFundMe or Bitcoin, so we can reach our goal and help us build a farm that can feed entire generations for a long time to come.
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Spanish Twitter: El Redil De Mi Tío Carlos 🇻🇪
English-translated Twitter: Táchira Homestead