goat kids on the move!

It’s a sweet time on the farm when the kids are due. Anticipation, nervousness, excitement join to form a feeling that sort of keeps you on edge, and a little bit holding your breath and not realizing it. I actually start looking at photos of baby goats from the previous year. I’m constantly in the barn monitoring (but not sleeping there like some with many, many goats) I check the kidding kit and track down missing parts or say pull the same snot sucker, (baby nasal aspirator) thing from the bathroom drawer that I had used for my kids 20 years ago. This is still only our third year and I’ve not needed it previously but maybe this time. Our does have mostly done it all themselves with only a little assistance for a couple and they’ve all been born healthy.

Especially with social media, I see I’m not alone in this just post empty nest time. I love being a mom and in some little way I get to help “mother” the kids:) They can’t help but fill your heart. Their trust, vulnerability and curiosity are powerful. And it’s just plain fun and so amusing. Holding a baby goat brings you very much into the present and just gives you a moment to step outside of a sometimes crazy world.  I’m grateful we have the opportunity to experience this process and share it with others. We’ve so enjoyed all the visitors the last two weeks.  We are grateful for another successful kidding season with 11 out of 11 strong, healthy kids. And we will be looking for new homes in the near future!

So let’s get to it…There’s a lot of goat kid cuteness all over the web- here is what we have to add.

First to give birth on April 3rd was Dinah our Lagerian (they don’t have their own wikipedia link). She’s a cross between a La Mancha who have the elf or gopher ear trait(we call them all nubby ears) and a Nigerian Dwarf. You hope for the butterfat of the Nigerian with a little larger size/milk capacity of the La Mancha who also have very sweet personalities.  She kidded, cleaned them and they were nursing by the time we saw them. She’s like that.

With her buckling Duffy.

goat kidsDuffy and sister, Dharma.

They are funny and smart and the first to hang on the doorstep like they’ve lived here for years.

And to venture on the teeter totter- Ollie’s rule of thumb… we might consider keeping kids who play on this. (he made it)

On the same day Jane (nubian), kidded- she was a little early. Jojo, Juan in the middle and Juno’s bum on the right. Beautiful markings on these three. She did great for a first year mom (freshener).

These three getting some lap time with Nanny Nadine. She’s making goat week an annual event:)

Then we waited, and waited, and waited till Friday April 7. Shirley got some relief after a long labor with another three… she only had one last year. She was like…. wwhhhaaattt??? The second buckling, Salvatore (Sal for short) was very big. I’ve yet to get a good photo of the three. Sal on the log, Sadie in front and Mr. Brown on the right. And they are on a different play/sleep schedule than the rest you see under the manger napping.

And if you’ve never seen it- here is Mr. Brown straight from the womb.

Getting cleaned up.

And hoping he can figure out how to get up and hit those teets.

And last but not least on April 8th (my birthday too), Nena kidded THREE MORE- unassisted. I think she intentionally waited for the 90 minutes we were not in the barn.

We’ve got Nellie on the left, Nigel in the middle and Oreo on the right.They all started in their own corners and within a few days started playing together inside and out. Once they were sure footed, introductions to Else were closely supervised.

She is still only 7 months old and very curious.The kids are outside in between napping and nursing. They are in constant motion on the rocks and logs.

And they are venturing out into the yard now.goat kids

One of my favorite things with this whole venture is I’m like the pre-teen mecca. It’s so sweet watching these girls nurturing the kids- lots of snuggling and a natural rocking like a baby.

There likely will be regular photos on Instagram if you want to follow along… wendyellenthomas or Facebook

Happy Easter, Spring and all that you celebrate!

xx

wendy

farm update- kids are coming (goats that is)

We are on our second day of sun. Well, dry and partly sun at least. It has been a very long rainy season- like for reals not just “seems like the wettest year EVER!” We have all been sloshing through mud and we are over it. #Mudzen.

Here’s a glimpse of most of the farm fam… Click here to see where this began.

#starrouteorcas

Add some chickens in there and our land mates’ Blue Healer, Jasper.

 

 Dinah and Otto looking rather dapper.

Nena on the left and Jane- both full Nubian- enjoying a moment of sun this week.

Dinah and Shirley with actual shadows do to this orange ball in the sky.

If you’ve been keeping up on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook– you might already know these guys are all PREGGERS in a big way. They are due in the next 2-7 days- follow along on one of the above.

Nena

The last of the stored apples… never you mind the dump run pile back there.

Our newest girl Else (pronounced Elza). Ollie named her:) Else LOVES attention.

And loves to stick her rough, black on top, pink on bottom tongue in the bucket when it’s getting filled.

And we are all VERY excited about the new digs. Yes- we are  building a REAL barn! Else seeing if she fits.

Otis and Else

Otis after a proper romp in everything mud.

He likes his baths.

Chickens are back to earning their keep… giving us these eggs that make me never want to eat an egg from anything other than on organic, really free-ranging hen again. The chickens get a little flax seed in their Scratch and Peck grain feed. The yolks are intense and nutritious. EAT the YOLKS folks (bumper sticker coming soon)! I made a little goat cheese from frozen milk- not as good as fresh but it worked. Yogurt too.

Our weekend no knead sourdough wheat loaf- this one with walnuts…

and top with these…

I forgot the chives- the only thing growing in the garden- although sorrel & rhubarb is coming out.

Sorry – got distracted by food again. We’ll say goodbye now. xx

Chunky Chicken and mushroom soup

Chunky chicken and mushroom soup…

chicken soupWe are working, I hope, through the last of the days on end rain storms where even the worms drown in unforgiving driveway puddles…

IMG_7389 and unplanned driveway streams…

IMG_7390Goats are hanging near the doorway..

IMG_7398As well as the dynamic duo…

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got GOATS!

Hi campers! How was your spring? We are busy little monkeys around here. I took an unspoken blogging “break”… lots of real time action for us has meant putting my photos and writing on the back burner.

We had a couple of kids last month! Basically from November 20th when our Nubian doe, Shirley had her “encounter” with Jimmy Mac until about 2 weeks before Shirley gave birth- I wasn’t 100% sure the deed was done. After all, the moment consisted of little foreplay and lasted about as long as the time it took Ollie to unscrew his coffee cup to check how hot it was. We had anticipated a little kickback time and literally it was done as he screwed the cap back on. But then Rocky and Jane happened April 22nd…

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Shakshuka- baked eggs, tomato and goodness

This dish has been floating in my thoughts since Feb 2014 when Chloe and I visited Irving Street Kitchen in Portland and I ate their, quote “Moroccan Slow Poached Eggs and Grilled Garlic Rubbed Toast”.It was spicy, simple yet had depth and very good.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-8

The house smoked Tasso side of bacon also rang my bell. I basically searched online tomatoes and baked eggs and Shakshuka popped up. But really it’s not a name that’s going to stick in my overcrowded mind. I also reached for the wonderful Jerusalem Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. They have a fantastic website as well.

I drew, as always, from a combination of recipes- Jerusalem, David Liebowitz’s Shakshuka and a simple version in the NYTimes.

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Grain free “Greens” pie and transitions

Quotations hug the word greens- just so you know it is not a green pie with an accidental s. It’s a nut crust stuffed with beet greens, green curly kale, lacinato kale, red russian kale, a fair amount of garlic, a little egg and a sprinkle of peppery goat cheese. Yes we do have a lot of kale in the garden.

greens pie @wendyellenthomas.com 2014-6

A recent three day mini yoga workshop left me high on breath and thoughts. Trying to be present while practicing produces quite a large container full of ideas to be processed either drifting off to sleep at night or on an early waking morning with time to contemplate.Which means don’t reach for your phone. Let the mind percolate.

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new faces on the farm

We’ve been so enjoying the summer. I’m especially loving the feeling of warmth into evening. That’s maybe the only thing I miss about my home state of Florida, the sleeveless shirts worn into the evening. Although, rare is the day I wear a sleeveless shirt and I can definitely live without the sweltering heat of a day in central Florida. We did have a fantastic visit last month to my sister’s in South Florida- nice family and beach time. I also tripped down memory lane and toured Chloe around my high school. The instant we discovered my graduation stone, we looked at it, then at each other and tears welled up. A sort of cosmic connection that ventured outside of real time. She felt, for that moment, standing in front of my high school, connected to who I was at 18. A glimpse of recognition that I too have been there. It was bittersweet. My best friends Melissa and Kelly- and who we liked/”loved” at that time. Little did I know at the time that my good fortune would bring me an amazing son only a couple years later. Thanks “J”.

WPHS stoneAnd now our new farm friends:)

We have real live livestock. We put up a big fence. Built a goat shed and got ourselves three goats and two sheep. We love them! They are so sweet, funny and curious. We are all getting into a new routine and getting to know each other. The plan is to breed both goats and sheep in the fall and start milking in the spring. And here they are…

Meet blue eyed Dinah. She is a cross of La Mancha and Nigerian Dwarf. A total sweetie who craves attention. April 8th of this year, my birthday, I happened to be in the store filling in for someone. My mood lifted when I met Sherwin from Mountain Lodge Farm. Within minutes I learned she was a goat lady. I quickly stalked her farm and found there was an upcoming open house in May. Ollie was happy to go. I left out the part of the story of her four starter goats turning into over a hundred, supplying the milk for a full on dairy operation.  Point here is, Dinah is one of her babies. It was fate.

wendyellenthomas.com

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spiced applesauce cake

applesauce cakeSo you might be thinking this is a little more fall like and it is similar to the apple quince crumb cake but to me it’s more of a grab and go slice. I’d eat this after a workout.  And it is a great little cake for January when you want to feel like you are eating on the lighter side. When you still want something sweet but not like cranberry cheesecake or chocolate mousse sweet. This easy to make and easy to eat cake can double as a breakfast cake or afternoon tea cake. OR if you want, slap a little cinnamon cream cheese or buttercream frosting on it, or spiced caramel sauce or how about Fat Toad’s cinnamon caramel sauce… and call it dessert. You can find this amazing goat caramel sauce at Chez Chloe but to buy now visit Fat Toad🙂

Fat Toad cinnamon caramel sauce

This works:

Applesauce cake-19

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Cider pressing 2013

We had the most lovely fall apple pressing last weekend. Although the big parties can be fun, we also enjoy keeping it small some years with just a few neighbors and the awesome press we’ve had forever. It’s one of my favorite fall activities.

applecrumbcake and pressing 2013-12

It has a motor that grinds the apples so our almost five year old helper can jump right in.

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