June on the Farm: What a Bunch of Babies
We have such a bunch of babies here, and I mean that in the kindest way. Georgia kidded early Thursday morning, two gorgeous bucklings, with the sweetest dispositions I’ve ever seen. You can scoop them up without a peep. They just nestle rather contentedly in your arms. Most of their body, that is, they have stilts for legs that dangle everywhere. Those boys bring our count to seven, with one mama left to kid, but not until July 4th (and the girls decided if it does happen on that date, one of the kids will be named Sam!).
I will say that goats, milking goats and bottle babies in particular, really ground you, literally that is. The crack of dawn chores catch up with you later in the day, and you want to crawl in bed hours before your kids do. Our milking times are about 5:30, am and pm. I’ve been reading a wonderful memoir called Secrets From Chuckling Goat, by Shann Nix Jones--a former San Franciscan (and radio DJ if the name sounds familiar but you can’t peg why) who moved to Wales, married a Welsh farmer near the Mid-Wales coast and now makes goat milk kefir and soap. I’ve been enjoying her book immensely, especially from the mirror image-ish standpoint of having a Welsh husband from the Mid-Wales coast come to San Francisco (where I was living when we met) marry an American and eventually start a goat farm. But when she was recounting her farm chores she said she milks after the kids go to school. I have to find out her secret to this—if we’re ten minutes late they all start yelling for us, and we stumble out in a half-outfit/half-pajama concoction to spare the neighbors from their tantrum. That is the secret of Chuckling Goat that intrigues me the most.
We do sneak out though in between feedings! Last Friday we went to the Rose and Thorn to drop off our soaps—our first retail location! We are in a way indebted to the wonderful owners, Carole and John. Before we made our move to the country we would visit the Rose and Thorn with the girls so they could see their goats and chickens. I kept goats and chickens as a kid, but if you haven’t the idea of it all can seem a bit overwhelming. Visiting the Rose and Thorn was such a delightful introduction for the girls (and Tom for that matter), and helped confirm we were making the right choice in pursuing a life in the country. It’s a magical store and property, and I always leave so inspired! So it’s a real honor for us to have our soaps in her charming shop. If you’re heading to Bodega Bay it’s always worth the stop.
Speaking of that neck of the woods, have you been to the Fork Roadhouse yet? Another charming spot (what is it about that stretch of West County—I think it’s my favorite stretch in all of Sonoma County!). We went there for Father’s Day breakfast—arrived ten minutes after opening and the place was already packed! It has everything you want for a meal out, great farmhouse ambiance, attentive and cheerful staff, and delicious food. Between the four of us we had their French toast, biscuits and gravy and beef brisket hash—plates kept being passed around because everyone wanted to try everything, and it was all soooo good. We’re angling to head out one night for dinner really soon.
So that’s the news around here. Next on the calendar, the Sonoma-Marin Fair. Exhibit entries dropped off (including these cookies and coffee cake from Ella) and Millie is busy getting her cavy (named Jack Black) ready for the Cavy Show. If you haven’t been, try to visit this year, it really is a great event, especially for the kiddos!