A Farm Full of Baby Goats

twin kalahari goats

Our Kalahari Goat farm is overrun with cuteness this month as one mother after another delivers adorable baby goats.

We’ve had three sets of twins and one single birth, and each one is unique and precious.

twin baby kalahari goats

I love how the twins snuggle together, finding sunny spots to curl up against the winter chill. And it’s been chilly. Just 40 minutes south of us they had SNOW!! Amazing. We didn’t know how our Kalahari Red kids would do in the cold, but so far, they’re thriving.

baby kalahari goat

Their faces are so sweet and tiny, their coats amazingly soft in varying shades of rich reddish brown.

kalahari red kid

The older ones are already learning to climb and jump, looking hilariously awkward as they trot along with their mothers before randomly leaping in the air, limps flailing.

twin kalahari goats

My favorite thing is watching our Maremma, Apollo, undertake his baby-sitting duties. He’s such a good protector for the littles. He sits with them while they nap, licks them clean, and chases off any older ones who look like they might have bullying on the mind.

maremma guarding baby goat

It’s such a beautiful and happy time of year on the farm. These baby goats put smiles on our faces all day long.

What’s putting a smile on your face this week? xo

Sun After Storms and Growth in Winter

sunny creek

It’s been dark and blustery for days, but every now and then the sunshine comes through with warmth and light that stops us in our tracks.

sunny creek

It’s been a busy week on the farm as we’ve tackled gardening and medieval projects and all sorts of cooking and baking. We are tired but happy as we look around see so many good things in progress.

After planting our citrus trees about six months ago, we thought we’d be waiting at least a year before we harvested any fruit. So it’s been sheer delight to see limes, lemons, and varieties of oranges ripen beautifully. We won’t be eating a lot of citrus this year, but every one will be a treasure.

lemons on the tree

A friend gave me a stock pile of aloe vera and I’m really looking forward to turning those succulent pieces into lotion to treat skin dried by winter winds, and juice to aid in digestion.

aloe vera plant

A lilly pilly was my first Australian native in my garden, and this year is the first time it has fruited. The berries are so gorgeous in vivid fuchsia and have a marvelous tart sweetness that is truly refreshing.

lilly pilly berries

What growth are you seeing in your part of the world? xo

Winter Rain

white strawberry flower

It was so fantastic to get rain this week, so exciting to look outside and see a haze of green over fields and paddocks as new growth peeks up between brown grasses.

raindrops on leaf

Our ducks and geese were in heaven, making a thorough mess of their pens as they splashed merrily about in the mud.

The gardens were equally thrilled with the nitrogen-rich rain. Limp leaves and stalks are now strong, tall, and sturdy, and we’re looking forward to the first radishes and beetroots of the season within the next couple of weeks.

This week I’m working on a small book of medieval remedies, so in between rain showers I was out in my herb gardens taking photos of sage, thyme, and other plants that I use in various concoctions. Mmm, they smelled so good and looked so vibrantly green.

thyme branch

The first berries of Winter are ripening: strawberries and blueberries. It is so lovely to pluck perfectly ripe berries each morning. One day we’ll have a big harvest, but for now 3-4 berries a day are a great treasure.

white strawberry flower

This weekend I get to meet with my gardening group to swap produce and food and whatever else we can think of. They’re such a lovely group of people, always eager to share their wisdom and great gardening tips. I’m really looking forward to meeting them face to face for a good feed and a good visit.

What are you looking forward to this weekend? xo

In the Veg Patch on a Dark Winter’s Day

calendula plant

The clouds have been promising rain, but so far we haven’t had a drop. I am enjoying this dark, cozy day though. It’s wonderfully quiet.

The last couple of days have been full on as Bear and I tackled the next phase of building our chook palace. We moved an entire shed from one side of the farm to the other via tractor and trolley and ropes and brute strength, complete with much hilarity and almost dropping and almost tripping and shouts of STOP and OK, GO and getting stuck on a tree and in a gate and beside a dog house, but we made it!! Soon we’ll fill it with feed bins, incubator, worming kits, and gardening tools for the orchard we’ve planted and the garden we will plant.

calendula plant

We also hauled trimmed tree branches into wood piles to be either burned for campfires or cut into usable shapes for my wood-burning projects.

This morning was a bit of Spring Cleaning in the middle of Winter, and it feels so good to look around the house and see bare surfaces and organized desks where once there were stacks and tottering piles.

After all that work it is good to rest this afternoon, to wrap up in a sweater and wander the gardens to see how they’re doing.

The artichoke bed has recovered from transplanting and is thriving under its thick bed of mulch.

artichoke plant

The red cabbages and red Brussels sprouts are coming along beautifully, and I can’t wait to see the heads begin to form.

red cabbage plants

The new fennel bed is also doing well, tiny seedlings growing into sturdy stalks with fragrant, delicate fronds.

fennel plants

The root veggies are coming along as well: beet roots, radishes, turnips, and hopefully carrots soon.

beetroot seedlings

Now it’s definitely time for a cuppa and a piece of shortbread, and perhaps an episode of Rosemary and Thyme before I start designing another set of cutting boards for my Etsy shoppe.

What is your garden up to in your part of the world? XO

Growing for Animals

capsicums for chooks

It’s a dark and blustery day on our farm, and Bear and I just came in from drenching our herd of Kalahari Goats, trimming the hooves of those who needed it. Now they’re out feasting in fields, staying close to the fence line to block the wind. Goats don’t like the wind because it inhibits their hearing and enables predators to sneak up on them unawares. That’s why we have our lovely Maremma dogs guarding them. Not even high winds keep them from being vigilant.

I’ve been working hard in my gardens in recent months. Tearing out all the detritus from the Summer and Autumn gardens, building up the soil with goat manure, and putting in all those lovely Winter things: greens, root veggies, and herbs that thrive well in the cold Winter air.

My kitchen garden is where I nurture the not-so-hardy things I love, like bougainvillea and lilly pilly. They make me smile with their brilliant blossoms and bright berries.


In addition to planting for me and Bear, I also plant for our animals.

Chilies and capsicums are perfect for our chooks, keeping them laying well into the Winter. That’s a great tip I learned from my gardening friend, Kathy, and it’s worked a treat.

capsicums for chooks

I also grow massive bushes of wormwood for our goats. Goats, sheep, cattle, they all get worms as they graze and need to be drenched (medicated) regularly. But by feeding them wormwood, a natural de-wormer, we only have to drench once or twice a year.

wormwood for goats

The clever thing about goats is that they know if they need wormwood or not. If they don’t have worms, they don’t give the wormwood more than a cursory sniff. But if they do have them, they chow down like it’s Christmas dinner.

goats eating wormwood

Now it’s time to go check on our baby goats. They get so busy eating that they don’t notice when the herd moves on without them and bleat plaintively when they discover they’ve been abandoned. A nudge in the right direction soon puts them to rights. :-)

Do you grow anything special for your animals? I’d love to hear about it. :-) xo