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

Storms and Apples on the Farm

lap of apples

It’s so good to be back writing here again after an extended break to write my history book. It is done and dusted now, the launch taking place in less than two weeks! Lots of excitement about that. 🙂

It’s been a stormy sort of January with wild winds and skies full of dark brooding clouds. Sometimes the storms bring a cool reprieve from stifling heat and others bring sweltering humidity along with them.

goats in the grass

Whatever form they take, I do love a good storm. The rains have been such a gift, turning our parched, dry land into a lush oasis of waist high grasses perfect for hungry Kalahari goats.

Our Maremma dog, Apollo, has turned from a cuddly puppy into a wonderful guard for our Kalahari goat stock. He is a second mother to all the babies, licking them clean, babysitting while their Mums go off for a much-needed break and a good feed. We adore him.

Maremma guarding goats

When I can I like to take a break from house, farm, and writing work to sit in the grass with my dog Luna and watch the storms roll in over the hills and above the bush. The wind feels so good, and the reprieve from fierce sunlight is luscious. Luna loves it as much as I do, dashing back for pats and ear-scratches in between lizard hunting around fallen logs.

sitting in the grass

Stormy days are also good for my artwork, wood-burning, since it’s too hot during regular summer days. It’s so nice to curl up in a cozy chair with my tools, listening to audio books or chatting with Bear while I work. I’ve started a new line of cutting boards and can’t wait to have them in the shoppe ready for sale.

cutting board

We just harvested the first apples from our newly planted orchard, and that was so exciting. They’re only babies, too small and too few to do much with them, but they taste delicious and give us a hint of bounty to come in the years ahead. I’m excited about future days of using our apples for juicing, baking, canning, and making hard cider.

lap of apples

We finished fencing in the apple orchard and erected the arches needed for bird netting, and soon we will get the netting up to protect our precious trees from marauding wildlife. In the meantime, our Muscovy ducks are doing a splendid job keeping the weeds down and fertilizing the ground.

I’ve learned that in farming, everything worth anything takes a long time and a lot of work, but it’s always worth it. Bit by bit we get closer to self-sufficiency with orchards, gardens, eggs, meat animals, and all that sort of thing. It’s hard work, but we love it.

freshly picked apples

What are you excited about at your house this season? xo

Goats in Autumn Sunshine

kalahari red billy goat

We’ve had stunningly beautiful Autumn weather this week. Warm and sunny with soothing golden light that makes you happy to be alive.

To give our winter pastures time to restore before the cold weather hits, Bear and I have been taking our goats for daily treks into the bush to feast on brambles and weeds.

herding kalahari goats

They love it out there! They amble happily from one bramble patch the next, their coats covered in prickles and stickers as they nosh on their favorite bushes.

After their feast in the woods, we bring them back to the damn yard to wander over the hills and nibble at newly sprouted weeds and leafy trees.

goats in a valley

Most of the time we let them in and go up to the house, but sometimes I like to sit on the hillside and watch them, marveling at their personalities and quirks, admiring their glossy coats that positively gleam in the setting sunlight.

kalahari billy goat

I feel very lucky to get to raise these gorgeous animals and see them thrive. Sometimes they drive me batty when they bust through fences or make a banquet out of my garden, but mostly they are delightful.

kalahari red billy goat

What are some of your favorite moments on your homestead? xo

New Baby Goat and Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole

cuddling baby goat

I was out feeding the Kalahari goats yesterday when I noticed that one of the mamas was a whole lot skinnier than she had been that morning. Sure enough, over by the shed, was this pretty little girl newly born.

new baby goat

My buddy Tony was SO excited to pet her. 🙂

little boy with goat

She is a bit shy when humans get too close, but if you hold her snuggly so she feels safe and warm, she calms right down.

shy baby goat

She is a gorgeous little thing with interesting markings on her face and hooves that set her apart from all the others.

cuddling baby goat

She is doing so well, already nursing and standing up without falling over too often.

Kalahari kid nursing

This afternoon she met her older sister…and was promptly head-butted for her troubles.

goats butting heads

Thankfully she had some much kinder visitors, namely the other Kalahari kids who now look positively enormous next to her tiny self.

Kalahari babies

After all that socializing it was time for a rest and some nuzzling from mom.

Mother goat nuzzling baby

I know just how she feels. 🙂

Last week was one of the busiest we’ve had in recent memory, culminating in Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner with dear friends on Friday night.

It was the first time I’ve cooked Thanksgiving dinner all by myself, and definitely the first time I needed to make it gluten-free. At first I felt quite overwhelmed, but I tackled one recipe at a time, figuring out good substitutions, and finally everything was ready.

We had such a great time. 🙂 I couldn’t find a turkey so we celebrated with crispy roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, dilled carrots and peas, and my very favorite Thanksgiving staple: gluten-free green bean casserole.

This dish ranks right near the top of comfort foods, but the original is made with canned mushroom soup (gluten) and crispy fried onions (gluten) and I can’t eat it without getting very sick. So I made mine with a double garlic cream sauce thickened with cornstarch (you can also thicken it with chia seeds if you can’t have corn). I topped it with a combination of gluten-free crispy fried onions and gluten-free crispy fried garlic from an Asian market.

It was absolutely fantastic.

In fact, I’d say that it is far and away better than the original. That thrills me no end. 🙂 Eating healthy is hard enough around the holidays. I’m so thrilled that with a bit of creativity I was able to make one of my holiday favorites gluten-free.

gluten free green bean casserole

Next time I’ll tell you about my gluten-free Apple Raisin Pie with Walnut Streusel.

What is your favorite holiday comfort food?

Gluten-Free Triple Garlic Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients:

4 cans green beans, drained
2 cups milk (or nut milk)
3-4 Tbsp cornstarch (if you can’t have corn, replace with chia seeds. Stir into milk and let it thicken 20-30 minutes before stirring in remaining ingredients.)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp crispy fried garlic (look at Asian specialty shops for ones made without flour)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup crispy fried onions (look at Asian specialty shops for ones made without flour)
1/2 cup crispy fried garlic (look at Asian specialty shops for ones made without flour)

Directions:

  1. Dump beans into large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Pour milk into saucepan and whisk in cornstarch, 2 Tbsp crispy fried garlic, sea salt, and minced garlic until cornstarch is incorporated.
  3. Place over medium high heat and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Let boil 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens.
  4. Remove from heat and pour over green beans.
  5. Pour into 9” by 13” casserole and smooth top.
  6. Sprinkle evenly with crispy fried onions and garlic.
  7. Bake at 375 F/200 C for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
  8. Serve warm.

 

Brave Little Goats

little goats looking alert

Our baby Kalahari goats are getting very brave these days and I love watching them.

Instead of staying glued to their mothers sides, they’re gallivanting all over the place, exploring rocks, leaping off logs, and balancing precariously on any surface they can find.

baby goats exploringToday was a big day for I decided to take them out to the fields with the rest of the herd.

They galloped along at first, strutting up the driveway as if they were old hands at field grazing.

baby goats marching

But they were a bit apprehensive when the big girls headed into the tall grass and the air was filled with bleating until they bit the bullet and leaped into the undergrowth.

They were so cute wending their way through the long grass, sometimes disappearing completely through thick patches.

baby goats in field

Their mothers were intent on eating so the littles grouped together like a tiny goat gang, moseying along, head-butting each other and having a marvelous time until one of them noticed that they couldn’t see their mothers anymore. Then all play stopped as they peered through the grass trying to spot a familiar face.

little goats in field

I kept a close eye on the tiny cuties, making sure they didn’t get lost in a tangle of undergrowth and giving the mothers a nudge in the right direction when they got nervous about not seeing their babies.

goat girl

Once mamas and kids were reunited, much nuzzling, inspecting, and licking ensued as the mothers made sure their babies were all in one piece.

little goats with mama

Then they were off again, playing and nibbling through the paddock.

little goats on the road

After all that frolicking the Kalahari kids were tuckered out and quickly found a warm, sunny spot to sit.

little goats looking alert

And within moments they were fast asleep.

little goats sleeping

Do you have any animals at your house that you love to watch?