Saturday 31 October 2015

Sunrise over the goat shed

We have had some cracking sunrises this week .. here's a couple for you to savour:

Red sky at night - goatkeeper's delight.  Red sky in the morning - goatkeeper's warning.  As they say!

The lovely weekend weather brought customers out to market and both Joe and myself had a really good day today selling our gorgeous goatie produce to the good people of London.  We are busy planning all our Xmas goodies at the moment, so watch this space!  We will have some lovely hampers and gift packs, beautiful kid skins and the most heavenly goat's milk soap.  All will be revealed in due course ...

And, as it was half-term this week, we had our customary visit from David's good friend Neil and his daughter Leoni.  Whilst Neil was working his wizardry on bits of our old MGB, Leoni was busy helping goatie Auntie Anita with foot-trimming.  And here she is with her old friend Husky goat:

Our little female kids spent happy hours basking in the sunshine earlier this week - how they have all grown!  Remember the Velvet Spiders?!  Here they are, all top-to-tail ..

And my beautiful little Erin who was so poorly for so many weeks after she was born ... such a smiley face now!

Those goatie girls were on a mission tonight ... frantically munching away to finish their hay so that David could put a  new one in for them after milking.  And that's Ladybird giving the camera the hard stare!

Sunday 25 October 2015

Busy busy busy!!

It's been a hectic couple of weeks folks!  Not least for Fenn who has added a further 65 notches to his bedpost!  He has been a very busy boy with all those lovely goatie ladies.  He reminds me so much of our dear old Fremlin goat - he is very similar in looks but is also so much like Fremlin in temperament.  Very laid-back and charming to the ladies .. whenever a new girl is brought round, he wanders over to the gate to welcome her in.

Those goatie girls have been very demanding.  And the barn is just full of the noise of hormonal females!  Here's a small example of Daisy goat trying to eat and yell for Fenn at the same time..

Our dairy fairy Julie has also been on holiday for a couple of weeks so yours truly and Joe had to try and remember how to make cheese!  I think we did a pretty good job actually ... Here's some of our lovely fresh Ellie's sitting in the moulds almost ready for wrapping:

It's starting to get chilly standing at markets now .. yesterday was full of autumn leaves at Twickenham:

And it took me hours to get back to Notting Hill to pick up the other market .. apparently, there was some rugby match on??!

I just love this time of year .. and all those beautiful colourful veggies start to appear at market.  Time for comfort food and quick delicious supper dishes.

How about this one .. sweet red peppers from Wild Country Organic, dotted with mixed olives and fresh Ellie's cheese .. drizzled with that amazing argan oil from Arganica and oven-baked for about 15 mins.  Served with warm crusty bread from any of the wonderful market bread stalls ...  Yum!!

Followers of our little blog may remember our dear Beamish goat.  He was a very handsome chap and all his offspring tended to have a wry face - or what we called 'a Beamish face'.  His very last daughter is now a goatling - little Humbug goat - and she has a perfect example of that Beamish face.  Such a sweetie!

Thursday 15 October 2015

Love is in the air!

Oh yes indeed!  It's that time of year again .. when a young goat's thoughts turn to love.  The dark nights and drop in temperature has kicked all those goatie hormones into action and the barn is now resounding with the noise of goats in season ...

The Boys are a few miles away at the moment, keeping the male kids company .. but the change in weather has also brought them into season as well.  Interestingly enough, it seems that the male goats also respond to change in day length and temperature.  Much unpleasant behaviour and gobbling noises are now evident in the boys' house.  It's stinky beard time again!

Our first boy to work this year is young Fenn and he has been shipped up to the main goat barn and given his own special batchelor pad right next to the milkers.  This allows him to strut his manly stuff in full view of all those lovely girlies .. and they get to chat to him through the fence.

So, with his first group of ladies, here's young Fenn:

And there's always an eager queue on the other side of the fence ...

But some people are just completely oblivious to Fenn's charms.  Betty was totally unimpressed with the whole thing .

Saturday 3 October 2015

A grand day out

The sun was shining, the wind was blowing and the good countryfolk of Kent went out to play!  Wednesday was the annual East Kent Ploughing Match - held this year near Adisham (not far from Canterbury).

There was a very good turn out, as always, although there were a lot of farmers missing this year.  The weather has caused a lot of problems for the arable farmers and they were taking advantage of the good dry weather to get crops in the ground ready for next year.

I love to watch the teams of horses ploughing and this year there were 4 pairs in the competition.  The horses were all magnificent, coats and brasses gleaming in the sunshine.

In the next section of the field was a pair of old steam ploughs.  They sit at opposite ends with a chain running between them.  The engines take it in turn to pull on the chain and the plough travels across the field.

Here you can see one of the engine drivers waving to let the other engine know that the plough is ready to come back down the field.  Two men sit on the plough to steer it and keep it straight.

These engines are quite rare, especially as a working pair and so it was a joy to see them.

David, of course, was more interested in the rows of boys' toys on display!

The goaties were also taking advantage of the nice weather at home and spent much of the day out in their field..

It really has been a glorious week .. and The Shard looked absolutely magnificent yesterday in the afternoon sunshine ... Just amazing!