This has been another great year here at Old Goat Farm. Being the week of Thanksgiving makes me reflect on how fortunate we are to be living at Old Goat Farm. What started out as a whim or maybe a mid-life crisis has turned into a truly unique lifestyle. We are lucky to be able to combine our passions for plants and animals and spend our time immersed in that every day.
I’m thankful to be a gardener, both as a hobby and professionally. It gives me a closer connection to the earth, literally, I spend many days on my hands and knees either taking something out of the earth or putting something in. It makes me aware of the delicate balance and how careful we should be not to alter it too much. My favorite part of our garden these days is the 1 1/2 acres of woods out back. I put a simple trail through it and enjoy the natives plants that have been established there since it was logged off 90 years ago. About a 2 years ago I added a number of stumps and created a fern garden which I refer to as the Stumpette. It has filled in nicely and is a great addition to the garden.
I’m also thankful for the gardening community. Over the last 20 years I have been involved with horticultural schools, societies and garden clubs. It is wonderful to be surrounded by like-minded individuals that share this common passion. The energy level just goes up when you are all in the same room. I appreciate how much I have learned from them. This year we opened for a few special events. The first was The University Women’s Puyallup area Garden Tour as a fund raiser for the S.T.E.M. program (scholarships for young women interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) which brought in 350 people. It was a fun day with food carts, art vendors and even music. Mid summer we hosted an all day workshop on Shade Gardening for the Northwest Horticultural Society. Toward the end of summer we hosted a couple Farm to Table Dinners which were well received. Thanks to all that attended these events.
We opened our nursery 13 years ago and I appreciate all our regulars that keep us going by showing up for our open days and classes. I particularly enjoy the people who come here for the first time not knowing what to expect. Because we are small we usually have time to chat with most of them which is always fun. I think most appreciate the experience but not as much as I do. The garden continues to change and mature. A number of the plants we first planted are now becoming mature and the garden is beginning to look like the one in my minds eye.
Even though I grumble about the animals I thoroughly enjoy them. It just catches me by surprise when someone drops off a bird or two or when Gary goes to a garage sale and comes home with a goat or a donkey. They all have their own personalities and are quite entertaining. The baby goat, Coco, has been so fun, as is her mother, Jima. I kind of miss having Coco be in the house as our little lap goat. Goats being goats, I could see that that might not end well, Now I just have to go down to the goat pen if I want her to sit in my lap. She has become fully grown but still thinks she is a baby. She still checks Garys pocket every night to see if he has her bottle and he usually does.
Most of all I’m thankful for my husband Gary. Not many people would have been willing to stop everything and move to to the country and try to figure out a whole different life.
Thanks to all of you that make our lives richer. Gary would chime in too but he is frantically decorating for Christmas.