Sold! That's right kiddos, while you were hemming and hawing about whether or not you could really handle a couple goats, a pretty lil' lady up in Vallejo with a half acre snatched these bad boys up. I am so pleased to report that Fred and Ginger will be going to live with a friend of mine who, along with teaching sewing at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, has a hefty homesteading operation going on with chickens, bees, and a giant garden.
That video was a stroke of pure genius on my part. It takes Herculean restraint to resist prancing goats the size of a chihuahua. If I were you, I would have pined for them. It will be hard to let these little buggers go. And I know there are many of you out there breathing a sigh of relief that Fred won't end up being banged upon prematurely by an Irish drummer. I, too, am consoled by Fred's good fortune. He's the cuddliest of the pair.
Some of you may have read the article in Mission Loc@l that I was interviewed for about backyard chickens. Overall I was pleased and I loved the pictures, except for the one of me squinching up my face. However, there were a couple of statements in the piece that have been niggling at me all day and I want to clarify/correct a few of them.
1. "Her backyard, which butts up against a used car lot, houses the goats and birds in a pen no larger than two king beds stacked lengthwise." This is a real underestimation of the size of my animal area. In fact, the chicken and goat pen is exactly the equivalent of five king size beds or roughly 175 square feet. This is ample room for the cluckers to scratch and peck and collect as many bugs as their little hearts desire, as well as giving the goats space to chase each other up and down the stairs and headbutt until someone cries uncle. Usually Ethel. Yeah, I'm a little defensive, mostly because I wouldn't want anyone to get the impression that I have my animals in an inadequate space.
Until a couple months ago, the goats were grazing in the neighbor's unused yard (1000 square feet), which had become choked with fennel and various weeds, but I had to put a stop to that when I found loads of lead paint chips surfacing as the goats loosened the soil with their hooves. I am currently working on getting them another 400 square feet of yard area, but this will require repairing a fence that has a 20 plus foot retaining wall underneath it. That means money, which is in short supply around here these days. For now, the goats are happy. If they weren't, they would be making one hell of a racket.
2. "Kooy exceeds that limit, but said she’s never received a complaint about how many she has." Now hold on there little doggy, you could get a gal in a might heap of trouble with talk like that. Didn't I say not to share that info? It's not that I won't cop to who lives here and who doesn't, it's just that I don't need to advertise these kinds of things. With the recent vandalism at The School Farm at the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the School of the Arts and the destruction of the bee hives at Hayes Valley Farm, I fear we urban farmers may be feeling a bit of backlash from the community. Let's just hope no public health department employees with an ax to grind are amongst the readership. That would suck.
3. “Don’t tell my husband,” Kooy joked, “but farming is really a way for me not to have to work.” I'm in some deep shit on this one. Certainly a Homer Simpson "Doh!" moment. What a can of worms my smart ass mouth can open!
Of course, I DO work. I shovel shit, move earth, repair fences, grow and raise food, spend more time a week in the kitchen than some people spend in a year, clean, run errands, take care of all the finances including the books for our contracting business, and most importantly provide the majority of care for our daughter. OK, I admit I'm a shitty cleaner and have the organizational skills of a rat, but I pull my weight. Just nobody pays me to do it.
When someone says don't tell, they really mean don't tell, dude.
Itty Bitty Farm Stand
As a way to pull a little bit of the financial weight around the homestead, or at least break even rather than being a drain on the pocket book, I wanted to start selling a few things from the farm. It's been great giving away all those lovely eggs, jams, and greens to friends and neighbors, but I've got to start being more practical. Sure, I will continue to be open to bartering. I've traded eggs for herbs, sour dough starter, or loaves of Irish treacle bread. I've even paid photographers in huevos. I love that kind of exchange. However as far as "gifts", maybe I shouldn't always be giving the milk away for free so to speak. It would be nice to recoup a couple bucks here and there for my efforts. I thought I would combine the sales with a mini tour. So come see the smallest farm in the world, pick up some eggs, jam, or recycled t-shirts that say "Cluckin' Good Eggs", fondle some baby goats, and have a little chit chat about urban homesteading. The farm stand will be open Fridays from 10-2 and Saturdays 10-12. Email me at heidikooy
eggs $3 half doz./$6 doz.
blueberry jam $5 half pint (8 oz.)
strawberry-blueberry jam $5 half pint
lemon apple butter $5 half pint
strawberry syrup $5 half pint (great for pancakes or flavoring yogurt)
applesauce $5 a pint
"Cluckin' Good Eggs" t-shirt $15 (available for men and women)
Cluckin' Good Eggs cookbook $4
** $1 off canned items if you bring me a canning jar.
I also see the possibility of raw goats milk, goat milk soap, calendula cream, and kombucha being available in the not too distant future. And I'm sure there will be plenty of excess greens starting in late fall through winter. I'll keep you posted.
(Btw, if you are ever in the market for handmade gifts, you could always support my side business, Pie Dough Productions, by purchasing from my website or etsy store. Sorry to make a plug on here.)