• strawberry rhubarb cocktail

    The Drink You’ll Crave All Summer: Berry, Rhubarb & Vanilla Collins

    The classic Vodka Collins has infinite opportunity for variation, but none so delicious as a pairing of two Simple Goodness Sisters’ Syrups: Rhubarb Vanilla and Berry Sage.   Paired together in this vodka Collins with a little bit of fresh lemon juice, the result is part fresh squeezed lemonade stand at a country fair, and part your great Aunt’s strawberry rhubarb pie. A vodka collins is made with fresh citrus juice, vodka, club soda, and the sweetener of your choosing. Obviously, we choose Simple Goodness Sisters’ syrups, for tasty, unique flavors reflective of the Northwest where we grow and craft cocktails. The Sumner’s Summer Solstice drink is sweet without becoming…

  • 5 Tips for Building Raised Garden Beds

    It’s been a while since I (Venise) blogged. When it comes to our strengths Belinda is the stronger writer so I generally let her shine on the blog while I dig in the dirt. But, I am excited to share some gardening tips with you so I taking a break from the dirt to try to put some words on a “page”. Since Ross and I have been feverishly working to rebuild our raised garden beds and get everything installed in time for the busy growing season it is a great time to share 5 tips for building raised garden beds. Leave enough room for your equipment I am making…

  • Cocktail Recipe of the Week: the Seattle Sling, and also introducing our first Spring Launch flavor, Lemon Herb!

    For this week’s garden to glass cocktail recipe, we’re featuring a drink with one of our upcoming Spring launch flavors of Simple Goodness Sisters’ syrups, Lemon Herb. The flavor is the stuff your summer dreams (definitely ours!) are made of. Even better, we’re sharing a non-alcoholic mocktail, or “soft cocktail” version of the drink as well, for everyone who loves garden to glass flavor but isn’t interested in a tipple.  We go to bottle the Lemon Herb syrups this upcoming week (as well as Blueberry Lavender and Berry Sage) and are taking presale orders on all three, as well as our “Garden to Glass” Edible Garden Kits starting April 3rd,…

  • Garden to Glass Workshop @ The Works in Seattle

    If there are two things the Simple Goodness Sisters LOVE it is sharing our passion for #gardentoglass drinks and meeting new people which is why this summer we are going on the ROAD to share our passion for #gardentoglass mixology! We want to help people grow their own cocktail gardens and use their gardening skills behind the bar! Our first stop is in Seattle at The Works on Wednesday April 24, 2019 from 6-7:30PM. We will be sharing our planting plans in depth and demonstrating how each herb, flower, fruit, and vegetable is used to make tasty and delicious drinks at home. Farmer Venise will teach you how to plant…

  • jack rose cocktail tutorial video garden to glass

    Cocktail Video of the Week: the Simple Goodness Sisters’ Jack Rose Cocktail

    The Jack Rose is a pre-prohibition (like, seriously OG) New Jersey classic cocktail we’re re-imagining to be solidly West Coast. It’s a little known drink (and surprisingly has NOTHING to do with our favorites from the Titanic) that will be widely popular with your friends once introduced. It’s fairly sweet but still pretty stiff, so it packs a pretty little punch. Speaking of punch, PUNCH describes the drink as so: According to David Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, the Jack Rose was, during the mid-20thcentury, a pillar of basic cocktail-mixing knowledge. The origin of its name is disputed: some credit it to an early 20th-century hit man called “Bald…

  • Talking Simple Goodness with Seattle Kitchen’s Tom Douglas, Katie O., and Thierry Rauturneau

    The Simple Goodness Sisters got our first brush with celebrity this week, when interviewed by famous and widely acclaimed (James Beard award winners!) Seattle chefs Tom Douglas and Thierry Rauturneau. We were not nervous one tiny bit, and if you believe that, Venise will sell you some ocean front property in Arizona next. What is also true, however, is that the syrups also had their TV debut this week! Read the blog for links to watch and listen.

  • How to make a Pomegranate sparkler cocktail

    This Sparkling Pomegranate cocktail recipe was originally posted to Youtube as a holiday party cocktail tutorial video, since it is great for big groups! The festive drink recipe is very easy to prep and serve and looks so festive. For those abstaining, I love that it is tasty, pretty, and one of the very few drinks that is hard to tell apart when it is made non-alcoholic. Watch the video to learn more!

  • Craft Cocktail Video of the Week: the cranberry mule

    The holidays, or any old Thursday, are the perfect time to make this easy to please, quick for a crowd, delicious cranberry mule cocktail. In this video how to we will show you how to whip one of these up after a holiday feast using leftover cranberry sauce, jelly, or chutney from the holidays. Join Belinda, bartender of Happy Camper Cocktails and sister/farmer, Venise, as they give their cocktail recipe tutorials on Simple Goodness Farm

  • Gathering the Girl Tribe

    When we were little our mom, like every other mom out there, forced Belinda and I to share. For most our lives we shared a room and no matter how hard we tried to label or hide our things, we learned to live with the fact that our sister was going to steal our stuff. Everything from makeup to clothes and even hobbies we learned to share. Sure, I didn’t love it when Belinda stretched out all my shoes with her big foot feet and I am sure Belinda wasn’t thrilled when I would steal her quirky clothes that I would never buy for myself because my taste was far…

  • The Fireside Sipper you Need to Make Tonight: the Huckleberry Spruce Tip Old Fashioned

    Need the perfect Fall drink for comfy chair snuggling, cozy sweater wearing, great book reading, nights by the fire? Of course you do. We all do. That’s what Fall is all about, Charlie Brown. And I’ve got the recipe – and the simple syrup!- for you! Imagine that cozy chair, that soft sweater, those warm slippers, that stormy night outside- what’s in your cup? You deserve something new. Something that wakes you up just a bit, intriguing you with its flavors even as it mellows you right back down in a warm whiskey glow. Something that tastes like a classic, revisited and renewed. You’ll need Huckleberry Spruce Tip syrup, so click…

  • two craft cocktails with blackberries

    Farewell to August Cocktail: A Marionberry Mint Simple Goodness Syrup recipe

    August is waning but my thirst for a craft cocktail shared with friends isn’t. Once my mid-August birthday rounds the bend, I know summer is coming to an end. My birthday typically coincides with the Perseif meteor showers, the hottest days of the summer, and lots of days on the lake. Recently, the Pacific Northwest has seen so much summer smoke from wildfires that August has been far less enjoyable than the long, hot, lazy days of my summers’ past, and some Seattlites with hazy eyes and burning throats are praying for rain and pinning pumpkin recipes on pinterest. But not me. I believe every season is owed its time…

  • Simple Goodness Syrups: Marionberry Mint & a Garden Mule cocktail

    Simple Goodness Syrups have launched, shipped, and wowed their first customers. After a humorously inefficient first shipping process (picture 8 months pregnant Venise carrying an armful of boxes into fedex twenty minutes before closing, and the lady behind the counter looking wary at best) the first shipped bottles are in the hands of customers across the USA and that feels really, really good. We are so proud to share a taste of the Pacific Northwest summer through these first edition Simple Goodness Sister Syrup flavors. We also sold a ton of bottles at the Garlic and Goats Festival at Venise’s farm last weekend to our local community and couldn’t stop…

  • Simple Goodness Sisters Presents Simple Goodness Syrups!

    We’re launching online sales of our Simple Goodness Syrups. This moment is about 2 years, or 30 years in the making, depending on your perspective. Appropriately, this new venture of ours is launching the week of International Sisterhood Day. My sister and I have been sisters since my birth in 1988 and business partners since earlier this year. But the seed for the Simple Goodness Syrups was really planted in 2016, at my very first Happy Camper Cocktail Company event when a guest handed me her business card and asked if I would consider selling our drink syrups in her retail store. (Note to self, time to call!) Venise continued…

  • A Fan Favorite: The Genevieve

    Our friends are as much a part of our success as our family and this fan favorite Happy Camper Cocktail original recipe is in honor of one of our besties, Genevieve. Genevieve was one of the OG Happy Campers who offered her critique on everything from the Happy Camper logo to the cocktail menu and this recipe is one that she insisted we put on our menu at our very first event. It was recently featured on SipNorthwest.com as a feature cocktail. It can be a little complex with the Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup, but our already bottled Rhubarb Vanilla Bean simple syrup makes this fancy cocktail a breeze!…

  • Tarragon and Quince Cocktail Recipe

    The Tarragon is currently reaching the end of it’s productivity in the herb garden on the farm but before it goes there is still time to enjoy it’s licorice tangy flavor in a cocktail.  If you are growing tarragon in your garden, you will want to watch it for flowering (the flowers don’t actually flower, they just make little buds) and the yellowing of the leaves towards the end of your growing season. When you start to see these tell tale signs that fall is near you should start to harvest and think about how to store it through the winter. My favorite way to store Tarragon is to freeze…

  • Belinda’s dispatch from the road: Happy Camper Cocktails’ summer 2017

    2017-2018 was, excuse my language, a helluva year. It was a BIG year of growth for me,  personally and professionally, with Happy Camper Cocktail Company. On a professional level, there were weddings that made me laugh, cry, and over-caffeinate. We did our first brand promotion partnership with a major corporation. We crafted celebrations & intimate executive retreats for top Seattle area companies. Happy Camper Cocktails served corporate employee picnics for some major local players. We even moved forward on our new catering kitchen space in Wilkeson and our Simple Goodness Syrups collaboration with Venise, but those are subjects for future blogs! And then right in the middle of it all,…

  • The answer to the question: What are you going to do now?

    If I ever write an autobiography, June 16, 2017 will be the end of part one because that is the first time I truly felt like a grown up. Ironically, it is also the day I quit my “grown up” job. Never before have I felt more in charge of my own life, and at risk of sounding cliche, my own destiny, than the day I decided to tell my boss to “take this job and shove it”. Of course I didn’t use those exact words and I tried to be as professional as possible on my way out, which for a no holds barred, notorious truth teller, was very…

  • First Arrival: Sade’s Baby Goats

    The time is FINALLY here! We welcomed our first baby goats yesterday! In years past we have always kidded in April and May, but this year our buck’s schedule was pretty full so we waited until January to breed the girls which meant that our kidding dates are in June this year. Our first doe to kid was Sade. Sade is four years old and this was Sade’s second birth, as her breeding didn’t take last year. Last time she kidded she had two does (girls) and we kept both of them in our herd. Lucy is due this month for the first time, while it appears Ethyl didn’t spend quite…

  • Birthday dinner for our favorite, Kate!

    Kate hasn’t been around on this blog much lately, despite being one of its founders. Way back when, Simple Goodness blog was created as the Dairy Queens, meant to detail the adventures of our little sister Kate in 4H. She began the adventure by showing and caring for Venise’s first couple of goats, EB and Dozer. She’s been showing in 4H ever since and even rose through the ranks recently to be the president of her club. She’s won plenty of ribbons, shaved and washed plenty of goats and welcomed many new kids to the herd. Through this passing of time, she has also grown into a super pretty, delightfully clever and…

  • Happy Camper Cocktail Company is Road Ready!

    YOU GUYS ITS FINALLY DONE! I have never been more exited to share a blog post. Building our Happy Camper Cocktail Co. mobile bar been a true labor of love, with blood, sweat and tears fueling us along the way and we are finally road ready and headed to our first event, Enumclaw’s Farm and Frills Antiques and Junkers market. This event is held at the Enumclaw Expo Center which is also the home of the King County Fair, the oldest operating fair west of the Mississippi and an annual summer event for my family. Bringing my new business here, of all places, after all of our hard work is a dream come…

  • 2016 Gardens: planting seeds and having faith

    Happy Easter everyone! With Easter we celebrate the victory of life over death and dwell in the possibility and promise of miracles. We had a beautiful day celebrating the day with all of our family and eating all of the things.  We hope the same for you and yours! Speaking of having faith, the last frost date is a long standing point of contention between farmers and gardeners and our Lord. We await Spring with building apprehension, wanting to get started with planting, but must wait for that last frost to pass or risk losing it all. It takes a lot of faith and patience to wait and we’re like toddlers in a…

  • Winter Farm Update

    Since Belinda posted about her exciting Happy Camper Cocktail updates I figured it was time to post a winter farm update. Winter is a pretty slow time on the farm which is good because it gives us time to catch up on projects we don’t get to during the busier seasons. This winter Farmer Ross has been focusing on selling some of the extra equipment we have laying around which will give us the room and funds to buy some new equipment. One of our most recent purchases included some refrigerators and freezers we bought to store our farm produce and meat. Our local grocery store went out of business which is a…

  • Progress for the Happy Camper

    This road we’re on feels like a long one recently. Over the last couple of weeks there have been ups and downs, which to continue the already on the verge of being over done metaphor, can be described as: dodgy rest stops (the fear that grips you when your husband insists on operating a saw in a terrible mood), armed protest road blocks (the ongoing discussion on liquor licensing), finding a dairy queen in the middle of a dessert (a full set of 1960’s gold leaf cocktail glasses for $2 each at Goodwill!) We keep chugging through it all, hills and valleys, and I know we’ll get there. My eye…

  • Happy Camper Cocktails- the journey begins!

    Hello, beautiful readers. I have some really exciting news. This is happening:….   ….!!!! I almost can’t believe that the Happy Camper Cocktail Company  has come along so quickly in the last few months, but this gorgeous photo literally puts it in black and white and grounds my dream to a new reality. How pretty and professional is this logo? (Rhetorical question, if you don’t adore it please don’t share, because I am obsessed and oh so happy to have it!) This logo feels like the second really big step from taking this dream from a dream, to a trailer, to a business. And, I have a website! Yay! You…

  • Girl Crush: Joanna Gaines

    Every woman between the ages of 25 and 65 is obsessed with her remodels, exquisite taste in pillows, witty husband, and gorgeous sun kissed babies. Yes of course I am talking about Joanna Gaines. Even more so, we’re obsessed with the wholesome family fun the Gaines family models on their weekly show. They make the American dream look really good, and we actually believe in their happiness and strong values. So I wasn’t surprised when I was moved and impressed by this video when a friend sent it. The Gaines don’t hide their Christianity from their viewers, rather they wear it through their actions and attitudes in their daily life,…

  • Happy Camper Cocktail Company- the beginning

    Have I gushed about how awesome my husband is lately? Yes, he makes me laugh and takes awesome care of me and our son (example: last weekend we had a wedding to attend and my stepdad threw out his back and couldn’t watch our son. Mr. Kelly dressed up Hankie Pankie in a suit jacket and Chuck Taylors and brought him to the ceremony, played with him in the sand at the beachfront venue while I did bridesmaid-y things, and then drove him home to my Aunt Debbie who was able to sub-in and put our little man to bed. All told, he drove 4 1/2 hours so that he…

  • Corporate Herdsmanship

    When it comes to my food, I like to keep things separate. If it was socially acceptable I would probably still use one of those kid plates with dividers so all the food stays neat in it’s place. But, when it comes to my life, I prefer to mix it up. In practice this means I check and respond to work emails in the middle of doing farm chores. I blog during my commute to work. I think about my daughter in the middle of work meetings. It means that whether I am at work, at home or in the barn, I am not 100% fully there, part of me is somewhere…

  • How My Kid Saved Christmas (or something less dramatic)

    Did you know that the 12 days of Christmas actually begins Christmas day? According to Wikipedia, in most Western Church traditions Christmas Day is the First Day of Christmas and the Twelve Days are 25 December – 5 January. While a lot of my friends have taken down their trees and decorations and already have the presents sorted and tucked away in their new homes, I’m still holding onto Christmas. I don’t know what it was exactly about this year but it went QUICKLY. Maybe it was because this was my first year with a whirling dervish of a baby boy to run after or perhaps it was the sickness…

  • The signs of labor in cows

    Two years ago we welcomed our very first calf on the farm when Mama struggled through labor and delivered a healthy heifer (girl) calf we named Mae. Fast forward two years and our baby is all grown up and having babies of her own. Mae is scheduled to calve sometime soon. If we were full time farmers who had the opportunity to spend more time in the barn and less time in our corporate offices we would have been regularly observing and recording Mae’s heat cycles and would know when she was bred. But, alas, we are busy modern day farmers who work day jobs and try to do our best when…

  • Changing Traditions

    At 10 pm last Sunday night, in a fit of rage that could only be induced by untangling Christmas lights only to find they won’t connect correctly or are half burned out, I realized just how different this Christmas will be. It will be our first Christmas with a toddler. That ever-curious, fascinated with the world, glass case of emotions, destructive breed of little man is about to throw a wrench in all of my holiday plans. The signs had been creeping up on me, in the way of jealousy over friend’s tranquil Instagram posts of flawless decorations hung with languishing ease. In year’s past, I too enjoyed a hot toddy or…

  • Kitchen Gardens 2015 summarized

    Seed selection, garden planning and raised bed research occupied my mind this Spring. With the arrival this week of the Baker Creek seed catalog in the mail, this fervor has been re-awakened. I am already excited for the work to come in Spring. With the same fervor I once felt for planning cute outfits for warmer weather, making shopping lists in my mind and sketching fashions to fill my endless supply of blue cover spiral notebooks (needs to be blue, always blue- OCD much?), I now plan for fresh produce. Last Spring I dwelled in the pages of the Whole Seed Catalog by the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company like it…

  • A letter to Deyton

    Dear Deyton, Yesterday a very wealthy couple, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, wrote a letter to their newborn daughter, Max, with a plan and a pledge to donate $45 billion dollars to help ensure that your generation grows up in a world better than ours today. As I read the news, I was thankful that a couple with so much power, because of the money they have made, feel morally responsible to make the world a better place not just for their own child but for every child. But, I also felt a little small, a little insignificant. You see, like Priscilla and Mark, I also want to make the world a better place and there are…

  • Growing Garlic: Cutting Scapes

    Farmer Ross and I have gotten a lot of questions recently filled with anxiety and enthusiasm asking “what should I be doing with my garlic”?  Because garlic is a winter crop, it is often one of the first crops to be harvested in the summer. Since I had so many questions this year I thought I would write a quick post about what the next few months entail for all you budding garlic farmers! First, if you are growing hardneck garlic in the Pacific Northwest, your scapes should be ready to cut. I usually cut ours as soon as the scape has made a full curl. The scapes are the…

  • Our Weekend Adventures and Baby Goats

    Man things around the farm are busy! In Washington we all look forward to this time of year when the gray skies start to clear and summer takes shape. On the farm, the spring and summer are the busiest parts of the year and this year is going to be no different. In an effort to get some last minute R&R before the craziness of summer takes over, our family took a short trip across the mountains to Lake Chelan for Kate’s 14th birthday! Originally Kate wanted to go to the ocean and go clam digging but the warmer than normal weather brought upon an algae attack in the ocean and they…

  • Egg Bound Chicken

    To be a great farmer, one must also be a great detective. Because our animals cannot speak to us in words, we spend a lot of time trying to guess their needs. Over the past few days we have had the chance to hone our detective skills when we noticed one chicken who wasn’t being her usual chicken self. Rather than hanging out with the other chickens she has been laying in the goat stall on the ground, which is never a good sign. When the other chickens were flocking to the feeder in the morning fighting for food, she hardly turned her head, an even worse sign. It didn’t take…

  • The Future of Breastmilk

    It seems that milk is all the rage these days! Have you been to the dairy section of your local grocer lately? The other day I took a gander down the dairy isle of our local grocer and was shocked at how many types of milk there are.  I had no idea almonds had nipples! It used to be that you chose milk based on fat content, nonfat (water) 1% (water with a splash of milk), 2% (water with a shot of milk), whole milk (the good stuff) and if you are lucky to live in a state that allows people to make their own choices about the food they consume you get an…

  • Happy National Agriculture Day

    Today is National Agriculture Day! Ag Day is about recognizing – and celebrating – the contribution of agriculture in our everyday lives. The National Ag Day program encourages every American to: Understand how food and fiber products are produced. Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy. Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products. In celebration of this important day I thought it would be appropriate to share some fun agriculture facts you might be able to use at the next trivia night or when you want to one up that know-it-all at the dinner party. Lettuce is a member of the sunflower family. The…

  • Kelly Home Renovations Update: Kitchen Remodel

    The kitchen remodel is finally moving on to phase 2 and I am so excited! The subway tiled end is in sight! There are some beautiful pendant lights at the end of this tunnel and I cannot wait to share recipes with you from the final result, the heart of our home, our gorgeous new kitchen. After removing the old cabinets, installing the new, replacing a wall of old wood windows, refinishing the original hardwood floors and installing my dream sink and faucet, my lovely and talented husband is due for a break. (More pictures from phase 1 of the remodel are here.) Plus, he has been working crazy hours on the…

  • Breastmilk is funny s@#t!!!!

    Happy Monday everyone! In celebration of another week at the grindstone (and milk machine) I decided to share some pumping humor! I belong to a few Facebook groups that deal with breast feeding, pumping, mothering and parenting. Every so often mamas share funny stories about the joys of pumping and I thought it  would be fun to share some of my favorites. Do you have a funny story to share? Please share it in the comments section below! I could use some extra laughs this morning! So we have a room in the office that they changed into the “pump room” for the two of us who are pumping. The…

  • Corporate Lingo on the Farm

    One of the things Farmer Ross and I have in common with other modern day farmers is our day job. In addition to all our farm chores, we both work full time jobs. We straddle the line between country living and the hustle and bustle of corporate America. We get up with the sun, feed cows, goats and chickens, fight commuter traffic to our jobs, put in our eight hours and then turn around do it all in the reverse order. While the whole process can be exhausting it certainly helps keep us well rounded. We get dressed in our work clothes, but seldom leave the farm without stray pieces of hay…

  • Growing Garlic: mid-winter check-in

    Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest, for now. Its been a bit of a crazy year. The frogs are singing, the sun is shining and the crocuses are blooming and its only February! Farmer Ross and I got giddy this weekend with all the sunshine poking through the usually gloomy clouds and decided to do some spring cleaning around the farm as well as check in on our garlic. As it turns out, the garlic is also loving the sunshine! Kate came over and helped us dig up a few sprouts and check the progress. As you can see in the picture Kate was also excited about the sun, she wore…

  • Lessons from Sir Henry: things I didn’t know before motherhood

    I was not the kind of expectant mother whose Kindle was filled with parenting books and weekends were filled with new parent classes. (Actually, I don’t even have a Kindle. I like the way books smell. But that’s another story…). I halfheartedly slogged through parts of “what to expect” and then went back to binge watching Fixer Upper on HGTV (Best. show. ever.) I figured that babies and mamas have figured out a way to co-exist for a long looong time, so I would let nature and my instincts guide me along. For the most part, that has worked out really well for Henry and I. Babies don’t come home from the hospital with a user…

  • Galentine’s Day: the best fake holiday ever

    I love a good party. I especially love to throw a good party. So ever since Leslie Knope of the tv show Parks and Recreation introduced the world to Galentine’s Day last year, I’ve been wanting to have one of my own. “Introducing the best fake holiday EVER: Galentine’s Day! Its time to treat yo’ self” So read the invitation to what turned out to be one of my top ten favorite parties ever. Simple, easy and quick to plan, Galentine’s Day was not as wild or as extravagant as some of my other favorite affairs have been, which is exactly what made it so great. We did the basics:…

  • Sheep Shearing Adventure

    This last weekend Deyton, Farmer Ross and I went to  the Bless Ewe Sheep Company farm to learn all about shearing sheep. This was my second time watching the sheep get hair cuts and Ross and Deytons first. Last year Belinda and I went for our first ever sheep shearing adventure and we had a great time meeting Stewie the famous lamb and learning all about sheep and their fleece.  Sheep shearing day is the equivalent of harvest day for farmers. It is the culmination of all the hard work they put in throughout the year and because the fleece is sold, it is also pay day! Despite the very rainy and…

  • Lake Chelan Winterfest, a 2nd Annual Adventure

    A few weekends ago we headed off to the better half of the state for a last hurrah. I was about to begin my first week back at work and Mr. Kelly has worked almost 3 weeks straight so we both needed to unwind. Lake Chelan, our happy place, was the perfect destination and the timing worked out perfectly to hit up the Lake Chelan Winterfest again, making the trip our “second annual.” Last year’s trip was our first time seeing the lake in wintertime and it made for the perfect retreat. The ice dripped from lichen on the tree trunks of my uncle’s property, making for some beautiful practice photography…

  • Breeding Season

    All of our does recently returned to the farm after a brief stay at the Hidden Circle Farm where they had a romantic stay with their buck boyfriend Razz. The gestation period for goats is about 5 months so we are hoping that come May and June we will be able to post lots of pictures of cute baby goats! This year was the first year I actually caught one of my goats, Sade, the biggest flirt of them all, showing signs of her being in heat. Last year in my Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy post, I shared about how Sade was not very enthusiastic about going to the breeders, but this year she was…

  • Hi Ho Hi Ho It’s Off To Work I Go

    When you become a mom for the first time your reality changes almost instantly.  Four months ago I was a twenty-something, career focused, double income no kids professional.  Today I am a thirty something, working mom who spends her extra money on adorable baby clothes and saving for family friendly vacations. It has been a monumental transition and it felt like it happened over night, which it did on September 25, 2014. in the labor and delivery wing of Swedish hospital. For some moms having a child brings another huge life change, becoming a stay at home mom. For others, like myself, having a baby means enjoying a brief stint…

  • A Long Awaited Farm Update

    Oh its been SOOOOO long! I have taken a little hiatus from blog posts, but I promise I have a good reason! My good reason was born on September 25, 2014 at Swedish Hospital and weighed 5.8lbs, was 17.25″ long and is named Deyton . She came two weeks early, and was perfect upon her arrival. Before her arrival, Ross and I were running around like chickens with their you know what cut off trying to get as many chores done as we could before our lives changed forever. All the running around (or rather waddling around) and the exhaustion that comes during the last few months of pregnancy left me…

  • Kelly home renovations update

    After a super productive first month in the new house, we have a lot to be proud of. We were hard at work refinishing the floors, replacing the front and back door, removing wallpaper, prepping and sanding walls for paint, painting walls, replacing upstairs carpet and setting up the nursery.  For the last month, the progress has slowed from a frenzy to a slow muggy southern evening on a front porch type pace. This is due to the hot Fall days we’ve (still!) been having, the fact that the TV was hung and most especially, the arrival of Sir Henry.  Our time now has been occupied by learning from and loving this amazing sweet boy and our…

  • Selfies for Nanny

    Our Nanny, the inspiration of Simple Goodness, died last year on October 5th. But more importantly, she lived for 94 energetic, selfless and inspiring years before that. She touched and taught her husband of 67 years, 8 children, 29 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and countless friends and church parishioners. She left this world a better and warmer place when she left it last year, because of both her spirit and the legacy of handmade quilts she gifted to many of those she loved. I spent Sunday morning staring at my son as he did tummy time on the quilt nanny made for me when I was born. I was wishing that she could…

  • Expensive Seed

    Yesterday was one of those days most dog owners try to avoid. Generally speaking Pearl is a really healthy dog and we have spent very little in the way of vet bills. Besides eating something that resembled a peach pit just a few days after we got her and having to decide to let nature takes its course or go in to remove the blockage, Pearl has been a pretty easy keeper (we decided to let nature take its course and it did). But, then three days ago Pearl and Ross were playing frisbee out in the pasture and in mid toss, Pearl suddenly stopped chasing the frisbee and started shaking…

  • What to Expect When You Are A Farmer Expecting

    There are thousands of blogs written for parents who are expecting. I love reading these blogs and decided to share my own thoughts on what one can expect when expecting. To make it interesting, I thought it would be fun to share my experiences as a farmer. So, here are five things women who farm can expect when they are expecting! Enjoy! Don’t be surprised if you compare yourself to livestock If you raise livestock, it is almost a sure bet that throughout your pregnancy you will compare yourself and your experiences to those of the livestock you raise in the barn. Don’t be surprised if you accidentally or jokingly referring to your cycles as…

  • Kelly home renovations, Week 1

    Do you know what I mean when I talk about the utter satisfaction of white paint? The catharsis that comes with  rolling a coat of clean white paint over a wall studded with grease, dog prints and the history of a thousand foreign fingerprints? It’s a feeling of release, that I imagine unwinds the tight strings of my muscles and lowers my shoulders just a fraction of an inch in a moment of pure happiness. Ok, so maybe I am a bit type A, and maybe I am overthinking this, but I really love what a coat of paint can do to a room. I’ve had the pleasure of that moment of joy about 47…

  • Real Cowgirls

    The last couple of weeks have been an adjustment for me. I am finally starting to feel better and spend less time hugging the toilet which means that the pounds are starting to pack on and my belly is noticeably bigger than before. In fact, Belinda and I recently had some maternity photos taken by the talented Mrs. Laura Morceau of Casual Family Photography and while we haven’t gotten them all back yet to share, below is a nice little teaser for you all. See…I really am starting to look pregnant! Anyways, as the scale starts tipping further and further towards a number that usually belongs to my husband I am…

  • Grandpa Val Wisdom

    On June 18, 2014 my grandpa Val turned 80 years old. Over my grandpa’s past 80 years he raised a family, worked his butt off  and has taught his family about love, sacrifice, working hard and giving graciously. Like the rest of my grandparents, he is one of my heros. He was part of the inspiration behind my unique name (my parents combined Val and Denise, my mother’s name, and came up with Venise). One of the things that I love most about my grandpa is he is a no bull-crap kind of guy. He lives very simply despite the fact that he could live far more lavishly than he does. You…

  • Happy Mothers Day!

    Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there! I love you all. On the farm we are lucky because we get to experience the miracle life every spring. We get to see natural motherly instincts at their finest. The transformation a new mama goat goes through as soon as her first baby is on the ground is always inspiring. The last couple weeks we have had a few of our does kid and each time I learn something new about the nature of the mother. I cannot teach a mama goat to do what she does, it comes 100% naturally. Each mothers their babies in special, unique ways and it…

  • Throw your own Kentucky Derby party

    Our family welcomes any excuse to party. And we love a good animal race- horses, piglets, goats, you name it, if they’ve been raced at a county fair, we’ve lined up to watch and cheer them on. So last year, despite being months late for the annual Kentucky Derby, we decided that Grandma Nancy’s surprise birthday bash was the perfect excuse to finally throw our own farm animal races in my backyard (a bucket list event for me if ever there was one!) The Kentucky Derby is a Grade 1 Stakes race for three year old thoroughbred horses run annually the first weekend in May. Held in Louisville, Kentucky, the…

  • Another baby on the way…

    It seems like babies are coming daily to the farm, and the farm bloggers are no exception. Except, luckily, I’ve got a few months until our little man greets the world. That’s right, I said little man! For those who haven’t yet heard, here is the big news: There’s going to be a new Mr. Kelly! When we first found out we were going to be parents we felt incredible joy, and a whole lot of shock and awe. And then right away, a whole lot of decisions came down the pipe. When do we tell people? What doctor do we choose? Do we want to find out gender? And…

  • I can’t resist…more baby goat videos

    EB had her babies last night while I was in car driving home from work. Luckily Kate and Ross were home to help. She delivered three kids, one large buckling (boy), one small buckling, and one very small doeling. The doeling is adorable with pretty blue eyes. She had a hard time figuring the whole nursing thing so Kate and I helped her out with a bottle to make sure she got the nutrient rich colostrum. Hopefully by the time I get home tonight her brothers have shown her the ropes. Below are some videos I took because I absolutely cannot resist the cuteness and I am guess neither can…

  • Re-flooring our master bedroom

    Troy has been making great progress on our master suite, and I hope to be able to do 2 things soon: 1) show you all the transformation, and 2) move out of the smallest, least attractive room in our house that we’ve been squatting living in since last summer. The master suite will be a large office- bedroom combination, with tons of natural light filtering in through a skylight and tons of windows. In the house’s former life, the back room was added on to create a daycare playroom and napping room, so there is still a large happy sunshine mural painted on the walls (what do you think, should…

  • Yellow Cake with Whipped Cream Filling and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and a bittersweet “See You Later”

    I have no idea how to hold it together while writing a post about goodbyes, however temporary, so let’s just call this a cake recipe post. Today, my very best friend since the age of 15 is finally, after years of waiting, off to begin officer training in Alabama with the United State Air Force. I show my love in layers, so his going away party cake was my biggest creation yet. I am happy for him to begin this adventure, since adventure has after all been the common thread in our stitching, tugging us along in life in varied directions, states, relationships and careers. I’m proud that he made…

  • Waldorf Red (aka Red Velvet) Cheesecake Ice Cream

    Here it is, February 15th- the day when men in the USA collectively sigh with relief, thankful that they remembered to pick up the flowers or make the fancy dinner reservation. It is a day that, for me, is beginning with ice cream and deceit. I made this ice cream for my husband for his Valentine’s Day present, so I know it is wrong to be opening up the handwritten “happy Valentine’s Day love!” container and eating a few bites, but I simply cannot help it. This stuff is that good. We have a Valentine’s Day tradition of experiences over gifts. Neither of us enjoys a big crowd in a…

  • Designing with Bead Board

    I am currently obsessed with bead board. I love the antique charm that bead board instantly brings to a room. Generally when people think of bead board they think of white paneling that is 36″-42″ tall. However, if you are willing to think outside of the box when installing bead board you can achieve a look that is different and refreshing. Recently we finished installing bead board in our kitchen and our barn guest room. In addition to my tips and tricks below, make sure you check out my before and after pictures to spark your creativity. If you have pictures of a project you have done or are working…

  • Winter Wine Tasting: a girl’s weekend guide

    If there is one thing my sister and I really love (besides baby goats, fresh chicken eggs, our dogs and our hubbies of course) it is a good girl’s weekend. Creating and keeping close female friendships is one of the biggest accomplishments of my young adulthood and I have found our nights of laughter, shenanigans, and TMI birthing story sessions (yup, no kidding) to be incredibly rewarding! When checking out the Chelan Winterfest this weekend I couldn’t stop thinking about how fun it would have been to have all of my girls there with me, dancing, wine tasting and making friends with the locals. We’ve had 4 of our bachelorette…

  • Day trip: Lake Chelan in Winter

    About this time during a Washington winter, I begin to crave escape. The feeling is visceral, like I will begin to peel out of my skin if I must endure one more fog filled day of dreary Northwest winter. I start to plan spring vacation escapes and my pinterest board turns more and more tropical (this year I am thinking Palm Springs: vintage bikinis, old men in fedoras, Joshua Tree, poolside margaritas.) I betray my native city by beginning to long for any glimpse of wide open blue sky. This is in stark contrast to my feelings at the end of the summer, when I crave with equal strength the…

  • A Nice Wife

    If you are on Facebook and your friends are anything like mine you have probably noticed a popular article getting lots of attention titled something to the effect of “I’m Dating Someone Even Though I’m Married” and when you click into it, it is a call from a pastor and husband to date your spouse. It is not a new concept,  but it is a good reminder. Where I think most people go wrong, myself included, is that we think dates when we hear dating. Between my 12 hour days at work, taking care of the farm animals and renovating our farm house, I don’t have time to go on…

  • The Rodenator In Action

    No matter where you live in Western Washington, if you have a yard it is likely you have a mole problem (I am guesings moles are a problem in other places as well). Moles are not picky about the yards they ruin. Whether you aim to win the best groomed lawn award in your neighborhood or are trying to up your hay production from last year, moles will get in your way and if you are anything like my husband Ross, you will spend hours drafting your plan of attack. Ross has tried pretty much everything to get rid of moles. He has tried marking their routes each morning and…

  • Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing

    One of easiest and most rewarding remodeling projects is upgrading cabinets and counter tops. This will be my third kitchen remodel and each time I have skipped the expensive option of replacing the existing and opted for a facelift. In this house, I love the fact that the cabinets are original to the house and solid wood.  I have priced enough cabinets to know I couldn’t afford new solid wood cabinets and since the existing cabinets are fully functional I saw no good reason to tear them out…waste not, want not!  Besides being way cheaper, revamping old cabinets is a whole lot faster and when I started this project I…

  • Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Caramels

    Signatures can be a double edged sword. For sake of example: While Stairway to Heaven brought Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin a great hit, it also brought an endless deluge of requests for the song, so much so that years after its release, Plant refused to play the song in concert. And a more personal example: our Grandma Nancy wears Clinique perfume. It is so completely entrenched in my brain’s idea of her that I cannot walk through an airport or mall without smelling it on someone else and immediately craning my neck for a sight of her. She has worn it as long as I can remember and she…

  • Ross’ Homemade Butter

    One of the best things about living off the beaten path is the access to real food. I love the fact that I never have to put eggs on my grocery list and that rather than having frozen pizza as our fall back plan we have delicious egg scramble with sausage, garlic, eggs and cheese on those lazy days when grocery shopping just isn’t worth it. And even if I don’t have something available on my farm it is likely that one of my neighbors do. This past week,  I was gathering ingredients for my Christmas recipes (lasagna, cookies, whip cream, pie) and finishing up my last minute Christmas shopping,…

  • Merry Christmas from The Farm

    May you all have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! I will keep it short and sweet because we have four stops to make today and a delicious lasagna dinner to host- look for my recipe tomorrow! For all our followers here is a Christmas card for you…we so appreciate you following and sharing our blog with your friends! Merry Merry Christmas!

  • Christmas Family Traditions

    For many Christmas time is a season of traditions. In our family we have a bunch of traditions we like to incorporate into the festive season that I think are worth sharing. If you get any ideas from our traditions feel free to add them to your own and I would love to hear about your traditions and possibly add them to our line up! 1. Christmas Tree Hunting: every year we try to drive into the mountains and cut our tree. You can read about this year’s adventure on my Christmas Tree Hunting in Western Washington blog! 2. Christmas Shopping in Seattle: This was actually a tradition that we…

  • Tom Douglas’ Tomato Soup

    If you don’t know who he is, you probably are not from around here. Tom Douglas is a restaurant mogul here in Seattle. A few of his restaurants I adore, a couple I don’t care for, and his cookbook has gone mainly unused on my shelf. The reasons are many: too busy at work, too many good episodes on my hulu queue after work, and quite honestly, too much work in some of these recipes for me. I don’t want to go on a special shopping trip for almond meal and three kinds of flours, and I don’t have the patience for most of the pastry in the Dahlia Bakery…

  • Homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream

    What sounds better than cuddling up with a loved one by a fireplace on Christmas morning with a warm cup of coffee and Irish cream in hand, smiling eyes set on the view of the glowing Christmas tree and the delight that is taking place under its bows? In this recent frigid Seattle weather, maybe Hawaii does (Hey hubby, Alaska Airlines’ current specials include flights to CA, AZ, and HI, just sayin’… ) But nothing else comes close. So this week while Troy was watching the Discovery channel’s  Moonshiners, I set to work making some moonshine of my own. As part of my annual goal to bring as much handcrafted goodness to the Christmas season,…

  • Christmas Tree Cutting in Western Washington

    Here in the Evergreen state, cutting your own Christmas tree is something I believe everyone ought to do at least once. It’s much like how everyone in California should try surfing at least once and those in Tennessee should catch a country concert. For my family and I Christmas tree hunting is an annual tradition. Yesterday my family and I met for our annual tradition and came home with four trees that cost less than one would at the lot and a few stories worth so much more! After twenty some years of hunting, I have harvested many “wild” Christmas trees and have learned a few tips and tricks I…

  • A Simply Good Thanksgiving: What We’re Thankful for

    On this lazy holiday weekend I am thankful for daytime naps in crisp sheets, thick slices of leftover pie, long walks on these last few cold clear days we have before the rain comes, and for the thanksgiving dinner we enjoyed with our family on Thursday. We crowded into the kitchen on Thursday with no oven schedule or pre-assigned dishes, as some families do, instead choosing our usual form of controlled chaos to cook our favorites while bumping into one another and loudly calling out our needs for a wooden spoons, milk, an oven mitt. Our parents, our hosts, flitted around taking care of each of these needs, producing an iron for…

  • Avalanche Cupcakes

    We’re a multicultural family around here, probably like most families in the US, with a few countries of origin represented around our table and a litany of hyphenated titles to describe our relationships, including but not limited to “step-,” “half-,” “ex-,”  and even “ex-half.” This means our holidays are a mass of traditions, special foods and cultures coming together in one great smorgasbord of love and celebrating. Eggrolls for thanksgiving? Done it. Hanukkah/ thanksgiving combo? Yup, that’s happening this year. The challenge of trying to accommodate gluten-free kosher vegetarians all in one meal? Every time we get together. If you can relate, I invite you to try these cupcakes for your next family gathering.…

  • You’re never too old to try new things

    “I guess I am a lot braver than I was when I was younger”  That’s how Poppi explained his decision to try a new cuisine when he came to see our farm for the first time today. For those of you who do not know my Poppi, he is a man of great wisdom and many words. His memory is incredible and even though he will tell you the same story over and over again, it is always the same. He rarely forgets a detail, which is incredible considering he is 94 years old. About a month ago Poppi lost his incredible wife, Doris Dalisky also affectionately known as nanny. Today…

  • Pearl’s New Reality

    When I convinced my husband to let me get a blue heeler puppy for my birthday a year ago he made me promise I would remember that my dog was a dog and it would be expected to live by dog rules – or in other words sleep on ground, poop outside and eat dog food. We both agreed we didn’t want to be those twenty-somethings who aren’t quite ready for kids so they get a dog to fill the gap and then end up referring to each other as mom and dad when speaking to their dog, celebrating their dog’s birthday with a special doggy cake and flooding their…

  • I think I Can, Can, Can, Part 2: Homemade Canned Applesauce

    This weekend found me trying to channel my inner-housewife and can homemade applesauce. I found out that canning is wicked stressful. I now understand the 1950’s woman’s dependence on barbiturates. What helped most was thinking of Nanny (yup, we like to talk about her a lot ’round here!) Nanny did not ascribe to the mama’s little helpers way of thinking. She did swear in the kitchen. She did not spill. She did not give her family botulism. She was the Grace Kelly of canning, the Katherine Hepburn of homemaking. I tried to channel her grace under pressure while making the applesauce she made so frequently, and only swore a couple times. And the effort was f*!?ing…

  • Planting Garlic

    It seems as though my posts are about a week behind, but my moto has always been better late than never!  Last weekend was garlic planting weekend and even though it was a lot of work, we had a lot of fun working alongside family and planting our first ever crop! The first step of planting garlic is breaking the bulbs and sorting your large seed garlic from your small food garlic. Every night when we got home from work Ross and I would turn on the TV and break apart the bulbs of our nine varieties. We ended up getting two varieties of soft neck garlic (the kind you…

  • I think I Can, Can, Can: Part 1

    Some women get weak at the knees at the sight of small jewelry shaped boxes. For me, its all about the produce boxes. Let me explain- My dearly betrothed hates stopping anywhere on the way home. En route to somewhere, he happily obliges my tiny bladder, antique store blitzes and all around leisurely drives. On the way home though, he becomes a stickler of efficiency with one mission only: get home. Can anyone relate to this? I can’t be the only woman suffering through the potty dance on return destinations! So anyway, when he remembered me mentioning that I’d love for him to bring me some apples from the Thorpe…

  • Garlic and Burlap

    When Ross and I bought our little 10 acre farm we both had grand dreams of all the bounty we would harvest. I know I wanted to get more animals which lead to the purchase of Mama and Charolette. Ross, however, had big dreams of being a farmer. Being the equipment nut he is he envisioned a life on a tractor tilling the land and harvesting his crop. But first, he had to decide what crop to try. After a little research we decided our first crop would be garlic. Most of our research showed that if you can grow it, it can be a great cash crop for the…

  • A new season for our blog: Simple Goodness

    The Dairy Queens started as a way for Kate and I to share our goat stories with the world. Our first blog post showed Kate and Ross building our first grooming stanchion  over a year and a half ago. Since our first post our goat herd has tripled, Kate has become a season goat showlady, our farm has moved and our lives have gotten even more busy. Like young girls often do, Kate has been spending less time video blogging with her goats and more time hanging out with friends, playing team sports and living the life of a soon to be teenager. So, while Kate will still be helping…

  • My Nanny

    Yesterday morning my Nanny took her last breath and said goodbye to her family. My nanny was one of the strongest women I know. She was the daughter of a dairy farmer in Minnesota. She grew up milking cows every morning and evening and consequently she had the strongest handshake of anyone I ever met. The mother of eight children and twenty some grandkids and a handful of great grandkids she had the patience of a saint. She taught me so many valuable lessons growing up and she gave me some of my fondest memories. For many she was a rock in a sometimes crazy life. She was someone you…

  • We need a Farm Name

    What’s a farm without a name? We need a name for our farm and I would love to hear your suggestions. Please let your creative juices flow and comment below! (see how I did that rhyming thing?)

  • Everything is bigger at the farm…even the weeds!

    The past few weeks Ross and I have waged a war on the weeds at the farm. There are so many established plants that are starting to bloom but finding them among the weeds has been a challenge. Luckily the soil is pretty weed-pulling friendly so it isn’t too terrible. So far I have weeded the bed behind the house that hosts some beautiful hydrangeas and the coolest Jacobs Walking Stick tree I have ever seen and all around the buildings where the weeds were literally starting to climb up the walls. The previous owner left some wine barrel planters for us that I weeded and can’t wait to plant…I…

  • Goat Milk Ice Cream

    Tonight my husband is in Boise, ID buying a new truck so I took the opportunity to skip dinner and get right to cooking the best meal of the day: dessert! The first time I tried goat milk ice cream was last year at the King County Fair when our 4H leader tried to raise moral in the hot and sticky barn with an afternoon treat. It was so sweet and creamy that I knew goat milk ice cream would probably become my next addiction. I have been hoarding my milk after my first three days of milking ( my husband drinks it faster than I can milk it) and…

  • DIY Kitchen or Bar Cart

    I am currently on a Pinning spree and I am obsessed with farmhouse kitchens. The trend I love the most is the classic white kitchen with rustic wood accents. The look works because the white gives a clean, refined look that contrasts beautifully with the rough edginess of the wood. Because I work at the Millwork Outlet, a building materials store that specializes in reclaiming rustic wood products, I am always looking for ways to incorporate our unique pieces into my home. At the same time, my husband’s honey-do list is already overwhelmingly long so I am trying to prioritize my projects and find projects I do on my own, which is why this DIY Kitchen Cart piqued my…

  • It’s Almost Summer- Berry Cheesecake Parfaits

    As part of my annual “omigosh it’s almost summer!” freak out, I have been snatching up berries whenever they are on sale. I can’t wait until August when I will be able to pick the deep red, incredibly sweet little strawberries that grow here, so I made these cheesecake parfaits with strawberries that probably have a bigger carbon footprint than my husband’s big Ford truck. This summer, I will serve these at a party or family dinner on a hot day when turning on the oven turns our kitchen into hell. We will eat them on the deck after a meal of bbq chicken, vinegar coleslaw, and crockpot baked beans. For now, I made them one…

  • Kate’s Video Blog: Loading the Goats in the Car

    We were packing the car for the Lewis County Youth Fair and when we went to load Dozer and Sade we found out Dozer was too fat to fit the kennel with Sade. Ross’ truck was broken so we had to get creative. We drove the whole way (2 hours) with the goats in the back of the car without the kennel. They were pretty quiet and didn’t make too big of a mess although Sade did try a couple times to jump over the seat into our laps so we made Pearl (our Blue Heeler)  sit with us and she kept the goats back. It was REALLY stressful figuring…

  • Electric City, WA: Another Dam Fishing Trip

    Summer comes late to Western Washington, and I never can wait for it. Impatient, Troy and I take off east of the mountains as many Spring weekends as we can, in search of sun. Our favorite destination is Lake Chelan, where my bass-obsessed husband Troy loves to fish and I love to elevate riding in a boat to a fine art (proper boating must involve: a picnic including wine or mimosas, a good read, and lot of naps with my dog Leupold on the sunny deck of our Bass Tracker boat.) This last weekend we decided to turn one of Troy’s bass fishing tournaments into a quick family getaway. We packed up Leupold, made a playlist…

  • Venise’s Blog: Indoor Herb Garden

    This last week the weather in the normally rain soaked city of Seattle has been sunny and beautiful. The 70 degree plus weather had me thinking of summer BBQs with mojitos and caprese salad so I got a wild hair up my you-know-where and I decided to make an Indoor Herb Garden. Being the super practical person I am, I love the idea of using herbs as interior decorations because they provide greenery, are edible AND they smell terrific in my home…three birds, one stone! Because I had a million other things I needed to do on my day off I went with a watered down version of the barn wood mason…

  • Venise’s Blog: Breakfast for Dinner – Goat Milk and Sausage Scramble

    We have now had our chickens for about a month and we are starting to get a surplus of eggs. For the first few weeks Ross was getting up early every morning to make himself eggs for breakfast, but the novelty of it all is starting to fade and so his egg consumption is starting to dwindle. I sold my first dozen eggs about a week ago to a coworker for $3, but I still had about three dozen extra so I decided it was the prefect time to try making breakfast for dinner (which I guess is a somewhat common thing among breakfast lovers). As a general rule of…

  • Venise’s Blog: Beekeeping 101

    Keeping a beehive and harvesting my own honey has been something I have wanted to do ever since the beekeeping store, The Bees in the ‘Burbs, moved into a building right next to my work the Millwork Outlet, and since I saw the movie The Secret Life Of Bees. I am a sucker for all things southern and for some reason I have always considered beekeeping to be quintessentially southern.  Yesterday, the Bees in the ‘Burbs posted on their Facebook page that they had purchased some baby chicks and of course I couldn’t resist the cute vibes that were traveling over the fence and into our office so I took a late afternoon…

  • Kate’s Video Blog: 4H Public Presentation on Labor Signs

    I just did my demo for 4-H last night. The topic was “Signs of Labor in Goats”. A demo is a speech were you teach something and you have visual aids and they are judged. You can bring them to county fair and you normally qualify for state so I’m going to do that because my judge said it was outstanding just make the letters on my poster much bigger. I’m excited! Plus, you get extra premium points for doing your public presentation at state fair. A premium is prize money you get after fair for educating the public and showing well. A video of my presentation is below. You…

  • Venise’s Video Blog: Ross milking for the first time!

    Now that the kids are here, it also means the milk is here! A healthy Nigerian Dwarf can produce up to two quarts of milk a day or more. Their milk is best known for having the highest butterfat content of the dairy goat breeds. The butterfat content can range anywhere from 5%-10% whereas the larger breeds usually range from 3% to 6%. The high butterfat gives the milk a creamier taste and is excellent for making cheese and ice cream. Having milk on a regular basis was one of the most exciting things about having goats. For the last few months I have been investing in Cheese Making Kits with the hopes of…

  • Venise’s Blog: EB’s Natural Maternal Instincts Videos

    Probably the most amazing part of EB’s delivery  was watching our goat’s natural instincts in action. This was EB’s first pregnancy and it was amazing to see nature at work.  Just like they said she would, she became very friendly and was obviously distraught when we would leave her alone. When she started contracting we felt really bad for her and tried to stay with her as much as possible. When we were sitting with her she would quiet down and relax. While we enjoyed helping her feel comfortable we also noticed that she wasn’t progressing when we would sit with her so we would try to leave periodically so she could pace, stretch out,…

  • Venise’s Blog: Welcome Pearl

    For my birthday Ross got me a new puppy! I have always loved blue heelers and after having one a few years ago I knew I would want another one. I have been itching to get a dog for some time but it is such a huge commitment I was a little apprehensive. However I found a litter that was about an hour north of me and couldn’t resist I just had to go look. As soon as Pearl came running out of the kennel and rolled over on my feet I knew I had to have her. She is nine weeks old and absolutely adorable. She was born on…

  • Venise’s Blog: Goat in the House!

    Sade is getting bigger every day and to ensure she is a great show goat for Kate we are bringing her inside and getting her used to hanging out with us and being a part of the family. Her favorite spot in the house is resting on the coach while we watch TV. She jumps up on the couch, paws at the couch and then lays down and chews her cud. Even when she is inside she is always ready to go back and be with the other goats in the barn. If you didn’t believe me when I said our goats are just like dogs then you have to…

  • Venise’s Blog: Welcome to the Farm Sade

    Today we picked up the newest member of our family, Sade from KW Farms in Yakima, WA. We took our 4-runner so we were scared the two hour drive would be a bit loud with her complaining, but she was absolutely silent on the way home, I think she was missing her goat friends back home a bit. Once we got home we kept her inside the house for a bit to get used to us. She is extremely friendly and oh so cute! Our bigger goats are trying to establish a pecking order so we are feeding her separately until she gets big enough to hold her own. Her ears are still dyed green…

  • Video blog: Day two at the Chehalis Spring Youth Fair

    The second day of the Chehalis Youth Fair show consisted of all the type classes. In type classes the judge judges the animal’s confirmation and build. EB competed in the Miniature Dairy Goat class. Since we didn’t buy our goats to show we had no idea what to look for in the confirmation of a top quality show goat. So, we had no idea what to expect. Kate did a great job in the ring and EB looked so cute out there. Unfortunately, EB’s topline (back) slopes a bit forward when it should slope backwards. Since she is still growing her front legs could still grow to even it out, but…

  • Video Blog: Our very first show

    Today Kate and EB earned their first Grand Champion ribbon in the Junior Novice Fitting and Showing class. It was VERY exciting. Because this was both of their very first time in the show ring we were alla bit nervous. But Kate and EB’s practice paid off and they did a fantastic job! Kate and Dozer also competed in their first Pack Fitting and Showing class. The Pack Fitting and Showing class is an obstacle course where the handler is judged on how they get their goat ready for a hiking/packing trip and how they handle the goat over obstacles. Kate has been working really hard with both Dozer and…

  • Video Blog: We’re Off To The Fair

    We just arrived at our hotel in Centralia, Washington for our first goat show. The goats rode in the back of the pickup in dog kennels. They were a little nervous at first, but after a few miles they settled in nicely. We checked in at 8:00PM and each goat had a vet check. All three goats were in great health and not soon after we were scooping shavings and setting hay in their pen. They were all a little anxious at first as this will be there first night away from their comfy barn, but after they had some grub they laid down, chewed their cud, and settled in…

  • Video Blog: Goat Bath Time Rub-A-Dub-Dub

    It’s the day before the show…and as anyone who has shown animals before knows, that means bath time! It was absolutely pouring outside so giving baths outside was out of the question. After a little begging and pleading we twisted Ross’ arm and he let us use the bath tub. It was an interesting task. Ryder was our first victim…he did great in the bath tub and he cleans up real nice, but while we were waiting for him to dry we let him walk around the house a bit. He ended up eating an ear plug…which Ross tried to pry from his jaws. He managed to get of the…

  • Video Blog: Practice Makes Perfect

    The goats and Kate will make their first show debut on May 4th at the Lewis County Youth Fair. E.B. and Kate will be in the Fit and Show class while Dozer and Ryder will try out the Pack class. A Fitting and Showing class is judged on the confirmation of the animal and showmanship of the exhibitor. The Pack class is for animals who are trained to pack equipment while hiking. Because Dozer and Ryder are both wethered males, they are not able to show in the Fitting and Showing class. Although we have never actually tried to hike with the boys, we didn’t want to leave them at…