• baby goat petting zoo party is the new office morale booster

    Totes M’Goats, it’s true! A mobile baby goat petting zoo can come to your home or workplace

    Time is running out to book a mobile baby goat petting zoo party featuring one month old Nigerian Dwarf goat kids at the Seattle area location of your choosing. For 90 minutes and weeks afterwards, morale will be lifted and smiles will be wide as you enjoy visiting with and holding these sweet creatures. Farmer Venise will teach you all about the kids and raising goats if you’d like, or you can keep it simple and just lounge with them. If I was back in my old workplace party planning chair, I’d keep it simple and buy a bunch of ice cream bars and send out an email that says…

  • 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…

  • female farmers harvest herbs in field

    FarmHer: the Simple Goodness Sisters’ TV debut on RFDTV

    This weekend we will be making our debut on NATIONAL television on the RFDTV network, on season 3 of FarmHer. It's nothing short of incredible that this opportunity to be profiled by the network for our work as female farmers and food producers came our way, as it is one of Venise's "bucket list" accomplishments! Read more to see where and when to watch, and listen to our episode on Farmher's Shining Bright podcast!

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…