This past Sunday afternoon, some of the best people in the world (my blog readers!) forded a river or crossed three creeks and partied on the farm. There was goat-milking and mozzarella-making. There was food and more food. There were a lot of desserts. There were door prizes and country craft sales. There was donkey petting and chicken catching. There was laughter and more eating. We were gifted with a beautiful October day and it was a blast from start to finish.
Every child at the party was beautiful. I wanted to hide them all in a closet and keep them.
The goats and Pocahontas wanted to keep them, too. They got petted and treated and passed grass through the fence and petted some more.
There were two door prizes–a hand-stitched custom pillow by Mim (pictured at the top of this post) and an apron by GeorgiaZ.
Mim also brought her own alpaca yarn to sell in our impromptu shop.
Also available: (brought by Kathy) homemade vanilla, make-your-own laundry detergent kits, eggs, and more aprons sent by GeorgiaZ.
Friends Kathy and Mike from Autumn Hills Farm brought their goat, Gertrude, for the milking demonstration.
After they got Gertrude up in the milk stand, Kathy explained how to milk.
And one at a time, big kids and little kids and grown kids tried their hand at it….
….and tried their hand at it….
….and tried their hand at it!
Gertrude was very cooperative for a goat outside her usual element, though she wasn’t quite sure what to think about all the different fingers on her udder.
There were teenagers sneaking off into the woods to hold secret pow-wows.
And teenagers horsing around on the porch.
My cousin’s son, Madison, acted as the valet for the party. Visitors parked at the bottom of our driveway and Madison drove them up–then later back down. This was his “scary valet” face. (I think he was practicing for Halloween.)
Following the goat-milking, Kathy presented a mozzarella-making demonstration. (I want to thank Kathy for giving a party at my house! These events would not have been possible without her generous help.)
Kathy used to live in bustling Southern California and work for the IRS. She retired early, followed her lifelong dream to own a farm in the beautiful boonies of West Virginia, and now she raises chickens and goats and sheep and makes cheese, among many other things. (Poking that bit of info in there for those of you still in the dreaming phase of your life on a farm. See? It can happen! Kathy did it.)
Kathy usually makes mozzarella with her own fresh goat milk, but for the demonstration, she showed how you can make your own homemade mozzarella with milk from the grocery store. She also made up mini cheesemaking kits to sell and several people took them home to give mozzarella-making a try. (Let me know how it goes!)
There was a lot of eating and laughing and chatting and studying during the process.
Stretching the mozzarella, which was soon followed by eating the mozzarella. Because we needed more eating.
And because country kids know how to improvise for entertainment, there was also spool-rolling.
And falling off while rolling.
The evening ended with marshmallow-roasting….
Several people came bearing lovely gifts. When I was cleaning up, I found another package. It was wrapped prettily in pink paper with a silver bow. I opened it–and laughed and wished I’d seen it before everyone left so I could have shared the fun.
If you don’t know why this was so hilarious, you need to read Snowed Under, Send Aluminum Foil.
It was wonderful to meet so many of you. If you came this year, thank you!! And special thanks to Mim and GeorgiaZ for the door prizes and biggest thanks of all to Kathy of Autumn Hills Farm for the goat-milking and cheesemaking demonstrations. And if you weren’t here this year….
….we’ll see you at the Chickens in the Road Party on the Farm in 2010!
*See more party photos here.