Chickens in the Road Party on the Farm 2009


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 rolling.
And falling off while rolling.
The evening ended with marshmallow-roasting….
….and s’mores!
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.


  1. Shelly says:

    Lovely pictures, wish I could of been there. I like that Kathy followed her dreams. Suzanne your daughter is very talented to walk on that giant spool! Thanks for your great website. :snoopy:

  2. Sheila Z says:

    No photos of Mean Rooster at the party? Was he jailed for the day or did he run for the hills and hide like most bullies?

  3. Patricia Herman says:

    Wow what a great party. Thanks for the pictures looks like a great time was had by everyone!

  4. Bev @ The 3 Clutters says:

    Sorry I missed it. My son had a boy scout trip to Prickett’s Fort Saterday. Looks like a great time was had by all.

  5. Sarah says:

    WOW!! That party looks amazing! That is my idea of a good party. Relaxed, casual, fun, tons of food, simple entertainment, fellowship, a good time. Thanks for posting the pictures!


    Suzanne….you ROCK!!!
    What a wonderful thing to open your home, farm, animals and family to everyone who could come. A beautiful gathering with beautiful people and one I know will be remembered for a long time.
    And I bet Coco was in Heaven with all the kids!

  7. Kelli B says:

    Looks like so much fun. I had the priveledge of driving through West Virginia for the first time in August. I must say that your state has some of the most beautiful countryside I have ever,ever seen! I envy you your little farm in the hills. We have a tiny farm of our own in Michigan, but someday… I would love to live in WV!!!!!

  8. MsJamie says:

    Thanks for a GREAT time. It was such a pleasure to meet you and all the animals. You share so much of yourself here that it felt like we already knew you. Your home and your farm are beautiful. I’m only sorry I had to run off and miss the milking and cheese making demonstrations.

  9. Maura says:

    :hungry2: CONGRATULATIONS Suzanne…looks like it was another fun party down on the farm!! Sure wish we could have been there tasting all that great looking food and petting some friendly animals and having interesting conversations with your Bloggers. Oooo and the cheese making and tasting…I can almost taste that cheese! Thank you for letting the rest of us share the experience through pictures…what a wonderful way to celebrate fall. :hungry2:

  10. kristen says:

    It was a great time and you have the photos to prove it..:-) and to prove that diets were all forgotten during the party….to many pies to choose from and not wanting to leave anyone out I ate them ALL :hungry:

  11. Kelly says:

    Nothing better than warm, fresh mozzarella! Our nubian, Gertie, just had babies last night. She is a great milker!!

  12. Michele says:

    :shimmy: Yeah! I won the apron with the chicks on it,I bought one for my little girl with hatching chicks so we can match, don’t know if I can wait til Christmas to give it to her!! Thanks Georgia! :chicken:

  13. Amanda says:

    It was a wonderful day! It was nice getting to meet everyone. Suzanne thank you so much for opening up your home to us. Thanks to Kathy for bringing Gertrude to show us how to milk a goat and for showing us how to make mozzarella cheese. I better thank Mike too cause I don’t think Kathy loaded Gertrude in the truck by herself!

  14. Ms E says:

    Ok, inquiring minds must know Suzanne – How many cookies did Clover score yesterday?!

  15. mamawolf says:

    A chilly good morning from Colorado Springs. I made grandmother bread for the first time yesterday. Ooooooo my. So good. Sunday’s party looked like a good time was had by all. The food looked amazing and the goats were wonderful. Maybe next year I can bring DH and come to WV.

  16. Claudia W says:

    Thank you so much for sharing pictures of the fun! It looks as though everyone had a great time! Who wouldn’t though? Your farm looks like the best place on earth!
    One day I will be there with you all on my own farm!

  17. Sandybee says:

    It looks like a good time was had by all!.. Did you make the stitchery at the top of the post, too? Very clever!

  18. Lisa Carper Stott says:

    Is Madison Mark’s Son? If so I can’t believe how much he looks like his grandpa. I hold Mr.Sergent dear in my heart he helped me out numerous times with genealogy. I am so sad that I never got to meet him beyond the internet…..

  19. JeannieB says:

    I will be there next year, some how, some way!!! Y’all had way too much fun without ME!!

  20. Alice-Anne says:

    I almost never comment,so I realize you don’t know me, but I really wanted to come. I read faithfully and was excited about the opportunity to actually see the farm in person. Unfortunately, I took a long term substitute teaching job for a very nice woman who had to have surgery and couldn’t get away (I’m in Texas). Hopefully I can make it next year.

  21. Aimee says:

    I am so jealous! Some day I will make it to your party on the farm! Now I have an itch to learn how to make cheese!! Thank you for sharing all your fun with us people stuck in the hot cities of the west!!! :sun:

  22. Leslie says:

    I just started reading a few days ago. I want to know when it will be in 2010? Is there a date set yet?

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi, Leslie! No, there’s no date set yet for the 2010 party. We WILL have one, though. I’ll be posting about it before the party to let everyone know. It will be closer to the time (like a month in advance) before I figure out the date.

  23. Elizared says:

    any idea of the date of the 2010 CITR party. ….would be nice to have in oct on the Black Walnut Festival weekend. will you put it in your newsletter so us “out of towners” can plan ahead….would like to bring my (by then) 97 yr old Dad (former chicken farmer!!) if he is still with us then.

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Elizared, we’d love to see you! I don’t know the date yet. It will be in the fall. We did it on Black Walnut weekend last year and I’m not sure I want to do that again as it made it impossible for us to go to the festival ourselves because we were so busy getting ready here!

  24. Sheila says:

    I’m trying to convince my hubby to move to a farm when he retires from the AF , but thats easier said then done 😕 , it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for sometime now , but he thinks I’ve lost my mind (but then again , men go figure huh LOL).

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