Tag Archives: goat town

Happy Holidaze

I love to say it: merry fucking christmas.

But this year, and I hope for the rest of my time on planet earth (until I become a final hour Christian, har har) I have already celebrated my holiday and I’m all done with this year. The solstice, for me, is the real deal, the real day of celebration, the ‘real’ last day of the year. It’s the shortest day and longest night, but there’s optimism: we reached the turning point when we start getting closer to the sun again. It’s a hopeful time, and Bill and I celebrated by building a fire and opening up our presents sent from loved ones.

The best gift of the year came from my mother–it’s a cheese press!

Above is Bill assembling it; below is it in action, pressing 50 pounds of pressure (I hung 15 pound bags of flour and rice at the end) to my goat cheddar. Ready in 2 months.

I love the end of a year because it becomes a time to think about plans for the New Year.

2010, for me, is going to be the year when I finally grow up and start dealing with my meager finances in a sane way. Lots of people think that because I published a book, I’m rolling in the dough. Alas, this is not true, book sales were good, but not great, and I’m still as broke as ever. While I love the freedom of being a poor writer, I’m getting a little worried about my future: what if I get sick, what if I want to have a baby, what if I want to finally be able to own a lot and plant trees for the future instead of squat farming?

I’ve always had conflicted feelings about owning property–can you really own land? Aren’t we all just passing through? And I hate the idea of owning a house with all kinds of problems and property values and all that crap. My dream for some time has been to buy a small parcel of land in Oakland. I would plant an orchard, run some chickens on it, and feed the people in the neighborhood, in addition to selling weird stuff like Persian mulberries or Green Gage plums to fancy restaurants to pay the rent. In order to buy a lot, though, I have to save up and raise a bunch of money (most banks will not finance a vacant lot).

In order to save money, I might do what my sister Riana, did, where she has pledged to not spend any money for a whole year. I might ask my friends who are good with money how they do it. I might have to do another 100-yard diet, because I’m guilty of spending most of my disposable money on food. To raise money, I’ll have to get mighty crafty. Stay tuned in January for that plan…

Finally, thanks to everyone who came to the Open House at the farm last weekend. Sorry if you didn’t get to do the goat tour–I had no idea so many people would show up! Despite the crowds, there are extra Goat Town T-shirts available. Mostly women’s sizes and shapes. Let me know if you’d like to buy one. They are $25 with postage.

Happy New Year!

So Sweet!

NOTE: does anyone know laura hulse? she left something at the farm.

You guys are the best.

I finally shambled off to bed at 10, totally exhausted; I told Bill to put out the campfire when the last of our guests were ready to go home. I woke up this morning to a totally cleaned up garden–and boxes of amazing goodies like a big jar of preserved lemons, pots of yummy jams and chutneys, the best salsa ever (who made that?), fresh Italian plums, Meyer lemons, some distiller’s grains (for the goats!), a cool zine, two (!) bags of coffee, duck prosciutto, bottles of wine, champagne, eggplants and peppers, and the following poem from my neighbor Demetrius:

“I would be remiss if I did not create a new poem for you on this wonderful date, the day you brought this community close by having us trade our ghosts for goats/

Like a beautiful song, natural, a capella, our wonderous farm lady lovely Novella”

Aw! He’s referring to the “Goat Town” t-shirts, which flew off the dirty tables like hotcakes (I have three left, all fairly big sizes).

I had no idea there would be so many people! Based on the number of questionaire cards filled out, there were probably about 500 people over the course of the day. By far, the most popular event was the chicken slaughter workshop. Samin and I were so lucky that someone brought two roosters to cull, so we were able to divide the class in half to allow more people could see. Sorry to those of you who missed it. There will be others.

One thing that made me really happy was that the neighbors came out in droves, despite the heat! Moses stopped by (wearing all black with a straw cowboy hat!); Grandma made peach cobbler (and we raised $100 for her daughter’s college fund); my neighbor D came over and helped serve hibiscus tea and cobbler: G told people where to park their bikes; and I met tons of people who live within a 10 block radius.

Sorry I was so swamped–I wasn’t able to talk to anyone in depth. I learned that next year (or spring), I should have a shade structure and perhaps have docents who can give people guided tours. This morning, I read the informational cards people filled out and was moved by everyone’s enthusiasm and desire to change the way we eat, and start growing our own food. Today I’m braising the chicken Samin butchered, peeking in at the Eat Real Fest, and opening up many of the jars of goodness you all brought–thank you for sharing!

If you filled out a card, I’ll add you to my email list and let you know about upcoming classes and events at Goat Town Farm–of course, I’ll post stuff here, too.