Tom and Jerry
This being the week of Thanksgiving makes me reflect on how fortunate we are to be living at Old Goat Farm. What started out as a whim or maybe a mid-life crisis has turned into a truly unique lifestyle. We are lucky to be able to combine our passions for plants and animals and spend our time immersed in that every day.
I know this pandemic has been hard on everyone but we are fortunate to spend our time here. It made us realize that almost everything we do is geared to groups so we had to cancel almost all our big events. We did allow people to come to the garden and nursery and we appreciate those that did. Financially it really helped to feed the animals. We miss all the groups though.
I’m thankful to be a gardener, both as a hobby and professionally. It gives me a closer connection to the earth, literally, I spend many days on my hands and knees either taking something out of the earth or putting something in. It makes me aware of the delicate balance and how careful we should be not to alter it too much. My favorite part of our garden these days is the 1 1/2 acres of woods out back. I put a simple trail through it and enjoy the natives plants that have been established there since it was logged off 100 years ago. About a 4 years ago I added a number of stumps and created a fern garden which I refer to as the Stumpette. It has filled in nicely and is a great addition to the garden.
I’m also thankful for the gardening community and really missed them this year. Over the last 20 years I have been involved with horticultural schools, societies and garden clubs. It is wonderful to be surrounded by like-minded individuals that share this common passion. The energy level just goes up when you are all in the same room. I appreciate how much I have learned from them. I missed that in person connection but am really grateful that because of Zoom, the board of several organizations stepped up and were able to carry on with a number of online events. A special thanks to the Northwest Horticultural Society for doing so many, including a whole symposium.
I’ve also never met a non-profit I didn’t like. I’m a big supporter of public gardens. I think through the efforts of all the people that keep them going, all our lives are richer. This year especially, having public space to enjoy safely was invaluable. Even for non-gardeners, the opportunity to spend time in open spaces connecting with nature is great. I know for myself, when I walk into a garden my body just relaxes. It’s good for the soul, and probably the heart and disposition too.
We opened our nursery 16 years ago and I appreciate all our regulars that keep us going by showing up for our open days. This year we were still able to carry on a bit. I particularly enjoy the people who come here for the first time not knowing what to expect. Because we are small we usually have time to chat with most of them which is always fun. I think most appreciate the experience but not as much as I do. The garden continues to change and mature. A number of the plants we first planted are now becoming mature and the garden is beginning to look like the one in my minds eye.
Greg and baby runner duck
Even though I grumble about the animals I thoroughly enjoy them. It just catches me by surprise when someone drops off a bird or two or when Gary goes to a garage sale and comes home with a goat or a donkey. They all have their own personalities and are quite entertaining. The baby goat, Coco, has turned into a regular sized goat, well she’s actually kind of chubby. She somehow got spoiled. I kind of miss having Coco be in the house as our little lap goat. Now I just have to go down to the goat pen to visit her. She’s not interested in sitting in your lap anymore. We lost our original old goats, Ozzie and Harriett both last year at the age of 15 so we adopted 3 new male goats from Puget Sound Goat Rescue. They saved them from a slaughter house.
Gary and garage sale goat Earl
Most of all I’m thankful for my husband Gary. Not many people would have been willing to stop everything and move to to the country and try to figure out a whole different life.
Thanks to all of you that make our lives richer. Gary is not frantically decorating for Christmas this year, just 3 or 4 trees. His idea of minimalism. We are both appreciating this slower pace and reflecting on how lucky we are. We hope you are all safe and that we get to see you in the new year. Happy Thanksgiving.
Greg and Gary with Tom and Jerry
NHS class at Old Goat Farm
Summer dinning room
chickens by the duck pond