- Greg Graves
The Past Year at Old Goat Farm
First of all, we want to thank everyone who came out and supported us this year or just offered words of encouragement on line. This was probably our busiest year ever. Without you we couldn’t do it.
The year started out like it normally does, with lots of propagation going on in the greenhouse. We grow between 50% and 75% of our plants depending on the season. We grow from seeds, cuttings, divisions and barefoot. After the rush of the holidays it’s nice to be in the greenhouse where its dry and warm (and quiet) just potting up a storm. Gary is usually in the house de-christmasing well into the month of January. We also hosted ‘Slow Flowers’ for a photo shoot in January. It was a dress made completely of mosses, lichens and pine cones. It is fun to watch others creativity and to be able to lend the backdrop for them.
Winter is always hard on some of the older animals here at the farm. This year we had to say goodbye to some of our favorites which was very hard. Marlo our yellow lab, Casper the white peacock and Jerry, one of the big ol male turkeys all passed away, as did a number of other birds but all of old age which is the best part of the farm. All our animals get to live out their lives naturally. It might be the best part for them but one of the worst parts for us.
In March we welcomed Zoey into our little family. She is an Australian cattle dog. We rescued her from the Tacoma Humane Society where she had been in a foster home. She was too frightened to be in the normal shelter. She still has issues but is so much better and quite the clown when strangers aren’t around.
NHS Plant Sale
Our first plant event was being a vendor at the annual Northwest Horticultural Society Spring Ephemeral Sale. Then, since it was a rather mild winter, we did an early open here toward the end of March. By April we were ready to open the nursery on our irregular, regular schedule. We opened both the nursery and garden to the public the second and forth weekend each month fro April until October. It’s always fun to see our old customers after a long winter. It is especially fun to talk with new people and show them what we are doing here.
Art in the Garden
Besides our public opens, we were open for 23 garden clubs or special groups for tours and picnics. A few of the special groups were, the Hardy Plant Study Weekend for which we opened on both the Friday and Monday. Later in June we opened for the University Women’s Puyallup area garden tour. This event was a fund raiser for their S.T.E.M. program, that is to provide scholarships for young women for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. We had art vendors in the pasture, a food cart in the parking lot and a blue grass band on the porch. It was attended by over 350 people. I think that was about our biggest single day crowd. The third big group was for an all day workshop on shade gardening for the Northwest Horticultural Society. We had three separate class and a catered lunch in the garden. I had also escorted a PHS Seattle area garden tour and the farewell dinner for the group was in the garden here at the farm.
OGF at Art In Bloom in Eatonville
We don’t leave home much but we are vendors at a few special events that we enjoy participating in. Besides the NHS spring sale, we also do their fall sale. Closer to home we like going to Eatonville for our friend ‘Art in Bloom’ garden tour and event. We always see a lot of familiar faces at all three of these events.
Farm to Table Dinner
In August we were only open to the public once and instead of the second open did a couple of ‘Farm to Table’ dinners. Both were 9 courses, one vegetarian and one not. Both seemed very well received so we need to thank Megan Brannon of ‘Conceptual Catering’ for her excellent menu.
As the nursery closed in October I managed to sneak away to Japan for a few weeks leaving Gary to start his Christmas magic. Upon my return, it was up to me to put the garden to bed then start baking. The set up for our Christmas event takes six or seven weeks but by the first of December we were ready to go. We had 650 people attend our Holiday Teas.
In-between all these events we manages to take care of the animals and keep up the maintenance on the garden. We did get a little summer help from Reed, a young man from Orting High School and in the fall from our ever dependable friend, Anthony. Even though he has a real job, he made time most weekend to come help for at least a few hours.
Now that I’m contemplating returning to the greenhouse and starting all over I just want to stop and thank you again for supporting what we do. We both wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. We hope to get to see many of you in person in 2019.
Car loaded for NHS Plant Sale
Coco’s first Birthday
Jima at one of the many seasonal parties
baby Barn Swallows in the nursery
Farewell Dinner for the PHS Seattle Tour.
Slow Flower photo shoot
Light in the darkness
Sharing a popcicle with Casper
Sharman beautiful goat cookies
one of 20 trees