Pictured here: Kirsten hugging her little pet goat, Audrey. I have so many photos of the tender-hearted Kirsten without a face, because she is so often hugging a critter on the farm.
Logan and I spent an hour and a half with farmer Kirsten this afternoon: we haven't visited she returned to the farm, replacing my wonderful friends, Mike Irving and Teresa Kurtak, in running the farm. (Here they are, pictured at the last farmers market of the season last year. Mike's moving to Washington to get a farm started up there, and Teresa will join him when she finishes her master's degree program at UCSC.)
Kirsten met us this afternoon, telling Logan, "I have a surprise in the garage for you." We approached a cardboard box with the telltale red light that indicates baby poultry, and were greeted with the darling sight of four chirping little turkey poults. Poults are rarely this cute, believe me: I think this one has about five more minutes before it turns into the ugliest non-duckling there is. Bless their little hearts.
Kirsten had invited us to meet the newest addition to the goat families on the farm: seven little kids that eagerly crowded around the fence as soon as we appeared in front of their pen. You can see her little Audrey in the purple collar: Audrey's sister, Aya, wears a wine-colored one.
Kirsten let the sisters out and, to my surprise, got out color-coordinated leashes for the kids, as well. And thus it was that Logan and I got to walk a baby goat down to the chickens, where we would help Kirsten gather eggs. Thirteen dozen of them, to be exact. But not before Logan threw some apples for one of the omnivorous Everett dogs.
We strolled down to the chickens: three hundred of them. The goats are not as intelligent as some goat lovers would have you believe, and their leashes kept getting tangles in the fence, where Kirsten had tied them to keep them away from the chickens. So while Logan and I gently put the brown eggs in the hay-lined buckets, Kirsten went to retrieve Aya. (Audrey doesn't need the same kind of supervision.)
We had climbed up into the room where the bulk of the chickens lay their eggs, and started gathering. It was then that little Aya decided to jump up into the crowded space, and then chickens went insane. You can see towards the end of this little YouTube video how Logan gets a worried look on his face. A few moments later, he decided he'd had enough.
These are half the eggs we gathered.
Some of the laying hens were more complacent.
We headed back to the goats, where Logan fed them roses.
The kids liked the roses, too.
Upon returning to the farmstand, which is open every day, Logan helped put a dozen eggs in the carton, and I finished the rest, whild Kirsten rubberstamped dates and logos onto the cartons. We came home with a basket of strawberries (inside Logan's belly), a dozen eggs, a bunch of spearmint, and a bunch of garlic scapes.
It was so pleasant: Kirsten has the sweetest voice, and her happiness is palpable. Logan has come a long way from the little boy who would chase the chickens and drop eggs: he was really a help.
Thank you, Kirsten for sharing your time with us.
If you want to visit Everett Family Farm:
2111 Old San Jose Road
Soquel, CA 95073
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I promised to post something from a woman looking for a Bay Area farm internship. Here is her e-mail:
I just came across your website, and I instantly became a fan -- I, too, [heart] small farms. I've been searching for an internship or job on a farm in the San Francisco Bay area, but I haven't been able to find much through the usual channels (ATTRA.org, LocalHarvest.org, OrganicVolunteers.org, etc.). I noticed that you are familiar with many of the farms in this area, so I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. Any advice you could give would be helpful!
North Circle Project Coordinator
Women's Environmental Institute
P. O. Box 128, North Branch, MN 55056
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And that's all for today. Great day in the sunshine, still getting over this bronchial stuff.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "As for Goats, they have been found to thrive and
increase well, but being mischievous to Orchards and other Trees, makes
People decline keeping them." —John Lawson
Not to mention them getting into the chickens.
Thanks for visiting.