Slow food, local feast

Saturday evening we enjoyed another slow food dinner with family and friends. We hope to make this an ongoing tradition – slowing down and going back in time to when people from the community gathered – ate and socialized.  

Everyone brought something to contribute and it’s great to see every time what different dishes people bring.   Of course, we emphasis that the food should be as local (and organic) as possible – modeling it after the first ever (in Los Angeles) “100 Mile Potluck” that we hosted last month. After the four course dinner was served, it was time to mosey on over to the fire and chat (those brave enough sang songs by Bob Dylan or the Beatles) and listen to the soft sounds of guitars that filled the night with beautiful music. One man even brought his mandolin which added a lovely sound to the mix.

Thanks, everyone, for your food contributions (for helping with the dishes!) See you at the next gathering.

Say cheese!

Animal Farm

The goats are mischievous and smart little devils. On Friday, when Jordanne was cleaning out the “two story” bunny hutch, Fairlight decided that she wanted to get inside. She climbed into the lower level and stuck her head out the second level – hence, this funny photo. What a crazy girl! 

Each goat is different in its personality and it’s great to see the each of their different characteristics coming out. Before all our guest arrived on Saturday, Jordanne took the goats to our neighbor’s yard two doors down to let them run and play in her enclosed front yard/lawn. They had a ball, sprinting from one side to the other and doing jigs and jives — a sort of “goat dance.”   

Speaking of animals, hopefully this year we’ll find some time to hatch some heritage breed chickens. The first chickens to arrive on this homestead were back in 2002 (the very first chickens we had were back in the late 70s when Jules homesteaded in New Zealand).

Since 2002,  the flock of 5 (Lizzie, Peggoty, Scarlett, Miss Clementine, Betsy Trottwood) is now down to 2.   And we know that for the remaining two, their time here on the homestead will be nearing the end of their 5-7 year average lifespan. The three chickens died peacefully in their sleep over the last couple years and, hopefully, the last two will leave this world the same.    If and when we hatch these new chickens, they will be raised even more holistically than the last bunch.   A few years back, Jordanne had talked with a local old time chicken keeper and had done some research on raising them with a more holistic and natural (localized) diet. We’ve come up with a plan that will be a challenge to implement, but we are going to try out these “old time” feeding techniques that we figure just make sense.   Jordanne, “Miss Doolittle” as we like to call her, a name given to her when she was little girl, is filled with a plethora of knowledge on holistically raising animals.    On Jordanne’s bookshelf. there are binders and binders of information she has been collecting since we was a teenager on raising animals and she’s added a few holistic techniques herself.

One day she hopes to write down her collection of natural tips and techniques about raising backyard animals that she’s learned over the years of experience. People call and email her all time about what to do about cats, chickens, ducks so why not write it all down in a book form some day. In the meantime, stay tuned.  

Anais, Jordanne & Janice take the goats for a walk

Goat Walking

This afternoon, Jordanne & I went with a friend of ours to walk the goats in the Arroyo Seco. It was a lovely day and we (and the goats) had so much fun! The goats are an absolute riot to walk.  They are so perceptive and out going.   They are such a joy.


  1. Heather says:

    I would be interested in knowing a more holistic diet for hens. If you have a minute to jot down some information that would be great. Thank you. Heather in Tucson

  2. Wildside_e says:

    Jordanne’s future book is a great idea! I know you are familiar with Carla Emery (thanks!), and I wonder if you have the book “Backyard Barnyard” or a title similar to that. I think it was written by Gail Damerow (not certain) and you can read part of it at Amazon for free… It is a good book, but with those in really small spaces, learning how to properly raise and care for animals in an urban setting is even more of a challenge. The care for best health is top concern, but also there are legal issues, neighborly issues, etc… I’ve needed some hand holding for confidence to get started in this! But I miss having animals around… Once I can convince the hubby it can be done without too much cost or too many problems, he’d be ok with it, perhaps!

  3. Wildside says:

    Oh! I meant to say, Jordanne’s book would be much more comprehensive & holistic, and full of eye-candy photos of real life scenarios I’m sure! (Sorry to be so excited about this — I’m full of exclamation points this AM… But I’m sure Jordanne is full of such great info & ideas about this because of all her experience with an urban homestead.)

    One big question I have for you:

    Since the space we have available in a backyard for goats is small (minute), it is clear they’d have to go out for walks in order to be happy. It is great to see photos of you walking your goats. One thing I worry about are dogs attacking the goats — either while on leash on a path or street or in the yard (we often get uninvited dogs — and people — traipsing in). And dogs are far more the accepted animal around here. Do you feel this (dog attacks) something to be concerned about? What about street traffic — does it worry your goats?

    I’ll try to remember to check back here later on for your reply if you have time…


  4. andrea says:

    what a lovely time that was – thanks again. so much fun singing along – next time i’ll try and remember to bring the some old guitar books i have that i’ve never used. 😉

  5. Anais says:

    Hi Wildside

    Thanks for your positive comments. I too, hope one day Jordanne will be able to write all that she/we have learned over time.

    You are right to point out the legal and neigbhor issues/concerns over keeping of backyard “barnyard” animals. It’s always good to check with in with your city and its ordinances – you want to abide by the law.

    We made sure of this before we got our animals.

    Jordanne will answer your question about how she’s working with leash training the goats … stay tuned.


  6. Anais says:

    Hi Andrea

    Thanks again for another delicious contribution. I am glad I got a chance to chat with you later in the evening around the fire.

    Great idea, I think Sascha, Jordanne and the others would enjoy going over your books. 😉

    I am thinking about starting up the knit-togethers now that the yard is practically back in decent order. And since you are a fellow fiber fanatic would like your contribution.

    I sent you a brief email and will be looking forward to your response.

    Have a lovely day!

  7. Wildside says:

    Oh thank you, yes, I’m staying tuned!