Thursday, August 23, 2012

Peace in the Valley Farm

To make good on a promise from June 19th, here are a few photos of Jim and Sandy's goat farm, soon to become a bed and breakfast establishment.  It will be a wonderful place of quietude for anyone who needs to return, for a time, to natural peace of soul, and for a hearty breakfast of fresh farm eggs, goat milk, and cheese, not to mention a bath with their divine goat milk soap. It's my location of choice for writing retreats. 

I love the fervor Jim and Sandy throw into their work, resulting in a setting that looks deceptively simple to the casual visitor. But no. Not simple. Except for the house and property itself, they developed the farm together, from scratch. 

Jim built the barn from lumber he sawed himself when he worked at a sawmill. He designed and built a chicken condominium that is the home of any rooster's dreams. He studies the culture of goat farming in all his spare time. He and Sandy entertain guests almost every weekend. They attend goat shows. Who, in our family, knew there was such a thing? 

Sandy is cheese and soap maker extraordinaire. She cans pickles and okra and other southern specialties from their sizable garden. She's the chief mower of the farm acreage. She eats a jalapeƱo pepper like an apple. Sandy is retiring this month from the federal prison system to go to work fulltime on the farm. She is one beautiful, remarkable, capable, savvy, kind, decent, and hard-working woman. I know this because, aside from her work with inmates at the Alabama Federal Correction Institution, she tamed and married my baby brother, a professional drummer of high temperament. Ethnic Mennonite, you understand, but of high temperament just the same. His big sisters and brother are amazed at his current life. We were town kids, for crying out loud. There's just no accounting for dreams. dkm

What? You thinkWE ate that row?
Goldthwaite Kentucky Wonder (Tuck)

I tried to copy Niki's pigtails. 



Jane Robertson said...

Oh wow - if I had a bit more energy (and probably a partner) this is something I would love to do!! The goats are beautiful - so healthy and handsome. (You will smile when you get to the Okehampton Show in my blog!). I love the tail shot :-)))

Good on Jim and Sandy. I hope the B&B is really successful. I've stayed in lovely country B&Bs in Tasmania and the UK where you get farm fresh breakfasts - just such a great way to start the day when you're travelling.

Jane Robertson said...

PS - not sure what to make of the expression on your brother's face as he milks the goat??!!

Niki said...

haha I love the tails too. :D The goats are stunning. Beautiful and sleek.
ooh I want to make goat's milk soap next. I'm not getting any goat milk at the moment. It's all going on pet lambs!! Heidi's not impressed at all.