I came home to dinner at The Goat’s Garden! – the best organic restaurant around! Beet soup followed by chickpea and chard curry, organic walnut icecream with natural, raw, handmade chocolate. yum. yum. yum, thank you David.
I have just found out that I can go back and find statistics about who has visited The Goats’ Garden, and I have learned that hundreds, almost a thousand of you have been here, from all over the world! Mostly from Norway, but also the United States, Brazil, The U.K., Australia, Denmark, The Netherlands, The Russian Federation, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Austria, Hong Kong, and more-42 different countries all together and from all continents. Who are you all, I wonder, and what brings you here? Do you love goats, as I do? Do you love gardening, good food, travel, or Norway? What peaks your interest, and what would you like to know more about? Drop me a note and let me know who you are, and how you came to visit. And if you visit in person, we will sit and have a coffee, or a tea, or whatever you like, in the garden. I’m looking forward to meeting you!
I’ve been away from my goats and garden all summer, following a master’s course in Education in Mallorca. Wouldn’t you know it’s been the most lovely summer in Norway, with weeks of sunny days and temperatures in the high 20s and up to 35 degrees! My goat girls have been naughty, too- they seem to find endless ways to get outside the fence and nibble on trees and plants in the garden- I guess they really do think its all theirs!I can’t wait to get home tomorrow and see them all again; I know the babies have grown up- I hope they remember me! Here is a picture David took to cheer me up when I was missing them:
You would think with all those lines of electric fencing they would stay inside, but no, they just jump over! 🙂
Horten Viking Market with Viking Life July 4-6
The Viking Festival with a three day authentic re-enactment of viking life is a highlight of the summer. Viking aficionados from all over the world come to take part, living in tents, recreating viking craft and dress, and engaging in mock battles, music, and drama performances. A full scale Viking market takes place at the same time over the three days. If you are interested in Viking history, Viking craft, or just a splendid time, this is a must-see! If you need a place to stay, we have rooms available- please email. Welcome!
Horten’s Roots and Reggae Festival is back!
It’s blustery today, but inside it is warm and cosy by the fire. Curl up in this comfortable wicker chair and read a book! Tea is on the stove, too.
This wicker chair is handmade-( by me, actually). Skovestuen Pil, (pil is the Norwegian word for wicker) is a small wicker farm in Vestfold Norway, which sells wicker and also offers classes in basket making and in chair building . It took two days and the patient direction of Lars at the Bendwood chair course to saw, screw bend, and nail each piece of wood and length of wicker into place. there were just 5 of us on the course, and an amazing comraderie among us as we worked. By the end of the day on Sunday I was bone tired (it is much more physically taxing that one would think, to bend and turn this way and that, while pounding in each tiny nail) but I was also happy to the core. Here is a photo from Skovestuen Pil’s website, of Lars working on a chair:
Here is the website: www.skovstuenpil.no It was such an amazing experience. This chair is not perfect, but it is the first piece of furniture I ever made myself. It is so much more fulfilling to rest in a chair that you have laboured over yourself.
We covered the chair seat and ottoman with vintage embroidered pillow covers from David’s mom- they look fantastic with the natural wood, and the clay nepalese elephant candle holders on the right. With a full library of books to read, we are ready for warm and cozy nights.
Horten’s Roots and Reggae festival is back for the second year! For great music, great food, and a great atmosphere, come and visit Horten from 20 to 21 June, 2014. If you need a place to stay, we may still have one room available- send an email. See you there!
Organic Appetizers, Mediterranean Style. Organic appetizers for Ådne’s confirmation- 100 percent organic, home made dough and puff pastry with organic flour and butter, and home gathered or local ingredients (well except the olives- still haven’t figured out how to grow olives in Norway!) Mediterranean inspired stuffed grape leaves, spinach rolls, mini cucumber salads, chorizo sausage in blankets, avocado, cheese and tomato spears with fresh basil, humus filled red pepper with black olives, curried deviled eggs and green olives with pimento.It was surprisingly easy to make puff pastry! I discovered that my new pasta machine doubles as a puff pastry roller. The trick is to keep all the ingredients cold, and fold and fold and fold. I had so much fun doing these appetizers, and channeling my inner Greek for a uniquely Norwegian event.
We Name Our Goats, and They Pose for a Picture!
So we have finally named our new baby goats- they are a month and a half old, and growing so fast! Meet all three generations in one shot: a rare picture with all our goats posing for the camera at the same time. Grandma Dina is in the front right of the shot, while her daughter, Lucky, is behind her, surrounded by Dina’s daughter Izzie, and Lucky’s daughters, now named Kara and Ajla.
We still have not decided on names for two of our goat babies. The first one that you see here, who I am holding, is Izzie. She is Dina’s daughter and has Dina’s very sweet and friendly personality.The other two little ones are Lucky’s twins. Early on I named the one lower down, with the darker face, Oscar, thinking she was male. She is not! The tiniest one, and the shyest, is the one in the top of the picture of the two together. She is the most likely to cry, and the most likely to run from us. I tend to call her ‘cutie’, but that is not a final name, and I have no other name in mind. Can you help us name our goats?
who knew- raviolis made simple!
I used to have a pasta press- I loved making my own fresh pasta. After I moved to Norway, I got out of the habit of making pasta; it just seemed like too much work and too much time. But yesterday, I got a hankering for raviolis. I just happened to have the left overs of a cheese aperitif: creamed cottage cheese, sun dried tomatoes, more cream cheese, ramsløk pure ( a wild, garlic flavored shallot), and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds. Then, on my way home, Gina stopped me and handed me three fresh eggs from her hens. The plot thickened.
I needed some organic spelt flour, salt, and olive oil, all available in my cupboard. I discovered it was amazingly easy to make the dough (two cups flour, three eggs, one tsp olive oil and one tsp salt, divide it in two, and roll out a large rectangle. Then I dropped spoonfuls of the cheese mixture at regular intervals onto the dough, rolled another rectangle to place on top, and cut the raviolis into squares. while I was rolling the dough, I set a bag of frozen tomatoes from last years’ garden into scalding water. I peeled the skins and cut out the stem ends, then cooked them up into a quick tomato sauce with olive oil, garlic, onion,and some herbs:
Finally, I tossed the ready raviolis into boiling water (the water I had scalded the tomatoes in, actually), boiled up each batch for two minutes or so until the raviolis floated to the top, ladled the tomato sauce over them, and added some dried oregano:
The picture seems to have come out sideways, but the raviolis came out great! Now that I know how easy it is to make and roll the dough, I can experiment with all kinds of fillings, and have a fresh ravioli meal ready in under an hour. Amazing, I always thought I had to buy these things, or that it would take hours to make by hand.
The Goat Babies Explore Outside
The snow has finally melted enough that the little ones can venture outside and nibble on tender new grass. They love jumping up on the rocks and capering around, but I am still a little afraid to let them outside by themselves. There are hawks in the area, and there could be dogs or foxes. Could a hawk really take one of them? I’m not willing to take the chance, so I play goatherd when I can, and send them back in. I wish I could spend all day outside with them!
This shot was taken at dusk, so it is a bit dark, but you can see how much they have grown! Now I am looking forward to more light and more warmth, so they can stay out longer.
yum! organic avocado!
I found organic avocados at the local ICA shop! They are notoriously bad at stocking organic veggies- I bought lots so they would know there is plenty of demand. My lunch this afternoon is organic guacamole on organic high energy spelt toast with tomatoes, olives, and parsley garnish.
The weather is much warmer than usual for February, making the snow in to a soggy mess. It was 3.5 degrees at 6:00 in the morning today. I went out to the goats in my pajamas! With the weather this warm, I can open up the shed and let the little ones play ‘in and out’. They chase each other wildly back and forth over the door jam and front step. I sat inside yesterday with my back against the pen wall and Izzie would race in, jump up on me, nibble my face, and then rush out again to join her cousins. Or nephews, more accurately, since Dina, her mom, is Lucky’s mom too. They are both bucks, I think, which is really sad, because it means we will have to give them away when they are about 2 months old. I have had several requests, and I think I can find them good homes, but I was so hoping for more girls I could keep. More pictures to follow!
And Then We Were Three
Lucky’s New Babies
Lucky greets her two new babies! She had been complaining all day, but had finally quieted down for a while, so I decided to go in and get something to eat. When she started up again it was very loud and very insistent- I ran out to the shed again, and found two babies in a pool of blood behind her- one was face down in the goo. I pulled her out, shouting to David through the baby monitor. He and Gina arrived at the same time, threw me towels and gave advice. I had a hard time getting the second baby to take the teat; Gina tried as well and finally both babies got some of the very important first colostrum. Lucky is such a great mom! She took to the babies immediately, and also allowed me to move around her, put her babies to the teat, massage her udder. It was hard to believe she would not let me touch her in those places before she gave birth. It is so amazing to see the amazing bond that grows between a goat mother and her goat babies!
Izzie Joins Us
No better place to start this new blog, I think, than with the birth of our first goat kid. Dina gave birth this morning to a beautiful little girl. This has been on the plans for two years now; we look forward to fresh goat milk, halloumi, parmesan, and other goat cheeses! Of course, Izzie gets her fair share of the milk first!