Fact: Goats are Great

Spring is here! Baby Goats, ducklings, and chicks are popping up in every corner of the farm. Though we don’t have any baby goats this year, our plans for Spring of 2020 will be filled with lovely little kids (the four legged ones!) hopping around Fieldway Farm. In the meantime I am absolutely getting my fill of kidding season while visiting my friends goat farm, and preparing our own micro dairy!


Below I drafted up a bit of a crash course in case you are adding some goats to your family this spring-  this crash course leaves out the basics like what feed to get & what supplements to give. Moreso, a couple pointers on what I forgot (or nearly forgot) when bringing home my wee ones.

Goats are fainting, goats are hopping around in pajamas, and goats are even doing yoga. These mighty little ruminants have captured our hearts.

Though she be but little, she is fierce.


They understand humans are a tool, they seek us to feel better, get food, and for comfortable living. They are smart they understand and they adjust. Which brings me to my first suggestion when getting your goats : Have. Proper. Fencing. They are mini Houdini’s in disguise, looking for and greedily taking every opportunity to escape. When you add the smallness of the nigerian dwarf goat – you are really in for a mischievous treat (in the best way!).

The wee ones tend to go where they please

Barnyard goats conjure up the image of a hairy smelly snaggletooth animal chewing on a can. While the bucks are quite smelly, and they do get into just about every grain bag you have (opened or unopened) they are much more endearing creatures than most depictions. Suggestion number two is very important, Keep all grain secure & locked away! ESPECIALLY other animal’s food. Some horse feed has too much copper and will result in belly aches & bloat for your poor goat. We had an unfortunate run in with an open feed room & Rose spent a few scary nights at the hospital two years ago.

Food is absolutely priority

Goats are herd animals, they play, and they love their family. They will absolutely need a companion. It’s best to get two. Starting out, I wanted to move slowly and add one to my farm. My thought was that this lucky goat would live happily with my 12 year old  (ancient) sheep. Baaaaa’d idea. Thankfully I brought home both sisters. So I mentioned goat’s play – they play hard. Head butting and chasing are common occurrences.

Its best to get two.. or three

Sheep, although seemingly similar are absolutely not the same as goats. It’s helpful to think of sheep as the quiet children that prefer quiet activities like reading and puzzles as opposed to their ruff housing neighbor the goat.  Goats are most happy when climbing and getting into trouble. I cant stress enough how much they need props. So something to climb on is important to keep them occupied & out of trouble. Happy (occupied) goat = happy garden


Honestly a children’s jungle gym would be useful for occupying your new friend. If you threw out your childhood tree house I would recommend bring some fun objects into their pen. Pallets, water troughs (upturned), old furniture, logs etc. etc. be creative!

So to recap:

1)Have a good fence system
2)Keep all grain secure and locked (out of reach!)
3)They should come in two
4)Goats are active; get them toys to play on!

I hope this helps you dive into your goat experience a little bit more prepared. These little darlings at the very least will keep you entertained.

If you are at all interested, every one of these kids are for sale, feel free to reach out for details (5 doelings and 6 bucks which will be weathered before they leave)

Cook Space Brooklyn

Tucked away on the second floor of an old building in Prospect heights is a former widget workhouse. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Moving to New York City has led me on a wild goose chase in search of a community or space to meet like-minded individuals who love food, support local business, and are growing themselves. Whether that be their own blog, new career path, or just new cooking skills.

Michelle Mannix was on Cherry Bomb radio a couple weeks ago. Episode 195 “It Ain’t Easy Being a Small Business Owner” grabbed every bit of my attention as I was marching to work about two thursdays ago. https://radiocherrybombe.simplecast.fm/03ed888c During the episode Michelle opened up about her first two businesses, her culinary expieriences, and why she opened up a culinary studio. She’s tackling something completely different, but oddly similar with this venture. Cook Space Brooklyn is an experience https://www.cookspacebrooklyn.com

Somehow Cook Space captures the happiness of walking into your regular cafe to grab the necessary scones & coffee. It’s familiar and cozy while at the same time exuding elegance to impress any and all guests you wish to entertain. This was the right space, and instantly I started growing. You know, that feeling when you are so incredibly sure of each step you make. And somehow a glow is radiating around you, you’re smiling, and it’s because you’re in a happy place. Its temporary, of course. You all too soon are transported back to the cold streets of Brooklyn running after your Uber that stopped a few blocks too far away.

An aspiring small business owner myself, I wanted to absorb every word Michelle spoke. I am/ was that person frantically writing notes & quotes of this special woman’s insights. She knows this city, she definitely knows food, and most importantly she knows people. Michelle understands closing doors and opening new ones, and trusting the process of growth. Just what my Monday night needed. Tuesday I launched Pitchfork and Pearls. thank you Michelle.


Completely renovated and redesigned Michelle and her team have breathed life back into the room. Upon walking in you are treated to a wall of cooking utensils, copper pans and Dutch ovens adorning the original widget board, the only object remaining from the former workshop. Cookbooks organized by color fill the bookshelves.


As you move deeper into the room, there is a cabinet without doors keeping all the flours, spices, grains, open to view. Each ingredient just waiting to be plucked for the recipe that lies ahead of you.


The studio is spotless, stainless steel with the coziest of accents that separate this working kitchen from a conventional space.


What used to be the building’s elevator shaft is now the ‘dining room’ where students sit down to enjoy their culinary creations. It’s beautiful, cozy, and absolutely what I have been looking for.


Space to cook is coveted real estate especially in this city. Finding an outlet for kitchen creativity is equally desired. No strings attached, Cookspace has a mission to get people more comfortable in the kitchen. Unpretentious and completely dedicated to creating a comfortable environment for learning and growing cooking skills. Termed culinary studio on purpose, Michelle wanted to inspire people to make cooking a practice, just like yoga or working out. I advise you make one of these workshops apart of any and all NYC visit itineraries.

I grabbed a ticket to Michelle’s Seize your Day planning workshops for last Monday, March 4th. She mentioned something about this workbook during the podcast and I figured it would be a great excuse to try the place out.The class came with her new 12 week planner (you can buy on Cookspace Brooklyn website). Though I won’t share too much just yet, I am feeling myself apply deeper intention to the day, getting more out of each coveted 24 hours. Will report back at the 6 week mark.

Voyage to Medoc, Voyage to Mimi!

My rendition of Mimi’s Chateau…anticipating this trip (queue the 8 year old on Christmas morning squeal)

Mimi Thorrisson Manger Workshop- How I am making this work

Taking the voyage to Medoc, France is a dream. An expensive dream. Pitchfork and Pearls started with my own version of a vision board. Not necessarily cutting and pasting images from magazines (haven’t gotten there yet) but writing down goals that would propel me forward in this journey. Mimi was not on the top of the list. And I say this to bring reality to the conversation, I chose simple little goals that would be attainable in a few week, maybe a couple months, non threatening and totally in my comfort zone. I had just bought the new IPad Pro- which to me was a BIG splurge- and was feeling drained financially. As the list of goals got longer the visions got bigger, because 1) why not- no harm in day dreaming 2) its was FUN! Stretching my mind to open to the endless possibilities was invigorating. Physically writing them down was propelling them forward. That list is important and I will absolutely share with you. See how the goals JUMPED.

Apologies for my handwriting

Hmph, I should briefly introduce Mimi Thorrisson before I go on. Mimi, her husband Oddur, 8 children, 14 Fox Terriers, and one Italian Pointer Monte Critso reside in Medoc, France. The Bordeux region, you may have heard of it once?or twice, probably in a wine store. Author & food blogger Mimi shares her excuisite life in France. Inspiring and dropping jaws in seasonal cooking, her travels, her entertaining techniques, and her incredible workshops. Find her on Manger, her food blog, or pick up her book A French County Kitchen. Miss Mimi also has quite the tantalizing instagram account…and if that is not enough many many posts reside on Pinterest gifting you windows of the fascinating life she leads. Ahh yes back to goals.

After writing Mimi’s name down on my vision list I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Visiting France in the summer like so many other lucky glamorous folks, taking so much more from this event, more than a simple vacation. I daydreamed about using this material to create connections, grow strangers into friendships, and picking up more and more inspiration along the way. Addicted. So I emailed Mimi thinking 2020 would be the year of Medoc & Me, & her 14 terriers, maybe I would even go home with a pup.. (heh okay keep your goals in check miss) Email sent, 7 hours later I get a reply from Mimi herself. Yes most of the workshops were full, there was a seat open in a new workshop that might be right up my alley (I told her my goals & my very unique (ha) interest in farm to table food because 1) why not give her the low-down, she knows her workshops best 2) She may not even respond, the least this email can do is get my goals in writing again).

Whoops- guess 2020 goals might just have to happen sooner than expected. Putting these bad boys in writing… was dangerous. So I replied with, let me make sure this can work financially and I will get back to you very soon. I knew if this was going to happen it needed to be smart decision. No room for buyers remorse.

Can I afford it? It would be tight. Is this bettering me & my business, my future livelihood. I 100% believed that it would and so the answer was Hi Mimi- I’m in. Because plans began in January I had time to pay in increments. ½ of the workshop fee now to reserve my spot. Flights & lodging would have to be done in a couple paychecks. And I was going to make it work.

As February comes to a close I am feeling tempted to splurge on warm weather dresses and Brigitte Bardot outfits for the Bordeaux region. I am reminding myself that those aren’t in my goals, my vision list. I will look the part just perfectly when wearing the clothes I have now. I mention this because a shopaholic at heart this might urge a reader to keep their goals in check, writing down ideas and visions that propel you forward, clothing is definitely not optional in this world, but it certainly will not take you to the places you want/ need to go (not for me anyway). Style will develop, transform and leave you like a one night stand. I am toning it down to only investing in staple items when need be. Grow the vision but be sure to not focus on what one is wearing (my personal weakness ladies & gents!)

So this is just the beginning to my next chapter & I am oh so grateful for it. I feel beautiful trips like these need to be broken down into real terms. I do not have deep funds to pull from & make these trips happen. Instead it is a very real budgeting system. Stripping down my ego, spending less. Cleaning out my brain of the luxuries crowding our vision daily (belive me- nyc can be crippling at times) and getting down to the basics. Simple meals can be just as exquisite, just stretching a dollar. Breakfast, stewed apples and plain yogurt, (ah my favorite!) what’s for lunch? Sweet potato brought from home. Keeping the grocery bills lower, the material goods at 0 spending and growing my brain. If this is on your radar, you’re going to make it happen! But there will be sacrifices. Sacrifices that grow you.

I brought this up to my mom when I guiltily explained my next adventure (guilty because I wish she could come with me! She absolutely is my best friend!) and she reminded me of growing up in Vermont, though beautiful it is an expensive place to live. Mum and her friends would do “no spend months” where groceries, gas, and of course monthly payments are the only items you are spending money on. No special dinners out for no reason, no splurges at the mall, and certainly no online shopping. Home, work, grocery store, home, it may seem drab at first but you soon will fine ways to brighten your simple world up. She said she was always so impressed with how much savings there were that she would challenge herself to an extra month of savings. So that’s what I’m doing!

Thanks mom, you truly are always right.

Apple of my Ireland,

learning from the best.

50 hours in pure heaven. For the weekend I got the beautiful luxury of going to Brosna, humbly located in County Kerry, Ireland..  I’m sure you know the place… the place where that butter wrapped in a golden ticket comes from, YES its still allll from Ireland… that’s Kerrygold Over the spread of the trip my great friend introduced me to her clan of close-knit family & friends. The opening liner always began “this is Keeley, she’s got family in Mayo. Yes, Yes, she grew up on a farm too. She knows how to work”

At first, people didn’t pick up that I am indeed American (the fair skin which lends to be slightly red, blue eyes & a dark full head of hair gave it away, plus… Kerry felt exceptionally comfy) The people are incredible. Making me feel like kin that spent my young years bopping from bog to bog finding faeries. UGH take me back.

Enough with the romantic floral reflections! I said before that the people were fantastic, I’m sure you can infer that tons of drink had been consumed in the form of Guinness, cider, baileys, etc etc… Conversation got going and my curiosity in farming Ireland got the best of me. The last time I visited, in Mayo, all I remember was rolling field upon rolling field of sheep grazing. Due to the Kerrygold Co-op county Kerry traditionally is dairy cows. During the months of winter the cows stay in the barns munching on silage, fermented hay. Snow is common in Ireland however not in the same way we get it in the northeast. We are in the trenches of winter and yet there is green everywhere and vibrant green to boot. I asked a bounty of dairy farmers, why they don’t continue grazing their cows during winter, there seems to be plenty of grass to go around. The long blades look lush and full of nutrients. They all replied simply, the cows stay in the barns to preserve the grasses as well as their energy to stay warm & cozy. Farmers would rather have the longevity of the fields and keep building rich, healthy soil than put the cows on pasture 365.

How does this correlate to the US Dairy industry? Conventional ag keeps their bovines inside not to preserve the land, but to grow grains/ corn to fatten their masses, a presumably more cost effective way to make ends meet? But this harms the land and does not provide the correct sustenance for the animal. So what to do? It turns out that the dairy industry in the US isn’t as regulated as you thought, “Grassfed” can mean something wildly different. The Food and Drug Administration oversees the labeling of all things food, including dairy products. Surprise surprise, currently there is not much of a standard for labeling. A “Grassfed” animal can actually be fed grain and supplemented with some grass/ hay.

Back to.. what to do? buying Kerrygold is an answer, but what about local. Obviously supporting your local farmers & hitting up the farmers market is my #1 answer, but here are a few things to look for to ensure you are getting the best of the best dairy products when strollin down the isles at your local grocery store!

these are those labels & these are their stories:

American Grass-fed

Diet — Animals are fed only grass and forage from weaning until harvest.
Confinement — Animals are raised on pasture without confinement to feedlots.
Antibiotics and hormones — Animals are never treated with antibiotics or growth hormones.
Origin — All animals are born and raised on American family farms.

PCO Certified 100% Grassfed –

This certification is in addition to USDA certified organic standards. An extra special standards that pertain to ruminants, giving them the space they need to roam, ensuring that they are grass-fed and have space to root and roam as they please. Read more here:https://www.paorganic.org/grassfed

Certified Grassfed by AGW

AGW is in an additional certification to the Animal Welfare Approved cert. This one is super special because it safely ensures 100% that the animals were fed nothing other than Grassfed, raised on PASTURE, nottt a feedlot! Read more here:https://agreenerworld.org/certifications/certified-grass-fed/