On Tuesday, the Boy and I spent a LOVELY evening in Oakland at the Havenscourt Homestead where we learned to milk goats, collected eggs and spent an evening of leisure around the fire pit listening to the goats bleat, quail coo, chickens cluck and the occasional distant siren-- the sounds of urban farm life.
Kitty Sharkey started work on her homestead about 2 years ago and has an impressive back yard farm in high production now. With four Goats, twelve hens, four quail two hives, two cats, two oscars and a couple dozen pond fish, you'd think her place would be crowded but I was very impressed with how well she had used her space. Between two goats, she milks just over half a gallon every evening and collects a handful each of quail and chicken eggs daily as well. She swears her gardens are a mess but I look at them and am in awe of the tomato harvest she filled her fridge with. She's looking forward to a time when her organic farming practices will bring her up to 75% self sufficiency. It is an ambitious goal, but certainly one worth working towards.
Aside from her day to day farming practice, Kitty is working with her goats to train them as therapy animals. Sammy, her young wether (castrated male goat) is often the favorite of visitors as he is small, friendly and has an extraordinarily soft coat for his breed. Many of the neighborhood children have been invited into the yard to meet "the kids", as Kitty affectionately calls her little herd and she will be bringing them to the Norther California Renaissance Faire's brand new petting zoo starting this upcoming weekend (September 18th and 19th).
Speaking of which, The Ren Faire has 2 for 1 tickets THIS WEEKEND ONLY! Come see the court, stay for a show (or three) and cool down with a pint while you browse he marketplace. Stand aside when you hear drums and fanfare because the Queen is coming! Boy and I are at the head of the parade as part of the St. Blaise Town Criers followed by drummers, revelers and the Yeomen of the Guard. See you there!
Homestead photos are property of Kitty Sharkey and Havenscourt Homestead.
NCRF Promotional photo is property of Play Faire Productions.