Let me tell you, I was SOOOO excited to meet DaNelle in person. I’ve been reading her blog, Weed ‘Em & Reap for a while now, and she never fails to make me laugh or teach me something. One of my favorite posts is when DaNelle describes the most hilarious goat births ever.
DaNelle lives with her husband and two kids on about an acre in Phoenix, AZ. It’s pretty impressive what they do with just an acre! DaNelle has three mama goats (two in milk), three baby goats, a sheep named Paula, who was pregnant, three laying hens, and a dog.
Kendahl from Our Nourishing Roots and her boys went with me, and Miles loved holding the baby goats.
While we were there, a chicken actually laid an egg, which was pretty cool to see.
DaNelle also has this gorgeous pomelo tree in her backyard. We were able to pick some and eat them.
But my favorite part of the day (besides meeting and talking to DaNelle) was the opportunity to milk her goats!
Play the video below to watch me milk a goat for the first time ever!
I am now convinced that I need a goat—two actually—when Frank and I move to Georgia. Especially, because in GA raw milk can only be sold as pet food. I know that I could find it, but having a goat in my own backyard sounds so convenient! Plus, DaNelle says that they are ridiculously easy to take care of, cost effective ($12 a month to maintain), you can sell the babies for profit or recomp ($200-$400), and they only *technically* need 25 sqft of living space.
While I was there, DaNelle introduced me to another part of owning goat babies: dehorning. This is where you burn the horns and then cut them off like a fingernail. This is the most humane way to take off their horns so they don’t impale one another. And believe me, I can see where it’s a good idea, because these goats head-butted each other multiple times while I was there! Other methods of horn removal involve caustic paste, rubber bands, sawing, and gouging. While the baby goat certainly didn’t seem comfortable while we were doing this, the moment we were done, it went back to playing like nothing had happened, and it was fine.
Because I stayed in Phoenix for three weeks, I was able to see DaNelle again, and when I went back Paula the sheep had birthed her babies!
Two little boy lambs! Aren’t they sweet?
While I was there DaNelle made some sourdough bread. I was really fascinated to watch the rising process, since I’m mostly grain-free these days. I don’t think grains are bad. I just don’t buy packaged food (i.e. crackers and cookies), and I don’t make my own bread, so I rarely eat it.
I also got to treat DaNelle and her family (and myself) to literally the best lamb curry I’ve ever made!! DaNelle had butchered one of her lambs, Peeta, back in November, but still didn’t really know how to cook him so he’d be tasty. Well, lamb curry just happens to be my speciality! ;) I felt like I was the one being treated since it was grassfed lamb, and DaNelle had bones, so we added those, too. Bones are the secret to a really good curry!
Believe me when I’m say I’m not trying to brag or anything, but when DaNelle tasted my curry, she said something that just tickled my insides and made me so happy!! She said, “This is LITERALLY the best thing I’ve ever tasted!” WOW! Thanks, DaNelle!! You made my day! Seriously!! Shoot, you made my month! Maybe my year! That’s the best compliment I’ve ever received! Click HERE for the recipe!
I actually got to see DaNelle AGAIN, which means I got to milk her goats again. It felt so rewarding to drink the milk I’d milked myself! DaNelle traded me a half gallon of fresh, raw milk for some of my homemade body butter and lip balm.
And I got to see her family again, too. I’m not gonna lie—playing with her daughter, Lydia, in the backyard just makes me want a baby girl even more! I’m baby crazy, and I know it. GAHHHHH. Gotta get some goats (and hens) first! Then I’ll think about babies! Hahahaha. In the meantime, I’m so thankful I got to meet DaNelle and make a new friend. She is such a beautiful person and a wonderful wife and mother! DaNelle, I’m so glad to have met you in this lifetime!
[googlemap id=”two” width=”570px” z=”10″ address=”Gilbert, AZ, USA”]
How long have you been blogging?
What topics do you blog about?
I blog about real food, weight loss, urban farming, living with chronic disease, raising a family and our journey towards adoption!
Describe your family for us.
For now it’s just my husband, my 2 kids (ages 7&9) and me! We are hoping to adopt this year through our State’s foster care program!
What hobbies do you enjoy?
I love to learn about homesteading, and I would love to make some good aged cheese! Most of my time is spent enjoying the outdoors with my family and the occasional chicken/goat.
If it was your last day on earth, what would you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Junk food totally counts!
I’d probably eat cheese, haha! Can you tell I’m obsessed yet?
What three posts on your blog do you want to share with my readers?
Some of my favorite recent posts are:
How I REVERSED my son’s asthma
Clean Eating Myths
My Weight Loss Story: How I lost 25 lbs. without exercise or counting calories
How/why did you start blogging?
I started it as a family blog, a sort of journal. When we moved to our farm, it became all about our adventures in homesteading and from there I blogged about the miraculous change in me and my family’s health once we switched to REAL FOOD.
What’s the biggest challenge about running a blog?
Definitely the TIME! If I could blog all day, I would! But of course family comes first and the biggest challenge is balancing it all :)
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I really enjoy helping others. I know how frustrating it can be to feel trapped in your body whether it be by weight or by disease. I hope that my experiences and advice can help others achieve their goals!
Do you have any eBooks or classes that readers might be interested in?
Oh, I wish! I am in the beginning stages of working on an eBook and meal plans, so stay tuned!