1 This is Lisa being greeted warmly by a slew of one-month old kids. Lisa is very attached to these babies, as she helps to deliver each one.
2 This is the Rainbeau Ridge farm logo, which is also on the labels of of Lisa's award-winning farmstead goat cheeses.
3 During milking season, this little cheesehouse is where Lisa and an intern produce that delicious, creamy cheese on a daily basis. You can see the molds that the cheese has been hand-ladled into, where the whey drains out from the curd.
4 At Rainbeau Ridge, there is a menagerie of animals. Heritage breed turkeys are hatched here on a regular basis. This proud Tom is called a Royal Palm.
5 There are also peacocks.
6 Guinea hens roam the farm freely, performing insect control.
7 Lulu, one of the llamas, is very protective of the goats, and will nudge visitors away if she feels they are a threat.
8 Indy, another llama, is patrolling the newborn kids.
9 This is a Jacob sheep, which has four horns and sometimes six.
10 Prized for its soft, thick wool, Jacob sheep are on the rare breed list.
11 These are Shetland sheep, whose fleece has the widest ranges of color of any breed, including white, reddish brown, silvery gray, fawn, dark brown, and black.
12 And of course, honeybees to help pollinate the farm crops.
13 The kids' programs at Rainbeau Ridge provide a unique experience for children to explore and appreciate and make connections to nature through hands-on exploration on the farm, art projects, and in the kitchen.
14 In these classes, the children spend as much time outside as possible, learning about the animals and gardening.
15 Susan Shaw, (in red) an educational consultant, has been teaching at Rainbeau Ridge since the very first session. Each child had the opportunity to touch the soft chick.
16 Susan taught them about feathers and how a chicken changes throughout its life.
17 She then took them to see the mature chickens.
18 They filed into the hen yard.
19 Susan explained about the egg laying process.
20 These chickens are confined to this yard during the morning, which is when most of their eggs are laid. They are then allowed to roam free-range around the farm.
21 Lisa keeps about three dozen chickens and has a yield of about thirty eggs per day.
22 In keeping with the chicken theme of the lesson, Susan made a snack of meringues for the children - the very same meringues featured on the May cover of my magazine, Martha Stewart Living!
23 Susan also read these books about chicks and chickens, which she found at the local library.
24 At the end of each lesson, the children are taught how to make a craft.
25 Susan has been felting and made these adorable chicks. The children were given all the parts to put this little chick nest together.
26 Of course, goats are at the heart of Rainbeau Ridge.
27 These does, all named after female singers, are all quite pregnant and just lying around waiting for their delivery to come.
28 This is Carole King, who appeared to be in the early stages of labor. Carole is one of about 38 does giving birth this spring.
29 Lisa explained that a doe has two ligaments near her tail. When those ligaments become soft and elastic, delivery usually happens within twenty-four hours.
30 Lisa assuring Esperanza that all will be fine.
31 After a doe gives birth, Lisa likes to keep mom and kid inside this barn for a few days. This is Shakira.
32 And this is Shakira's kid, just two days old.
33 Another newborn - how adorable!
34 Also in the barn with kids are Sheryl, Ella, and Gladys.
35 Lisa leaves the kids with their moms for a week to ten days, after which they are separated and the kids are bottle fed goat's milk.
36 The reason for bottle feeding is to keep the utters in good health for optimal milking. If this weren't a cheese farm, the babies would stay with their moms.
37 These bottle fed kids are so playful and so much fun.
38 They love to leap and bound.
39 They are also curious about everything.
40 In the adjacent pen are the kids who were just taken off their moms and are adjusting to being bottle fed. This is where Indy, the llama, oversees.
41 This is where the kids' gardening classes are held and yes, that is a flower 'bed'!
42 Because it was such a mild winter, Lisa got her first crop of peas in the ground on February 1st! That's more than a month ahead of schedule.
43 The garlic wintered over nicely.
44 In the hoop houses, there is a nice winter crop of arugula.
45 There's also broccoli rabe, claytonia, and parsnips.
46 And beautiful artichokes
47 Tomatoes and other crops have been started from seed.
48 Lisa grew a giant pumpkin last season and has several plants growing from its seeds. Because it was such a huge squash, she wanted to get a head start and plant the seeds early, allowing plenty of time to mature.
49 There's still plenty of fragrant garlic left over from last year's harvest. These are hard-neck varieties.