Sunflower Farm Creamery

Nigerian Dwarf Dairy

Welcome to Sunflower Farm - where all the romance of farm life is still very much a reality. Looking for delicious local cheese made in small daily batches? You have come to the right place. Depending on the time of year, our feta, chevre, caramels, fudge and cajeta is available at Eventide Specialties in Boothbay Harbor & Walnut Hill Market in N. Yarmouth. You may also come directly to the farm Fri-Sun 10-6 to enjoy products the self serve fridge and to watch the goats grazing in the field.

We giggle when folks visiting ask us if all the goats have names. Not only do they all have names, they all have distinct calls we know even from the kitchen, they each have preferences for their favorite treats, and places they most love to be scratched. In the milkroom each mama has their own approach to our time together: Matilda likes to be milked without her head closed in to the head gate. GoGo insists that she be milked one side at a time. After Rosemary is milked, she waits on the milk stand for a few minutes of love before she is ready to hop down and go about her day. 

There are lots of hot words in the sustainable food movement. Some mean very different things depending on who is using them and for what purpose, but for us, “local” dairy products are unique because each bite is intimately connected to the way the animals at our farm live. Even a town over, the goats are eating different grass, enjoying a different breeze, their milk is not from Stella and May and Sonnet. We find great joy in sharing our lovely goat herd with visitors so that when they eat our chèvre or feta or caramels, they taste even better because they are remembering a sunny summer day in the field with our herd. Hopefully you can taste the love.

GoGo and Khaleesi enjoy mother daughter time before new kids arrive. 

GoGo and Khaleesi enjoy mother daughter time before new kids arrive. 

Alex, Bob, Holden and Will make a visit to the goats before bed!

Alex, Bob, Holden and Will make a visit to the goats before bed!

GoGo enjoys a snack while Annabelle stays close by her Maaaaaa.

GoGo enjoys a snack while Annabelle stays close by her Maaaaaa.

Greta with her triplets. Two doelings and a buckling. 

Greta with her triplets. Two doelings and a buckling. 

Fern with her doe Brooklyn. A horrible delivery, but Brooklyn is a prize!

Fern with her doe Brooklyn. A horrible delivery, but Brooklyn is a prize!

Nora with her kids! A doeling and a buckling! So cute!

Nora with her kids! A doeling and a buckling! So cute!

So many sweet faces at Open Farm Hours. 

So many sweet faces at Open Farm Hours. 

The cuteness is overhwhelming at times. 

The cuteness is overhwhelming at times. 

You never know who is going to show up at the farm!

You never know who is going to show up at the farm!

Clementine's Quads! 2 does, 2 bucks! Denali, Ella, Louis, and Yukon!

Clementine's Quads! 2 does, 2 bucks! Denali, Ella, Louis, and Yukon!

Olive has two bucklings Watson and Sherlock. 

Olive has two bucklings Watson and Sherlock. 

Babies in their kid stall at night! At two weeks we begin to milk their moms each morning so they sleep separately. 

Babies in their kid stall at night! At two weeks we begin to milk their moms each morning so they sleep separately. 

The Barn Cam Daily Action!

Sat. April 4- Barn Cam went live today for Facebook friends and people buying goats so we can test it out before kids come and it looks like it is working! Among many others who hopped on for a look, the goats had virtual  visitors from Los Angeles, CA and England!  For now the goat are all in the common shared pen. Tomorrow, we will begin to transition those due to kid this week into their own pens. They feel a little lonely at first so sometimes they Baaaaa. But Putting them in at 140 days bred gives them a bit of time to settle in before their kids come and ensures that if we are at work, they will have a safe, super clean place to have their kids without any distraction from stall mates!  The earliest our goats have ever had kids is at 143 days, so that means, we could have hooves on the ground as early as Wednesday, but likely it will be another week. We are watching them carefully for suddenly big udders (Stella's got big a week ago!), loose ligaments by their tails or any noisy calling out. I predict Luna will be first, or Fern, or Stella. :) It was a huge lovely moon tonight, sometimes that kicks goats into action, but it is still to early, so we were happy for a quite night. 

Sun. April 5- Happy Easter. Today we gave BoSe shots (Maine does not have enough selenium in our soil for goats so we supplement before breeding and before kidding), copper (also not enough in Maine soil), and haircuts to the goats due in 2 weeks. All the goats due in the next 2-3 weeks are forming udders, especially Stella who has a HUGE udder. The goats are happy about their nice clean stall. We let it build up over the coldest winter months so that it can provide them some heat, but it always feels great to get it all mucked out for spring! You might notice Moo the barn cat looking out for the goats. She is such a great protector and pays extra close attention to the goat mamas just before they kid! The are enjoying this sunny, but cold day, so not much action inside the barn. I am going to hook up a way to place the Dropcam outside on sunny days so you can watch them relaxing outdoors this week. 

Mon. April 6- Looks like 735 people have taken a look at the barn cam since we opened it for friends to test...and it is working. Now we just need to get it mounted over the kidding stalls so you can watch the action as we get closer to due dates late this week. I have been listening to the live cam in the background on my laptop while at school today and the kids in my class are excited that they may hear a goat in labor at some point in the middle of discussing Journalism or Poetry! It's keeping us all on our toes and listening closely!

Tuesday April 7th- Getting ready to release the webcam to the public on Fern's due date, this Saturday! The goat mamas are looking ready! Getting very excited to hold those kids! 

Wednesday April 8th-Luna is looking like she might be first to kid. Spent a lot of today on her own resting. in previous years, we put them in their own stall at 140 days bred, this year, we are waiting for signs of labor so that we can keep kidding stalls clean and so that dams can enjoy the comfort of the herd until they need their own space. Moved the cameras around to find a good place t catch the kidding pen action. Will move the camera once we see any signs of labor.

Thursday April 9th-Snowing. Yup snowing. I will not be naming any kids snowy or winter or snowflake. It may be white outside, but in my mind it's all spring! Today the donkeys get neutered today. Poor guys. We have been waiting for their testicles to drop and had begun to think it might never happen when finally a couple weeks ago they were there on both of them! At almost 1 and half years! Yippeee. Now their play will hopefully be a little less naughty for our young visitors this spring. We plan on having them for the next 40 years, so this investment will ensure that they will remain good pets. Even still, I've been dreading it. Poor guys. It will be good to get it done so we can focus 110% on BABY GOATS!! Hold on to your hats, it could be a wild week. I predict as soon as it warms up this weekend, Luna, Nora, Stella, Fern and Greta are all going to kid at once! If I had to bet...I would say in that order. We'll see.  Also Channel 13 stopped by to check out the Barn Cam so you might just see the goat mamas on the evening news!

Friday April 11th No kids yet, but it was a very rainy, cold day so maybe they are waiting for the weather to turn nice this weekend. I approve of that decision! Donkeys are doing great after their castration.  Gave everyone a nice brushing to get them ready to meet the new kids. Lots of great press brought 4,366 people to the live feed this week and it didn't crash! So it looks like we are good to go for the real fun on its way! Babies!!

Saturday April 12th Lots of lovely families stopped by today to visit. The goat mamas enjoyed all the attention and it was nice to sit out in the sun after not seeing it for so long. Tonight we moved 4 goats into kidding stalls for the night...just in case. They are not especially happy to be away from the herd, but it will make things easier if they go into labor tonight. I imagine there should be some action tomorrow!

Sunday April 13th Must be spring for real now, first eggs and first goat kid! GoGo was one of the two goats we did not see bred, so we were going by the ultrasound date, which it turns out was a week off. We were not paying much attention to her with so many due right now, but she got our attention just in time. She had one lovely brown doeling named Annabelle this afternoon. (We are still in disbelief that there is only one, she usually has 4 and is still pretty wide, but we saw her placenta, so barring a bizarre situation, one it is!) Her yearling Khaleesi was calling to her through the whole thing and showed up just after the new kid was born to hop up and take a look! So sweet how much the families love each other. Tonight we are moving the Drop cam over to the kidding stall, so you can watch GoGo and Annabelle's first moments together. Another bunch might be born soon and it will be right next door, so the camera will be ready so you can catch the action. Thanks to the visitors for sharing in the moment today!

Monday April 14th Annabelle is already jumping for joy! Greta had triplets this afternoon! Sweet babies. They all sit in front of their mom and stare at her. The all white doeling is Delilah, the stripy doe in Cecilia, she has lighter brown on her back and the buckling is Elton. I never imagine I'll forget how cute they are, but it surprises me every year. Love them all. Watched four other goats all day expecting action...nothing yet. 

Tuesday April 15th If Greta had the easiest delivery ever, Fern had the hardest we have ever seen. Poor girl. One stillborn was blocking up the exit for the other kids, so I had to go in and get it (not too fun for Fernie.) She never was in obvious labor or pushing so it was not to so easy to get the first kid out. The second likely did not make it because the first was blocking the exit for too long and the last came out just head no legs so I had to really wrestle her out quick (again, not to fun for Fern.) I'm sure anyone listening on the dropcam got an earful of tears, swears, an exclamations of joy! A huge roller coaster. We were most upset that Fern, a first time mom would have no kids alive after all her effort, so the last one being so healthy was a huge relief. Her name is Brooklyn. She was named by Tess and Emma who were watching over Fern until I could get home from Saco. (It was a pretty fast commute today!) Life on a farm is beautiful and sad and amazing and it is so wrapped up sometimes that you are not even sure what emotion is most powerful...but what a gift to feel so deeply about the creatures (human and animal) in our life.

Wednesday April 16th Not  a lot of action. Got to let the goats who have kids out to play in the sun. No new babies but lots of visitors. A couple of people buying goats picked their kids! Maybe you saw the goats all have dinner at around 4:30. I put the dropcam in the middle of the barn to show you all the crazy feeding frenzy! All the kids and dams are doing really well so far! About a thousand people are tuning in each day to check on the goats. That is really amazing.  It is incredible to think of the company we have in so many different places in the world as we care for the goats. Cheers to you all! I expect a lot of action and new kids tomorrow!

Thursday April 16th Nora had twins at about noon and a handful of folks including a friend in India was watching the birth. It was easy and amazing. Her kids are adorable! Seems all the goats are kidding in the early afternoon this year...I think they have some nights in store for us. i predict two tonight. 

Friday April 17th How nice of the goats to keep waiting until daylight! Luna had a single doeling today. Precious Adelle. Stella seems to be working on kids right now (12:30)...can't wait to see them Her udder is impressive!! I have them cam ready to move into her stall when the hard labor begins. Until then enjoy the triplets! :) Update, Stella had three kids! All doelings! If you missed their birth you can watch it on our YouTube Channel, lots of other cute stuff there too!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkwX4zpgUOug0Ryr-fQavbg

Saturday April 18th Almost 200 people visited for our first Open Farm hours this week. So many lovely smiesl! Check out all the pictures on our Facebook page. 

Sunday April 19th Letting all the kids out to play! Check out the cuteness! The moms knwo which kids are theirs and will tell off any other kids if they try to nurse, this looks a little mean, but it all gets worked out and helps the kids know that their mom is most important! 

Monday April 20th Kids had another morning out in the sun before all the rain came. In the afternoon we had lots of sweet visitors from 12-2.  Stella's triplets and Greta's triplets re all playing together in the same stall, 6 cuties who are all half sisters (they all share same buck daddy-o and also they are cousins since Greta and Stella are sisters. The mothers are teaching the kids who they should nurse from so they can keep them all straight! Both mamas look happier to have company.

Tuesday April 21 WPOR's Nick the intern came to do chores with us on air today. Such a fun time! We also had lots of Open Farm visitors from 12-2 today. Waiting on Clementine to have her kids!

Wednesday April 22 Lots of fun visitors enjoyed the goats! No new goat babies!

Thursday April 23 All the first bunch of goats were disbudded today. This process removes any cells that would later become a horn and attach to the skull before they grow.  We disbud out goats because they make better pets when you can kiss them on the heads and let them rub against you without the worry of horns. Also, they don't run the risk of getting horns caught in the fence when we are away at work. Although I do think it is the right thing to do for them and their owners, it is my least favorite job, so we go out of our way to make it painless for the goats. The vet puts them under and gives them nerve block around their horn. Then when they wake up they are all set for a life of snuggling. 

I left the farm for the first time in days to go to lunch with family and when we came home, the first of Clementine's 4 kids was already out and fluffy! Most goats have their kids fairly close together...5-10 minutes. Clementine really stretched it out over about an hour and half, but she never seemed distressed, so we just kept an eye out. All four (two does, two bucks) are great! They are names Denali, Yukon, Ella and Louie!

Friday April 24 A wild number of visitors came to meet and hold the kids. My apologies to anyone who did not get a long enough turn or a photo, it was pretty hard to keep track of all the goats with so much lovely company!  But as always a treat to see so many people connecting to animals in such a loving way!

Saturday April 25 Another huge crowd! What fun. I had Tess and Emma to help out which made everything go much more smoothly. I wanted to thank the many people who left a donation in the jar to support the live feed, farm hours and humane practices on our no-cull farm! The faces on all our visitors are truly heartbreakingly warm. I am moved after a long day when i sit back and flip through all those smiles and faces lost in a quiet goat moment! I am listening to night to see if I hear Olive going into labor. She looks ready!

Sunday April 26 Olive had twin boys! Sherlock and Watson. So sweet! That makes a total of 17 kids, 6 of them bucklings. Elsie is due tomorrow and then we have a break until mid May when 9 more goats are due. 

(There was a quiet spell until end of the month!)

May 1st Exciting day. Milked mamas who kidded first for the first time this morning. Also Elsie had a little doeling who we named Rhubarb and are going to keep.  All the kids 2-3 week s old are sleeping together in the kid stall now. Makes for great dropcam action at night! Another speedy round of kidding begins in two weeks. 7 goats in 7 days! Until then..we rest up!

May 2-May 11- Lost track of this page a bit as we entertained lots of lovely visitors and cleaned up the farm a bit for the season. It seems like just a few days ago there was snow, but we were able to mow the lawn for the first time. have a daughter back home from college, are halfway through kidding season, and have made our first batches of chevre, fudge and caramels so summer must be on its way. Yesterday for Mother's Day, we had a huge crowd enjoying the first babies in the field and it was over 80 degrees! On the 9th, we had lots of Greely kids and their families here for Prom photos, a tradition for the past 4 years. Since Tess is graduating this spring, we will miss it next year! 

May 12-17- The cheese fridge is Open 24/7 for the season! It sold out caramels, fudge and chevre of all kids on both open Farm Days this week! We are so excited to see all sorts of new people driving up to try our products. Sweet Moonspot had a doe and a buckling on the 13th!Rosemary had one of each and Junie B. Jones had three, two does and a buck on the 17th.

May 19th- Tiger Lily had 3 boys! The first one came out breach and not really alive...but then after I swung him around a bit and Tiger licked him and I rubbed him...he woke up! Yippee. Then two more came out. One big one and two tiny ones. Tully, Rigby and Gus. :) Anybody catch the birth live?