London, Out and About

Goat-Phobia and the Harvest Festival

Our kids are pretty brave with animals and we’ve visited our local City Farm loads of times where the kids have petted the animals to their little hearts content.

That all changed a few months ago when the boys took hubby’s Mum to the farm to show her around.  Hubby and I are cheap skates and have never paid a pound for the small bag of animal feed for the kids (if they want it they can spend their hard-earned pocket-money (allowance)).  They’ve never before spent their money on feed but this time they decided to splurge and Master 7 and Master 5 both proudly wandered down to the animal enclosure with their small paper bag in hand.

They went through the first gate to the animal enclosure…no dramas…

They wriggled through the second gate…

Unbeknownst to the boys a rather large group of goats (most of which much taller than Master 5) had spotted the food…

Our kiddos stood smiling and unaware of the very excited scramble of goats climbing over one another in a bee-line to their baggies…

The goats closed in on them quickly and as they reached the kids all at once they tried to get the bags of food.  That’s a lot of goat!

Master 5 went into climbing mode whilst screeching in terror.  He “climbed” my mother-in-law like a ladder, scrambling up her body, howling in terror and secured a death grip around her neck to wait out the stampede.

Master 7 also let out a horrendous screech of terror, gripped his Dad and threw the food as far away as his arms were able before utilising Daddy as a human shield…

It was an experience!  One that left Master 7 with a slight goat-phobia and Master 5 just a little more cautious of  four-legged  creatures.

Fast forward to last Saturday afternoon.  We wandered over to the Harvest Festival at the farm.  We went to the Harvest Festival last year too and I made poor hubby carry a monster pumpkin home.  We also chowed down on the pumpkin soup they were selling.

This year there were no pumpkins or pumpkin soup for sale.  I could have cried (noooo!). Fortunately what they lacked in pumpkiny goodness they almost made up for in jams and chutney’s made with their fresh farm produce.  We scored some fresh tomatoes and apples (yum!) and after much taste testing brought home a jar of their honey (extra yum as their bees are kept next to the apple orchard) and some chutney.  I bravely resisted the cakes and made up for it with all that chutney and jam taste testing.

The kiddo’s ate cake and patted ferrets…

Master 10 eyeballed a goat…

…there were pretty, pretty moo cows

…little piggies!

…weird ball thingies?

We tasted some freshly pressed apple juice (yum!).

apple pressing in London

…sniffed the herb garden…

…here’s the view opposite the herb garden and apple pressing (the sludgey stuff under the Thames when the tides out…not so tasty).


…and then it was time to brave the goats.  Fortunately the ratio of goats to sheep was heavier on the sheep this particular day and Master 7 after having a grumble about how buying feed is “such a rip off!” willingly entered the animal enclosure.

This kid is not a fan of goats!  There were some whimpers when a goat wandered close but petting the baby goats built up his courage a bit.  Master 5 was a little cautious (very unlike him) but it didn’t last long.

…oh and check out the Camo Goat

To finish off our visit we had hamburgers and sausages (last years little piggies, eek) BBQ’ed and had a glass of wine

…oh and hey, we won 2 prizes in the raffle.  A bottle of champagne and a basket of jams, honey and chutney.  My current fav is the Lemon Verbena Jelly (fresh from the farm’s herb garden) and the Pumpkin and Quince Chutney…though not at the same time…yummo!

I love that in England children have such easy access to farm life even in a city as built up as London.  It’s hands-on and the volunteers talked openly about where the  sausages we were eating came from.  The animals on the farm are cherished and well cared for but are also useful and I love that our kids in the middle of a big city get to experience that.  We can buy: eggs laid by the geese and chickens on the farm, honey from the bees, vegetables freshly dug up, apples from the orchard and pork from the pigs.

Yeah, its always all about the food with me!

2 thoughts on “Goat-Phobia and the Harvest Festival”

  1. Nice basket of goodies!! You’ll be eating all that til Christmas!!
    It’s ashame that kids these days don’t have a clue as to where their food comes from. Gordon Ramsay did a whole season on raising lamb, turkeys and pigs and straight through to the slaughter house. This was his way of teaching the kids.

    I turned the channel when those last episodes were on. I know where my food comes from, I don’t need to see it.

    Nice day out with the family! I’m sure they’ll over come their fear of goats in due time. But that had to be hilarious when they charged the kids! You can’t help but laugh at their expense. They’ll look back and laugh at it as well.


  2. I haven’t seen that Gordon Ramsay series but it sounds like an important lesson for kids! I think so many kids (and adults for that matter) are so disconnected from their food. I remember getting dirty looks when we were in public and told one of our kids they were eating a moo cow. I don’t remember which kid it was but I guess they were pretty little (2 or 3). I don’t get why we hide these facts of life from our children? If you have a problem with it then go the vegetarian route, otherwise…your kids are eating animals…and sometimes those animals are cute but as long as they understand that these animals die humanely and for a purpose I think they can hack it.

    It was pretty hilarious! I wasn’t actually there I’m recounting my mother-in-laws story (she giggled throughout her description) but wow has it stuck with Master 7. Most things they just get over pretty quick but this one he brings up every now and then. I think the worst part for him (other than thinking he was about to get trampled) was that he felt completely ripped off having parted with precious money only to be punished for it. Poor kid! lol


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