Marble Creek Acres

Craft wine & tasting room, farm store, and quality Kiko goats!!!

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The Rock Garden by Karen

A slow progression ... like an iceberg

Born and raised in California, my husband Paul and I retired, in 2015, to Northern Maine. We live with our oldest son Josh, his wife Kathy and two of our grandchildren Amelia and Kevin as well as Kathy’s dad Pete who joins us from Florida each May through August. When we moved to Maine, we knew it would be different from anything we’d ever experienced. We did not expect that our son would decide to become a goat rancher. Yet here we are living on a goat ranch, Marble Creek Acres.

As my son was enticing us to choose Maine as a place to come and retire, he used my love of gardening to help persuade me his place was the right place. He said he had the perfect spot for my garden. Immediately my imagination began to plan how I would make this the garden of all gardens. Little did I know that my perfect spot was a heap of boulders, weeds, brush, bushes, and small trees. By small I mean less than a foot tall.

Also included was a tall Maple tree that I fell in love with as well as a couple of Pine trees and one lonely Birch tree. The Maple tree bit the dust the very first Fall. It had a big split in it from the Winter before. The men took a chainsaw, and my beautiful Maple became firewood. I still had no clue how to proceed with the mess of what was to become my garden. My son came to the rescue and showed me how we could push boulders into a circle to make a planter. We dug out the junk in the middle of the first circle of boulders, draped landscape paper and filled it with topsoil. I planted the first plant. A lovely bush that gets little pink flowers in the Spring. I cleaned up around the new planter and had the start of my garden. The garden developed a little at a time. The biggest rocks were moved by my grandson, husband, and son. Anything I could move or roll I did myself. The biggest rocks were moved by the tractor. One big rock was flat on the bottom and my grandson was able to flip it with the tractor so that it became a place to sit and reflect.

It was during the second year of work on the garden that our son decided he was going to raise Kiko goats. He had been thinking about it for quite a while. I was all for it. I love animals and always wanted to live on a farm. He started with a small barn and fenced in an area for the goats. He brought home the first goats, Zulu, and History bucks from Vermont. Then came Asia and Kona, does from New Hampshire. Unfortunately, I lost one of my Pine trees as it was in the designated goat paddock. Oh well, that didn’t seem so bad until the goats started reaching over their fence and eating my second Pine tree. Ugh! My Maple tree and two Pine trees were now gone! I had saved two of the foot high Pine trees during the garden cleanup and they were far enough away from the goats that they couldn’t reach them. My Birch was safe and my two little Pine trees. Someday I’ll have some shade.

It has taken more work than I imagined having a garden here in Maine. The garden continues to develop and I’m loving every minute of the work. I have a love hate relationship with the goats. The goats escape their pen and when they do, they head straight for my garden. Apparently, my plants and flowers are quite delectable to Kiko goats. I can see the future and the future is showing a picket fence around my garden.

Zulu is the proud papa of Mojo and Cuba born last spring. He’s also the proud papa of our newest kids, Honu (male) and Nani (female) born yesterday March 14, 2018. Two more of our does are pregnant and due any day. We have chickens as well as our goats. The chickens provide an abundance of eggs. Yummy!

My husband Paul likes a different kind of garden, the food kind. He grows tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, green beans, zucchini, pumpkins, corn, and many other things. Last year he even tried growing watermelon and cantaloupe. Last summer the family built a vegetable stand to sell our produce from his garden. He has his garden, I have mine. His feeds our stomachs and mine feeds our souls.

Retirement continues to evolve for me. I love living in rural Maine on a goat ranch and I’m sure there will be many more changes. I’ve even tried my hand at building and painting bird houses. Whatever happens it will always be fun here in Maine.