The past week has been about breaking ground in a variety of ways – in the soil, in the creamery, and in the clinic. Laurie Marker (CCF’s Director) and I made the 3 1/2 hour drive to Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek, and visited a fantastic nursery. We picked up a loads of plants, mostly edible perennials including figs, pomegranates, pineapple guavas, a cumquat, rhubarb, and lavender. Then we gathered some cuttings of Frangipani, also known as Plumeria to those of us who know and love Hawaii, and headed for home.
I started some vegetable seeds in pots, as well. All these seeds and plants have come together on our porch to make the beginnings of what we now call ‘The Front Porch Nursery.’ Lucky for me, I’ve had lots of help, mostly from the neighborhood kids, who might just become my loyal nursery and garden crew. As you know, we’ve been waiting for a broken tractor to be fixed for what seems like an eternity. So, while waiting we are moving forward with our edible/ornamental landscaping plans in the front yard of our house. Yesterday we planted 6 new frangipani trees – hooray for breaking ground!
CCF has a model farm with dairy goats and makes fantastic cheeses – feta and chèvre. Three years in the making, we just had a grand opening for the brand new Dancing Goat Creamery here on site. I am honored to be here for this event and loved seeing the enthusiasm of all the folks involved. The new creamery is beautiful, and cheese-making in this new facility began this week. As of now, CCF uses these goat cheeses in the Cheetah Cafe here and sells to restaurants and supermarkets around Namibia. We are working on growing more sales outlets.
Last week Chris and I had the incredible privilege of participating for our first time in cheetah annual exams in the clinic. We were present for the exams of two male cheetahs – Fossie and Mendel. We monitored body temperature, checked heart rates, took blood samples, pulled off ticks and burrs, looked at teeth, helped with semen collection, looked at sperm counts, and took lots of photos. As we got to touch the cheetahs’ bodies, we learned that the fur of their black spots is much softer than the yellow fur covering the rest of the body:)