This week wasn’t the normal 9-5 in that my boss and I spent two days in the depths of South West Wales with no phone signal, a dinky Citroen hire car, hanging out on a farm with 50 goats!
One of the best things about my job is that I get to meet so many interesting people who I otherwise might never have encountered (that in addition to free books!) If you’re wondering what on earth my job has to do with goat farming, we are publishing Secrets from Chuckling Goat in 2015.
The Chuckling Goat business was set up by Shann Jones, a former journalist from San Francisco who stumbled upon the health benefits of goats milk when her son suffered bronchiolitis. Her farmer husband Rich knew of the traditional reputation of goats milk for easing asthma, allergies and bronchial infections, so they bought a goat and sure enough, the infection cleared.
Shann began making kefir: a fermented product from Eastern Europe that’s a bit like yogurt, but much stronger! They are the only business in the UK making kefir from raw goats’ milk and raw kefir grains, with no sweeteners or flavourings. Kefir contains probiotic non-transient bacteria, which permanently repopulates your gut with ‘good’ bacteria, whereas antibiotics attack everything alongside the infection you’re trying to treat. It’s also been said that kefir curbs sugar cravings, increases energy levels and eases stomach complaints. There’s a whole load of science to back this up too!
It turned out that kefir not only balances the gut/digestive system but it also works wonders on skin. Kefir contains lactic acid, a gentle exfoliant that’s good for conditions like acne. Shann started making probiotic soaps and skin creams to relieve her sons eczema, and soon enough all the mums at the school gates were after them!
Their products are 100% natural with no added chemicals or parabens and can help with all types of skin complaints. I’ve been using their Break Out lotion which helps bring down the redness in spots, and recently won a FreeFrom Skincare Award.
The Chuckling Goat farm is now home to 50 goats who all have individual names and are treated with a lot of care and love. We met them of course and took some of the milkers on a walk in the woods – they were very well behaved!
It was wonderful to spend time in the glorious Welsh countryside with Shann and her family, and we were treated to home made scones, traditional Welsh ‘cawl’ and lush kefir smoothies.
We stayed in the nearby seaside town of Aberaeron which I’d definitely recommend if you’re thinking about a Welsh summer staycation. The houses are all painted gorgeous bright colours and it has a pretty little harbour perfect for enjoying a glass of wine on a summers evening. We stayed at the Castle and had dinner at the Harbourmaster which served incredible local fish and seafood.
I definitely hope to return to the farm and see the goats again in the future, but in the meantime I’ll look forward to trying Shann’s 21 daily kefir servings and seeing how effective it is for me. Thank you Chuckling Goat for making us so welcome!