CHILD LABOR CAMP
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Julie as the Queen and Chloe on the left in Pescadero's Chamarita parade, last weekend

I am not one of those efficiently scheduled mothers, with whole baseball teams of children packed into their clean cars. I know many lovely people with large families, but our five foot eleven, fourteen-year-old Ben seems quite enough on his own. Partly, that's because we live in a village, and Ben and his friends have grown up in and around each other's houses. Ben has a real presence on the farm - he feeds both the babies and older goats, and can answer your questions with authority. He has company, though, every weekend. We've known Jessica, our office manager Sharina's daughter, since she was tiny, and she's often at the farm. There's Chloe, too, who perfected her Spanish working on the till at the gas station and tacqueria in town, and is all charm in our shop. Julie, sixteen like Chloe and a fantastic singer, works in the office. Occasionally, there's the very reserved Felix, just to throw an extra English accent into the mix. Roisin, ten, makes our folk art wool designs. And our series of goat cards were photographed and designed by sisters Claudia and Ellen. Claudia's twelve, but she's got all the poise and style she'll ever need. You may meet Fiona and Carina, too, if you're visiting Tony's pen at the weekends. The girls are local nine-year-olds who like to manage our petting time with the babies. I know, it sounds like a child labor camp! - but they're talented and reliable, and I don't even have to feed them.

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