|See -- friendly goat smile!|
Apparently, folks, I am not cured.
The goats were cute. The goats were friendly. The goats were freaking photogenic. The goats give milk, which makes soap and goat cheese. Think about having a source of goat cheese in your back yard.
At the farm, we started out the morning by making goats milk soap. We did this first so it would (hopefully) have time to cure so we could take some home. That didn't cooperate, but it doesn't matter; I know what we did and soap-making doesn't seem so mysterious now, either.
|A handsome buck at Common Sense Farm|
We broke for lunch after that, and when we returned to the farm we piled into cars and drove down the road to Common Sense Farm. They have a fairly large goat dairy (20+ animals), and they make a lot of soap as well.
We didn't get to check out their soap operations, but we did get an exhaustive (but fun) lecture on goats from Yesheva which covered everything from cleaning and trimming hooves to milking to giving injections to how to deliver a kid, with stories interspersed and her six year old daughter diving in and out like a barn swallow, helping and chatting and picking up every cute baby animal within reach.
After the conclusion of Goat 101, we went upstairs in the barn to visit the hatchery, where they raise chickens, turkeys, ducks, pheasants and probably more. There was an enormous white peacock roosting in the barn rafters, tail drifting down like some bizarre feathered chandelier. Everything was spotless and smelled more like straw and wood shavings than birds, and it made me want to come home and clean the chicken coop.
|Cold Antler Farm - barns and birds|
It was such a nice day I considered volunteering to weed a row of carrots as a thank you for their hospitality, but I didn't want to hold up the group. And I think Mario would have thought I'd lost my mind.
|Common Sense Farm - sheep|
He came through it like a champ, though -- I shouldn't have worried; he's interested in absolutely everything, even if it's not something he wants to do. And he's an information junkie, so Yesheva's talk about goats really impressed him, he's fascinated by anyone who has amassed a store of knowledge on any topic.
And he milked a goat. And held a baby duck, courtesy of that same six-year-old girl.
|Chickens at Common Sense Farm|
There's another event in October called Antlerstock. I went back in 2012 and it was a blast -- two days of homesteading fun with a little something on every topic imaginable. Working on going back this year.
If any of you don't read Jenna's blog, check out the link above. She's a wonderwoman on a small scale, willing to tackle anything and always pushing to make her dreams a reality. As we all should.
|Jenna Woginrich with her dogs, Annie|
and Gibson, and lamb, Brianna