I won a goat in an essay contest
I grew up on a hobby farm. My family owned 20 acres of land with horses. We had a huge garden, which taught me the appreciation for fresh vegetables and canning. When I was young, probably around 10, I joined our local 4-H club, it was a fun way to meet friends and do some fun activities. About a year into my membership, the leader told the group about an essay contest, the top winner would earn a goat. The topic of the essay was, “why I wanted a goat.”
Looking back, I am sure that the 4-H Office was trying to build future goat farmers and there was a local farmer who just wanted to unload some goats. Either way, I came home with a goat.
I soooo wish I had the essay that I wrote, I’m sure it went something like, “I like goats, I’d like to have one on my farm, oh and don’t tell my parents…”
Missy was a Saanen goat- the white kind. She was a kid and was so friendly. From there my love for goats was born. I soon added many more goats to our farm, a Nubian named Susie, a Toggenberg named Nanny (original name), an Alpine named Black Beauty (she was black).
I soon was breeding them, showing them and milking them. I learned some valuable lessons as a goat owner:
1. You can’t “forget” to milk a goat, every 12 hours you are committed to them.
2. You can’t “forget” to milk a goat, every 12 hours you are committed to them.
3. Goat milk really isn’t that good.
4. As a parent of a goat owner, you make your child drink the milk or get rid of the goats…
5. Try to figure out how to make the goat milk taste good.
6. Drink the damn milk.
To this day I have stayed away from goat cheese because of this experience. My love for goats has never gone away. Because of that, 10 years ago we brought home our first of 5 fainting goats, Millie (left), soon to add 2 pygmies and a Nubian named Susie (right). We added the fainters because they are easy to raise, they are afraid to faint, so they don’t jump on anything, they sure are fun to watch and make quite the drinking game. The Pygmys because the needed a home and the Susie for sentimental value.
People always ask about goats and utilizing them to eat down noxious weeds like poison ivy or buckthorn. My experience with this has been-unless they are fenced into a specific area, they will only eat the things you don’t want them to eat like baby pine trees, an entire basil patch, and my grapevines.
This past fall as I began working on eating local, I thought about playing around with making my own goat cheese. I purchased some goat milk from @McCann goat farm and did some research and bought some cheese making supplies. The result was pure creamy delishesness (bottom right). I definitely plan on making more Goat Cheese. It works well on my daily salads or spread thickly on some fresh bread. Goat cheese is high in calcium and protein. As far as raising our own dairy goats, we will continue to support our local farmers and let the McCann farm provide us with our milk.
Stay safe out there and remember to “Live Life Like Someone Left the Gate Open”