Friday, April 1, 2016

A to Z Challenge

Starting today I will be participating in the annual A to Z blog challenge. This means that I am committing to post every day, (except Sunday,) and the blogs will run thematically from A to Z. I did this last year and enjoyed the process very much.  This year I am going to focus my writing on a subject near and dear to my heart.

The title of my topic is: Luna's Gift, 26 Things I Learned from a Goat

As it turned out, my odyssey with goats began in 2012.  And it all began with pigs.  Which makes hardly any sense at all.

Our family had moved from urban Memphis, Tennessee to very rural Maine in 2003.  We bought a 100 year old farm house on two acres of land.  I was 43 years old.  I met neighbors who had livestock; chickens, sheep, horses, cattle.  I thought, wistfully, "Oh, maybe in my next life I could have a little farm with animals."  A year or two went by. I desperately wanted to have a few chickens, but thought that I was too old to learn how to care for livestock.  Then, when I was 48 I had an epiphany.  I realized that I had wanted to have chickens since I was 8 years old, and I had waited quite long enough.  Soon 4 Silver Laced Wyandotte hens graced our pasture with their beauty, and our table with the most amazing eggs.

Not too long after that my friend suggested that if I had a couple of spring lambs they would keep our lawn mowed all summer, and then we could put them in the freezer in the fall.  That plan went better than expected, so we repeated it the following year.  That home raised meat was the best we had ever had.

My husband liked the lamb. But really, he longed for pastured pork.  He suggested we raise a couple of pigs instead of lambs.  I agreed.

Then one night, shortly before our first  piglets were due to arrive, my husband said, "We need a cow." His rationale was that we could enjoy the milk from a cow, and feed the excess to the pigs we planned to raise. We absolutely did NOT need a cow.  I explained that we didn't have housing for a cow, or enough pasture for a cow, or in any way need the amount of milk a cow would produce.  He thought a few moments and said, "How about a dairy goat?" The absolute beauty of this plan was immediately clear to me.  I gave him a hard look.  He was enjoying an adult beverage.  "Are you serious about this?" I asked.  "Sure I am," he replied, lifting his glass in my direction.  Due to the joys of the internet, I found a doe goat with a 3 day old kid for sale mere miles from our house.

We bought them and brought them home.  I assumed they would be rather dumb like the lambs we had raised.  Lacking personality.  I couldn't have been more wrong. This too-thin doe stepped into our pasture and changed my life.  For the better.  She taught me lessons I had no idea I needed to learn, and each one was a gift. Sometimes life teaches us things in unexpected ways. In my case a goat was my instructor. 


Random Musings said...

She sounds very sweet. I loved the story of how you came to have a goat :)

cleemckenzie said...

It sounds as if you are on your way to a major farm animal community! My neighbor has three goats that I "borrow"every once in a while. Sweet and so helpful when it comes to helping me keep the weeds under control on the property.

I'll look forward to reading about the lessons your goat has taught you.

Mary Oquendo said...

I always love reading about your life on the farm. I truly envy you.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Oh, she's adorable! Can't wait to find out more about her.

And that is one gorgeous chicken. Seriously.

Zeljka Dekic said...

As someone who grew up in a small village with backyard packed with domestic animals I find it so relaxing to be able to live on a farm... Best regards! The Truck Traveller

dale cooper said...

Goats are cool, they have way more personality than almost any other farm animal. Plus, you'll never need a waste disposal again!

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Very nice blog, Daryl! I like reading about your menagerie. I've been thinking of getting a couple backyard chickens. That's about all I'd have room for.