We’ve just returned from a trip up to North River Bridge, about an hour and a halfs drive from here. On the way we stopped at a co-op style shop called Farmers Daughter. It’s advertisement is a buxom maid with her cleavage obscured by vegetables. You could be sure that the first draft of the sign had an inappropriately placed marrow but they’re quite conservative round here so it was replaced with some apples and a bunch of runner beans. Anyways, I digress. I bought some fresh yeast from their bakery – it’s terribly difficult to get hold of round here – then chatted to the manager who gave us lots of useful contacts and said they’d be happy to stock our eggs, rolls and goat cheese – the more local the better as far as they’re concerned. Trust me, in a land where they’ll ship produce in from South America to save pennies on something that can be grown here it is refreshing to hear such a statement.
So yes, that diamond in a bucket of gems was en route to Gussie and Liz’s house where we met our future goats-to-be. Five of them, two kids with two does, milking heavily but pregnant again by a very large but largely friendly buck. We’ve drawn up a shortlist of names for this guy and will be putting them on here in the form of a poll, so keep your eye out for it and you could name our goat.
I’ve spent hours on the internet or with my face buried in a book or a magazine devouring information on fencing, for goats are particularly tricky to keep in. The common consensus is if you want to prevent goats from escaping then don’t get goats in the first place. Not even a mix of stock fencing, elecric fencing and cattle panels will keep them in, although I have heard of one person that used a single strand of electric wire and reverse psychology – placing the goats on the outside of the wire then watching as they broke into the paddock and stubbornly refused to leave it.
So it came as a surprise when we pulled up and these goats were just wandering about being all goaty. ‘Oh yeah,’ he said. ‘They’re free range. They don’t seem to go far , come running when I rattle the feed bucket and are always waiting in the shed when I go to lock them up at night.’ Amazing. I bet he used reverse psychology on them.
No only did Gussie sell us his goats, which he’s happy to look after for us until we get our barn fixed but he also gave us a roll of unused electric wire, a jar of homemade apple jelly and a rooster called Halfpenny.
On the way out he pointed us towards the farm on the other side of the valley where they bought the goats originally. As we were going that way we thought we’d drop in, just to say ‘hi’ and see what kind of setup they had there. The girl Kassandra wasn’t in but her husband Kurt was. Turns out they moved up here from a little town in Ontario called London. The coincidence being that’s just the place where I grew up.
People say it’s a small world. Well, it isn’t, but certain chance connections can make it seem a whole lot cosier.