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On Goat Farming

June 12, 2024

Goats on solar parade

For years I’ve been talking about building a goat farm in rural Vermont.

Have I made any progress? No. I did, however, buy and read books on animal husbandry and Bovidae care. (An active goat is a happy goat!)

Have I talked about it to anyone who would listen? Naturally. Goat farms are cosmopolitan cool and I’m asked about it often.

I’ve got this agritourism thing all figured out in a farm-to-shoulder, fully-vertical cashmere sweater mill. Located midway on a road between New York, NY and Burlington, VT, battery-electric vehicles can get their level-3 quick-charge on while their humans shop for knitwear made from a goat herd living around a massive solar array that powers the farm and parking lot.

Each sweater comes with the names of the individual goats that contributed to both the premium garment and premium price tag. (It takes about 2-5 goat coats to make a sweater!) Strike that. Instead, you receive trading cards for each goat involved—complete with professional headshot, name, coat quality, hair length, birth date, sire, nanny, and other inconsequential data.

Free charging with purchase.

You can meet these goats, assuming they’re still alive. The all-female herd is gentle. (Billies—male goats—are odorous and aggressive, so they are best kept separate!) Our goats are hand-raised from birth so they are safe to pet.

Your kids will love it.

Cashmere goats also produce milk—not as much as a dairy goats do, but this isn’t the point of the farm, is it? (Goats are generally bred for one product!) We produce limited runs of cheeses with names like, “Spreadable Cas-shmear” and “Oh my goatness!”.

My wife and I have come up with other product names, but we’ve since forgotten. We’ve been ruminating on this for a while.

If artisanal sweaters aren’t your thing, we also sell graphic t-shirts featuring goats under, next to, and on top of our solar array. (Goats love love love to climb on things!) All non-goat apparel is sourced with ethical cotton and manufactured in the Philippines and compete on hip-factor with Black Dog Café and Ithaca is Gorges. If you know, you know.

We haven’t decided yet whether to build the on-site butcher. (Goat meat is naturally lean and very nutritious!) Active murder shacks tend to shatter the illusion of tranquility that we’re going for here.

I want to build a goat farm. I’m not sure I’m ever going to get around to it.

Some science says you feel a sense of completion when you announce your intention, which can paradoxically reduce chances that you actually do it. Turns out “just talk” still hits the dopamine button just fine, and with good ROI.

For now, at least, I’ll put these ideas to paper. Hold me accountable.

That’s some accomplishment, isn’t it?

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