Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A proper introduction to Fiona and a visit to Edgwick Farm

Sunday we had draft driving class, but that's another post. It was fantastic and confidence building and I think we're both getting excited for the season.

We also went to go pick up Fiona, our new boer/alpine doeling! After class, we drove the 30 minutes to Edgwick Farm. I hadn't heard of Edgwick before we started looking for a new goat companion, but I sure was glad to find them! You should definitely check out their facebook page. Behind a pretty house up a steep drive (with some adorable alarm bell dogs) was a gorgeous micro-dairy with a crew of well tended goats. We were greeted by Talitha and led up to meet the herd. Talitha, her husband and an intern (maybe more than one?) run a micro dairy with a raw-milk license and are making cheese! If you're ever in their neck of the woods, be sure to schedule a tour- it's really a perfect example of what you can do on a small scale really, really well. They received a USDA grant to help with the cost of setting up their milking parlor/production facility, and it's envious even to someone who doesn't want to do dairy full time. Moreover, they care for their the animals the way that we love to see (and strive for ourselves)- with respect, attention and common sense.

We were led into a smaller pen where a gaggle of kids raced between our legs, and the farm's mascot/helper/soon to be cart-goat Eli stood atop a tower of hay with a mischievous grin and lop sided ears. Talitha looked around and then reached underneath a small bench to pull out a nearly completely white goat kid with floppy ears and a light pink nose. Immediately she was placed in my arms and totally content, she settled in with the sweetness reserved for week old goat kids. We chatted for a bit, and then headed home with the new doeling in my lap. Surprisingly, she was relaxed and well behaved for the entire near 2 hours. On our ride we set to finding her a name. The mother of the doeling's name was Rachel, and with St. Patrick's day around the corner (and Noelle having a holiday themed name) we finally came to Fiona. Once we pulled into our very muddy farm, we trudged down to the barn for introductions.

Noelle, though very people focused, is delighted with her new companion. Fiona has a different energy then Noelle, Noelle is all fire and curiosity. Fiona is curious, playful but gentle, just a sweet girl. I had to wrestle with her a bit yesterday to take a bottle, but after a little fussing throughout the day yesterday she downed an entire bottle this morning no problem. She and Noelle can be found laying side by side, chewing hay under a heat lamp. They bounce and play, like goat kids do, and are getting along famously. Noelle seems much calmer now out of her solitude, and we are so grateful to have found a good match and visited such a nice farm! It's always good for us to see the success of others, and tour other operations. Farming can be insular so opportunities before the seed flies in spring are very welcome. I've yet to take a decent picture of her, between the grey skies and the constant wiggling- it's a two person job and Kim gets home after dark. I'll try again when the rain lets up!

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