Tag Archives: goats

Support your local farmer.

 

Especially if he’s your neighbor.

Across the road from our house is a ( 65 acre?) family owned and operated certified organic vegetable farm.

 

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We love our neighbors. They’re alternative lifestyle vegans, and tend to do things a little differently….. which has made for wonderful blog fodder over the years.

How differently do they do things you ask.

Here’s a picture of my husband taken a few years ago. He was starting to put a roof on the chicken coop that had been turned into a farmhand’s cabin.

Yes…. that’s a hot water heater up in the tree behind him.

 

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Isn’t that where you put yours?

Fast forward 6 years and the farm has grown by leaps and bounds. Expanded cultivation, multiple greenhouses, migrant workers, a new wife, 2 more children….

And goats.

 

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Our neighbor has earned a stellar reputation among the expensive Old Port restaurants and did most of his business with them…. until the Corona virus shut everything down.

It was literally do or die for the farm, and in desperation the family opened a farm stand on their property.  It’s doing well, but can never make up for the market they lost.

So they’ve also brought back their CSA  (community supported agriculture). Not sure if you have this where you live, but it’s become very popular in Maine.

The following is a heartfelt plea they sent to our town and an explanation of how it works if you’re interested.

We lost 90% of our market when the restaurants closed, and while we have made due, we don’t have much we can count on right now. We launched a short term CSA about 8 weeks ago, and it’s gone really well, and folks have been really happy.
Now we’re launching our full season share.
PLEASE consider joining our CSA this year, AND/OR send this along to anyone every one you know! Thanks!!
2020 Summer Farm Share.
We are a small family vegetable operation, entering our 12th season, here in **********  Maine. Over the years we have grown in acreage, in scale, but also in reputation and recognition. We worked hard to forge relationships with all the best restaurants in Portland, and have prided ourselves in being the foremost purveyor for most of them. It has been a great niche, and has served us well….. Until the corona virus.
So, like many folks (most especially all our dear restaurant buddies) we are adapting to the times, changing our approach, attempting an agile and nimble, careful but bold re-boot, in order to keep ourselves afloat during these rough times. So far , we haven’t missed a beat.
We are a four season farm, and so while mid March is typically a pretty bleak time of year, we were able to pivot to a C.S.A. model, nearly overnight. Thanks to our good friends at some of these restaurants, our reach extended to many of their faithful followers, and in 3 days we had nearly 150 members for our first iteration of the C.S.A. model: a 4 week pre-pay, safely handled and safely distant exchange of vegetables.
We have been so unbelievably pleased with all the wonderful folks who joined us for these first 2 rounds of the farm share model. If it weren’t for them, our income would have been ¼ what it has been.
And so here we are now, launching our in earnest, 20 week “summer share” starting Wednesday day June 10th. Our goal is simple, we wish to continue to grow food here in Maine, in an honest and ecological way, and to safely purvey that food to the good folks of our broader community (you!). We are well experienced in pushing all the boundaries of seasonality, as well as the “unknown” of some of the more esoteric selections much preferred by your favorite chefs in Portland. We can promise to you, as wide a selection as our climate and imagination can provide, over the duration of the 20 week period you would be signing yourself up for.
The idea of CSA (community supported agriculture) is multifaceted, but the theme, is mutual benefit. We enter a 20 week partnership , which when done well, means we both make out, by trading off choice. We owe you all the best we’ve got, and the most variety we can. You owe us, pre-payment, and 20 weeks of dealing with whatever you get. But your benefit, is the certainty of a bounty of familiar food, from a local farm you trust, and at a significant discount compared to what you would pay at the farmers’ market or the co-op. Our benefit, is knowing for certain, that what we are growing is already sold, and thus instilling a confidence to grow that full array of crops, with no fear that a market glut or a new farm showing up on the scene, would squeeze us out of a market…. Let alone that our restaurants may very well require much less of us this year.
Segue to that elephant in the corner… the one wearing the mask and rubber gloves… the one that has kinda taken over all our lives….
Our farm has practiced every possible degree of safety protocol we could think of, and as general public health standards have finally begun to be settled upon, we have been ahead of the curve the entire time. Food from us comes with the same pledge we have given since the first corona virus case was confirmed in Maine:
Our family has isolated since that same day (March 12th) and when any of us have left the farm, we wear gloves, a mask, and we sanitize our hands. We have visited and socialized with no one (Frowny emoticon).
4 of our employees live here in employee housing, and follow the same protocol.
Our 5 th employee has been with us since last year, and is also isolated at home with his partner, and takes all protocol as seriously as we do.
On the farm, everyone washes their hands throughout the day, and wears gloves and mask during any food handling.
We pack everything into a closed container in our sanitized pack area, and that’s it, until you take it out.
Nothing that arrives on the farm, is allowed into use for 3 days.
No one that comes to the farm may touch anything, and no one is allowed in our wash station, in our greenhouses, or in our walk in coolers.
When you join our CSA you know that the vegetable portion of your weekly diet, is covered, and that there’s no phone call or on line platform to log into, no line to wait in, and no wondering how many folks have touched it.
Please do join us for the next 20 weeks. We have over half an acre of greenhouses, so besides being early on all the spring favorites, we also do LOTS of tomatoes peppers eggplants and ginger in these tunnels, and you will get first dibs on all these items. We grow on about 10 acres outdoors, and grow the whole array of vegetables that grow in Maine. Cucumbers, peppers, squash, lettuce, tomatoes, garlic, peas beans…We generally have carrots and beets year round, if not parsnips and turnips as well. Onions and garlic come along mid summer, and ginger will be the big treat right at the end…
We were fortunate enough to receive the PPP loan (the SBA payroll loan) which emboldened us to actually carry on in the scale that we’d hoped to , before corona. With you guys on board, we can carry on growing awesome Maine produce, not just organically (certified by MOFGA) but also regeneratively. We’re very proud of our growing practices, and hope that sometime when things normalize, you all will be able to come and witness it all.
We all need farmers to be able to grow all the food they possibly can. Too many farms are busy scaling back, and it’s a frightening prospect to imagine “harvest time” when all the farms, have done less than the year before….
$600 gets you 20 weeks of a $37.50 value, “family share”. This share will have between 10 and 12 items a week, and will feed 2 hard core veg eaters, or a family of 4 or 5 for a week. Also, consider splitting this share , with a friend neighbor or family member.
$400 gets you 20 weeks of a $23 value, “half share”. The discount is less because of administration pack delivery and logistics being the same as a full share. But for those less inclined to splurge on the “whole 9”, this is still a great option to get your feet wet with CSA, or for maybe just one person, or a couple who don’t want to feel in over their head with veg. This box will have between 5 and 6 items a week.
For those of you who have been with us since March, the share you have been getting would have been about half way between these two options, so use that as your guide, when choosing an amount to subscribe to.
This is a take what ya get CSA model.
Pick up will be Wednesdays at the farm from 3:00 to 6:00.
The 20 week period is firm. At the end of it, will we launch a fall through New Year’s share.
We can not put a “hold” on a share, or refund any week’s share. If you can not pick up your share, or don’t want it, please arrange for some one else to come and get it… consider it a gift to them (there must be someone!).
We can not guarantee any one particular crop or another. Things fail. However typically when one crop performs poorly, another does spectacularly, and such is life… So get with the seasons, and know we’re doing our best.
We ask for full payment by June 10th.
If you haven’t noticed, we are sort of technologically naive… and branding wise… we don’t exist. Hence the nature of this CSA style. We are a family, that farms, and with every bit of our passion and sincerity we can muster, we just want to grow you food.
Please share this with any and all folks you think may be interested in a CSA. We don’t have very much ability to reach out or advertise ourselves.
I hope to one day know everyone of you , and learn your first and last names. For now, this email and all our social distancing, is the trade off for safety. Thanks for believing in that ideal.
Go Maine!!!
Wanting to help…. we signed up for a full share this summer and are going to split it with another neighbor.
The first week’s haul was a beautiful assortment that screamed  “Salads for dinner!”
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Spinach, mixed greens, scallions, pea sprouts, and a giant head of butterhead lettuce.
There were also a few funky carrots.

 

Which were almost too beautiful to eat.

The chard and kohlrabi… neither of which we like, went home with the neighbor.
And finally, the horrible and ever present kale was given to the woodchucks.

Who wouldn’t eat it either.
Dumb rodent?
Apparently not.

 

I love my town…. Part 7.

 

It’s time to take a look at my local Facebook page again.

And when I did, I realized how critter-centric it’s been lately.

 

 

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Goats were on the loose again.

 

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And apparently craving pumpkin pie.

 

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This was a bit disturbing.

It’s not often someone is actively seeking deer guts, even around here.

 

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Makes you wonder what this poor guy did.

“…for whatever purpose you would like.” probably doesn’t bode well for that bird.

 

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And speaking of Sunday dinner –

 

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As much as I’d like to come home to a nice meal, the thought of letting a stranger into my kitchen to cook seems a bit odd.

They might find that fuzzy, 11 month old spear of asparagus that got pushed to the back of the fridge… and that’s bound to be embarrassing.

And lastly, there was some news on the crime beat.

 

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Duck theft.

Because sometimes people can’t help themselves.

 

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Cape Cod Day 3… Plimoth Plantation. Goats, beer, a cranky llama and the Mooflower

 

Continuing through the English settlement we saw garden plots…

 

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And goats.

 

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Who liked a good chin scratch.

 

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I mean really liked a good chin scratch. This guy followed me the entire length of the fence.

 

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We met a young man chopping firewood…

 

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Who when asked what was in his flask, replied “Beer, of course. The water will make you sick.”

 

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We discovered beer was quite popular in those days.

 

 

 

And if I had to cook all my meals in that contraption behind the women?

 

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I’d drink beer everyday as well.

 

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Colonists popped out at you everywhere…

 

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Some friendly…

 

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Some not.

 

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This woman was the Governor’s wife and therefor had a slightly better home. With wood floors and a proper chimney.

 

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Although the quality of workmanship seemed about the same.

Finished with the colony, we moved on to the museum with it’s eel pot…

 

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It’s sea suit.

 

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And because I knew you’d ask…

 

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And it’s Mayflower provision list.

 

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250 lbs of bacon and 280 lbs of butter… That will hold me for 8 weeks, but what will the rest of you eat?

 

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Though I do have to say, that list seems a little suspect. Considering margarine was invented in 1868 and Rice Krispies in 1927…I highly doubt they were aboard the original ship in 1620.

WTH?

But the museum did have the Mooflower….

 

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And an anatomically correct, trouser wearing, sea going cow vessel?

 

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Makes up for a lot of historical inaccuracies.

 

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Last up was the petting barn where we found…

 

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Yes.

One rabbit…

Apparently the pilgrims ate everyone else before we got there.

 

 

But then we saw…

 

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So we met Hyacinth.

 

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And may I just say?

 

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She was a bitch.

I tried to pet her and almost lost a finger. She tried to head butt a few children and looked ready to go 12 rounds with a service dog that walked by.

 

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If you’re approaching that age when you yell at the kids to get off your lawn? Don’t get a shotgun…

Get a Hyacinth.

I love my town… chapter 4.

 

My town’s FB page keeps me up to date on all the important local happenings…

 

 

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And some of the not so important ones as well.

 

 

There were a lot of takers for this next one…

 

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I’m just hoping this wasn’t their mode of transportation.

 

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Another lost pig made the news…

 

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And he seemed pretty happy to stay that way.

 

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Then there was a woman wondering if anyone was interested in a group she was getting together.

 

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Singing bowls?

Clearly she attended one of those crazy adult education classes I’m always riffing about.

 

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And finally there was this one, posted on the day Maine made cell phone usage while driving illegal.

Technically it’s not about my town, but funny all the same.

 

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Goat horn foreheads should never be overlooked.

 

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Thank you Google Images for providing my nightmare material for the foreseeable future.

**Shudders**

 

 

I love my town… Part 3.

 

 

 

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For once, our small town’s Facebook page rose above the petty gossip and backstabbing and actually came in handy. Last night, along with the usual lost pig notices… there was a report of a dump truck flipping over, taking out a power line and closing the main road. This was helpful since my husband’s car had overheated and left him stranded on I-295. Knowing about the closure in advance saved me taking the out of the way detour.

Of course the page also had some other gems.

 

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Rent a goat! There’s a start up sure to make a fortune.

Heck, they love to eat…

 

 

Are easy to transport….

 

 

And give great back massages.

 

 

How could you lose?

Then there was this:

 

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Someone wants to cook pie for me?

That can’t be bad.

 

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And finally, there was this heartfelt thank you note…

 

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Moral of that story?

If you live in the country, always carry carrots and apples.

 

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Okay, well….

There’s no correct amount of produce for that.

 

Fun at the fair…. and balls.

 

We hadn’t been to the Topsham Fair in years, and after going the other day I remembered why.

Maine has some fabulous county fairs….. but this isn’t one of them.

With a $12 charge per person to get in? There should have been more… everything.

 

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We started with the livestock, because I do love me some critters.

 

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I got up close and personal with sheep….

 

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While the husband chatted up a cow.

 

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This cow was lying down.

 

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As was her owner…

 

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And it took all my willpower not to yell at him to drop his phone and learn how to spell her name properly.

 

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Sorry El….

 

 

This cow had a little speck of something on her nose…

 

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Which proved to be no problem.

 

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Yes, that’s her tongue. And she knew how to use it.

 

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Did you know…

 

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Cows can’t vomit?

I live to enlighten.

 

 

 

We saw ox, and horses.

 

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Some huge.

 

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Some small.

We saw pigs…

 

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With lots of baby pigs…

 

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And goats..

 

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With some pretty big…

 

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Sorry…. but holy crap!

 

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How do you walk with balls that big?

 

 

We strolled around looking for the chicken barn….

Only to discover there wasn’t one.

Very disappointing.

 

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And then we walked past the “Decorate a Bale of Hay” contest.

 

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Which… yeah.

 

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Was a bit odd.

 

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I temporarily lost the husband to some old rusty crap.

 

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And found him checking out some sweet old vehicles for sale.

 

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We meandered through the collection of carriages and sleighs which we always love…

 

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And found a cannon…

 

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With a strategically placed ball.

 

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In a sack.

Tell me someone doesn’t have a sense of humor….

 

 

We made the obligatory walk through the exhibition hall.

 

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But the Blue Ribbon rhubarb failed to thrill.

And aside from the carnival rides we didn’t ride and the roach coach junk food that we didn’t eat, that was it….

Until I spotted George.

 

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And fell in love.

 

 

I mean… look at him!

 

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George is an Emu.

 

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Homely…

 

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Humble..

 

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And despite the prehistoric raptor like gaze, quite friendly.

Here’s some riveting video of him drinking water.

 

 

And a little something closer up.

 

 

He’s over 6 foot tall, with coarse dense feathers.

Yes, we bonded…. and I petted him.

Totally worth the $12 admission price.

 

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A Blogiversary.

 

Happy 1rst blogiversary to me!

 

 

A little more enthusiasm would be nice but yes, it’s been one year to the day since I joined WordPress.

And while I certainly wasn’t a blog virgin….

 

 

It did take a little time for me to adjust to my new home.

WordPress is a larger and more diverse platform than my previous sites, and though it’s also filled with more businesses and spam than I was used to…. I admit I’m enjoying it more as well.

 

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Blogging means different things to different people and my posts have certainly changed over the years. They used to be filled with personal details, family strife, and raw emotion …. but I was burned by that.

 

 

And switched to a light hearted, irreverent look at the world instead.

 

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Yes.

That book really exists…

“Go behind the exam room door to experience the secret lives of doctors and patients. Enjoy Pap parties. Meet the Chlamydia Clown. Win a free kitten with your physical! In this laugh-till-you-cry health care handbook, you’ll learn how fun it is to be a doctor–and a patient.”
I haven’t read it…
But feel I should, and report back.

 

Finding a tribe of like minded odd balls has helped me settle in here.

 

 

So to all of you slightly disturbed souls I call friends…

The loons who regularly tune in for my mindless drivel?

 

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I shall endeavor to provide more of the same high quality nonsense…

And continue to answer some of life’s most difficult questions.

 

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The great goat escape.

 

Yes, we who live in the country are easily amused.

 

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A few weeks ago as I was doing dishes, I saw one of our neighbor’s goats on the run…. with their daughters hot on it’s heels.

 

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It was a grand chase.

 

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And went on long enough for me to photograph it.

 

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Don’t think goats can run?

Try chasing one.

 

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One daughter managed to steer it closer to the outbuildings…

And viola… the take down.

 

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Country goats.

Because city people don’t know what to do with them…

 

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Dragons on the other hand…

 

Bwaahaahaa!