I LOVE GOATS: In 21 days I aim to raise $2700 to jump-start my dream of raising a small, mobile goat herd in my hometown of Ada, Michigan. These funds will be used to purchase three registered Nubian doelings (dairy goats), to build a movable, four-season shelter with room for growth, and to purchase netted solar-electric fencing for grazing paddocks.
As a thank you for your contribution to this end, you can choose from rewards such as a video montage of the darling doelings, hand-printed goat tees or goat totes or goat teats (a unique sketch of your own special pair), the opportunity to cuddle with goats! Or even the honor of naming a member of the herd!
THE DREAMGOATS MISSION: In a world that needs new farmers, on land that needs new ways of raising food, and among bodies that need new ways of being nourished, the Dreamgoats aim to take part in the renaissance of agriculture by maintaining natural systems, recycling waste, building soil fertility, and adding value to the lives of other beings.
WHY GOATS? With their high-speed digestive systems, thorn-chewing mouths, cliff-climbing hooves, and an appetite for brambles and brush, goats are social, clever, and trainable: the first domestic animals to colonize the wilderness and the last ones to abandon the deserts we leave behind.
Historically, goats have provided nutrition and companionship to sea voyagers and desert nomads in some of the harshest climates. Goats are ruminants and can unlock nutrients in the woodiest plants and shrubs by fermenting the plant matter in their four-compartment stomachs and then chewing the resulting cud into a digestible form.
I plan to employ my herd of goats as weed killers, bramble eaters, cover-crop grazers, Christmas tree recyclers, and invasive species removers, as a service to my local community, including other farmers.
FUTURE PLANS: In my dreamiest moments, I imagine life as a modern pastoral nomad with a mobile milking parlor. I dream of bringing a dairy farm into places they've never been, spreading clarity and knowledge about food production, and creating excitement about ecological land management, small-scale farming, and goats' milk.
Push goals for the Kickstarter include purchasing some basic milking equipment and buying a trailer to transport the goats to different land-management projects.
LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN: With a background in agriculture, but limited experience with livestock, I have a lot to learn, but I look forward to sharing the journey with you all and telling the story of first-generation farmers in the process.
Next fall my three doelings will be bred, and we will be on our way to starting a goatshare program, where YOU can buy one-fifth of a goat and take home whatever dairy confections her milk yields for the costs of boarding.
Until then, please consider helping these goat-dreams come true and bring a resilient herd of organic dairy goats to life.
P.S. Thanks for reading! You can learn more about the project @ dreamgoats.com
Risks and challenges
Farming is incredibly hard work full of uncertainty, and starting a herd of dairy goats is like inviting a boisterous family to live on your lawn, eat everything you own, and make a ruckus while doing it. It's a lifestyle of a million moving pieces--each biologically unique and challenging to predict and control. Coupling this with a long-term commitment to a repetitive cycle of feeding, milking, kidding, and death, along with miles of red-tape, high start-up costs, and a lack of consumer education to rise above... you've found a project that will challenge, confound, and exhaust you daily.
Despite this, and probably because of it, farm-work has produced and attracted some of the most generous and down-to-earth people I know, with whom I feel at home and and to whose work I feel compelled to contribute. To join in this work with my own project excites me more than anything else.
As climate changes, soil fertility plummets, and the urban-rural divide continues to widen, I believe that now more than ever, farmers are needed to defend the life of the land.
With the Dreamgoats on my side, I believe I can not only raise awareness for farmers, good food, and beautiful land but contribute to growing a more resilient and more delectable community.
The Dreamgoats invite your participation into the larger ecosystem of which you are a part, hoping that through engaging with agriculture, you will find kinship in this wild, diverse, and surprising world.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)