There are two myths that we're currently combating at the farm. The first is that male goats stink. Almost every single person who has contacted me about bottle baby goats this season has requested female doelings (and, specifically, female polka dotted nubian doelings). I get it. Really, I do. I love polka dots more than pretty much anyone on the planet. And, what's not to love about those ears? They're so long, so luxurious. Look, if that's what you're into, I support you.
This is what I tell everyone.
If you're not going to milk them, you don't need a girl. And, arguably, a castrated male goat will be the best pet you've ever had. Because, once we castrate them (and we do it for free!) they lose that primal urge to pee all over their faces and live their lives as a big stinky, lovable mess. Plus, for whatever reason, the boys always seem to steal the majority of the polka dots in the womb. So if it's polka dots you're after, your odds increase with a wether.
The second myth is a little more in-depth, but, basically, it's the belief that if you are going to eat meat, you need to eat the animal before they turn a year old for the most lean, tender experience. In fact, it's the only way to avoid "gamey" and "tough" meat.
This, simply stated, is not true. On our farm we eat meat. But, we pride ourselves in eating meat that is ethically grown and responsibly harvested. Our pork, which many of you also fill your freezers with, is grown slowly, on pasture, giving it the ability to develop a richness in flavor that tastes unlike any pork you can get from the grocery store. The chicken we eat comes from roosters, which inevitably hatch on our property, and then grow out on their own, foraging food from pigs or goats. Sometimes they are less than a year old but mostly they live to be about 2 or 3 before they get too ballsy for their own good and eating them becomes another way of keeping the peace on the farm. And while many of our goats will retire at the farm (a right they have earned after devoting their lives to the dairy) there are some that have a different purpose.
An excellent example of this is a goat that we have been feeding for over a year. We bought her as a 2 year old last year with her mother, who was in milk, and kept her on the promise that she too would breed and be a great producer. In the time we have owned her we have yelled at her more times than I can count. She is a pill. She jumps fences, she steals food, she upsets the harmony of the farm...basically she does whatever she wants and she doesn't care who knows it. Of course we put up with it because her mother is one of our favorite milkers. But then, she had her own baby this year, and her udder was nonexistent. Not small in a way you might expect from a first time mom, just, not there. And, she didn't even really like her baby. For us, that was the final nail in the coffin. We pulled her baby to make sure she couldn't hurt it and also to make sure it got the vital nutrition it needed and we have decided that this goat's ultimate purpose will be to feed our family.
The stigma around eating older animals is centered around one main argument-they don't taste good.
Of course this is false. And, in order to disprove this myth once and for all we're bringing James Bear Award Winning Author and Butcher Adam Danforth onto the farm for a one day workshop. Adam is going to break down one of our older rams into seamed muscles and market cuts and then we are going to offer a blind tasting of unique muscles, exploring varying tastes and textures, followed by an in-depth discussion of each muscle cut. Finally, there will be onsite cooking demos to demonstrate techniques to maximize the flavor of these complex meats.
This class is not just for people who farm. This class is for anyone who is passionate about food and cares about what they are consuming. This class is also for those who want to discover and eat the most flavorful meat they can.
Our hope is that this class is a jumping off point to stop prioritizing age and tenderness over the life the animal lived and the impact that animal's life had on the environment.
Adam is kind of a big deal in the food world, and we're honored that he's chosen to work with our farm. Get your tickets today!
If you'd like to read more about Adam check out the following links:
- Modern Farmer, "The Case For Eating Older Animals"
- The Huffington Post, "Eating Older Animals Could Be a Huge Help to Our Planet and Our Souls"
- Adam Danforth's Website