Saturday, June 27, 2009

Goat Share

There is a goat share in Santa Fe, at the Tres Placitas Co-housing community. Tres Placitas is home to two milk goats (and currently 5 babies) and not enough of the residents are interested in milking to fill the 14 milking shifts per week. So Tres Placitas allows other people from Santa Fe to take a shift milking the goats. Participants pay a share that helps to pay for food and other necessities for the goats in exchange for the milk. It's a very good model for sharing and maintaining a resource.

Our new friend Michael Combs, street performer extraordinaire, is one of the lucky 12 who has a regular milking shift. For the past month, we've accompanied him on his milking day, learning how to milk and feed the goats in hopes of eventually becoming subs--so that we can fill in a shift when someone is out of town and get the occasional influx of milk for cheese-making. So far, the collective is hesitant to bring on more subs, which is a bummer, but Michael is very generous and sends us home with a little pint of fresh, raw goat milk a week. We're turning this week's milk into kefir.

Both goats, Becca and Katarina, were "freshened" this spring, which means they've had kids. The babies are...pretty cute. See for yourself. If we ever get to the point where we take on more livestock, it will probably be goats. But they're a serious commitment, and I'd definitely want the help of a goat share.

Simple, small-scale coops like this goat share are so important to developing a local, alternative economy. We need more goat shares! And egg coops! Community gardens and home garden exchanges! Brew-shares!

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