Bright and early on this wintry morning (snowy enough to make a snow angel), goat enthusiasts met Farmer Ben at the barn to embark on our first Goat Care Skills class. Ben began by putting goat care into a larger context of food security and sustainability, then the group got into the nitty gritty of goat care:
- Relationship between breed characteristics/adaptations and diet
- Effect of dominance structures in the herd on goat care
- Wild food versus concentrates, and protein requirements at different developmental stages
- Logistics of feeding the Queen, the triplets, and Jasper
With Ben teaching from experience and an obvious affection for the goats, the participants learned a great deal about goat care — including much that could not possibly be conveyed in a textbook. After this first class of the 8-week session, participants commented:
“Ben, it was fantastic learning from your experience.”
“I learned so much. Ben is a great teacher.”
“Ben conveys his knowledge and experience eloquently and effectively.”
Another Goat Care Skills session will begin on January 28 (six Saturdays, 7:00-8:00am). We have just one space left, so visit the Programs and Group Visits page for more information if you are interested in registering.
* * * * * *
An unexpected bonus was seeing animal tracks in the fresh snow. One participant saw deer and rabbit tracks, and all of us saw what we think are coyote tracks!
At LexFarm’s Goat Yard, we are embarking on a project to revitalize the soil to promote carbon holding and growth of forage material (such as clover) for the goats. This winter we plan to rearrange the Goat Yard to make room for three growing paddocks – and plant bushes such as forsythia around the fence-line as well.
We hope you will join us for this Saturday’s Learn & Work Project, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Together, we will jumpstart the revitalization effort by moving the goats’ large climbing structure closer to the barn and aerating the soil in the areas that will become the growing paddocks.
What: Learn & Work Project
When: Saturday, January 14, 10:30-12:00
Where: LexFarm Goat Yard (park at Busa Farm and walk back to red barn)
Bring: Digging forks (pitchforks) or shovels if you have them
Due to an unexpected schedule conflict, we are changing our Saturday Goat Care Skills session to six weeks: Saturdays, January 28 to March 3, 7-8am. You can find more information and our registration form on our Programs and Group visits page.
The Tuesday Goat Care Skills session remains eight weeks: January 17 to March 6.
We are delighted to introduce new hands-on farm-based education programs at the LexFarm Goat Yard!
- Learn & Work Projects (2nd Saturday of each month, 10:30-12:00)
- Pasture Walks (4th Thursday of each month, 1:30-3:00)
- Goat Care Skills – Overview (8-week session, Saturdays January 14 – March 3, 7-8am)
- Goat Care Skills – Focus on Pregnancy and Kidding (8-week session, Tuesdays January 17 – March 6, 6:30-7:30am)
- Goat Stories at The Elephant’s Trunk (days/times to be announced)
For more information, please visit our Programs and Group Visits web page.
And, of course, keep coming to our regular visiting hours (Sundays, 1-3pm). We and the goats are always happy to see you!
With our LexFarm Goat Yard visiting hours (Sundays 1-3pm) such a success, we are beginning to offer new programs! Come join us this Thursday, December 8, 1:30-3:00, to help process our oak to promote carbon holding in the goat yard. You’ll learn about the carbon cycle in our local ecosystem while you’re at it.
What: Goat Yard Projects: Oak and the Carbon Cycle
When: Thursday, December 8, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
Where: LexFarm Goat Yard (please park at Busa Farm, 52 Lowell Street, and walk back to red barn)
Cost: Free (donations gladly accepted)
Wear: Clothing/gear appropriate for weather (program runs rain or shine)
Bring: Work gloves and a shovel, if you wish
Our new goat yard has become quite popular with lots of visitors the past two Sundays. As dusk approached later in the afternoon, some visitors noticed that the animals shifted from browsing and being social to climbing up on their high structures and being on the lookout for predators. We thought that it would be better to shift our public visiting hours an hour earlier, for everyone’s sake. Our new hours are Sundays from 1 pm – 3 pm , except Christmas Day.
We have started public visiting hours at the goat yard! Please spread the word that the yard will be open every Sunday (except Christmas Day) from 2 – 4 pm. Bring friends and family, and spread the word ! Please park at Busa Farm and walk back to the red barn. Admission is free, but donations gladly accepted!
The public opening of our new goat yard in Lexington will take place today from 1 – 4 pm as planned. Roads in the immediate area are clear, but please use your own judgment regarding travel.
If you come, wear boots! You’ll be walking through a few inches of wet snow!
See event posting here for details.
On Sunday, October 30 from 1pm – 4 pm, we’ll be hosting our very first public event at the new goat yard! Please join us as we begin a new farm-based education program in Lexington: learn about how these intelligent, highly social animals can contribute to sustainable farm systems. Learn how you can help! We’ll introduce you to Ionia, the cute goat kids, and most importantly: to Ben Schlosser and Sofia McDonald Games, the caretakers who will be working with the goats, LexFarm, and the public, to help our new farm-based education operation grow.
The introduction to the goat yard will feature Ben and Sofia, along with LexFarm board members –ready to answer whatever questions you might have about these goats, and about LexFarm’s future plans for farm-based education in Lexington. Suggested donation: $5 ($10/family). Park at Busa Farm, 52 Lowell St., Lexington.