Goats in the City

Get a firsthand experience of the famous Harambee Goats. One of the earliest domesticated animals, goats have been providing for human beings for thousands of years. Join us for a chance to participate in a unique project that is exploring the role goats can play in both vacant lots and your own back yard. You will also have a chance to try goat cheese, milk and ice cream that is made right here on Chicago’s west side.

Time: June 28th Thursday 6-9pm

Location: Root-Riot Harambee 500 N. Waller, Chicago

Get a firsthand experience of the famous Harambee Goats. One of the earliest domesticated animals, goats have been providing for human beings for thousands of years. Join us for a chance to participate in a unique project that is exploring the role goats can play in both vacant lots and your own back yard. You will also have a chance to try goat, cheese, milk and ice cream that is made right here on Chicago’s west side. (learn more about the project here)

Here is a message from Carolyn with more details.

Goat Guardian Event Thursday June 28th 6pm.

Dear Friends:

You are invited to the Root Riot Garden on Thursday June 28 to taste goat products: milk, cheese, and later ice cream. The goat sweeties will be in the pasture by the garden with their four kids.

The topics of discussion are available to any of you with interest in these areas related to the goats. They do not have to be tackled and solved; however I would like to put the ideas out there.

Why to become a Goat Guardian? So that we can influence your future community, by finding our food where we live. Goats provide a lot of opportunities to do this. However Goats in the city or country require land and care. While I have been able to set a system for these animals to be established in the city, my original purpose was that the effort was to be more of a community effort. Several of you have helped in the past or benefited in the process by visiting and enjoying these animals. Here are some topics for consideration which you may have been involved in or are interested:

1. Goat Grazers and Fencing. Without fencing goats are a menace. My neighbors have survived two Goat escapes in the last year. I spend a LOT of time moving fencing or seeking empty lots and overgrown yards for the goats to graze.

2. Milk Share and Milking. Many people remain fascinated by the milking process and goat Milk has been scientifically proven to aid in health and growth for good nutrition. Yet the processing of goat milk to cheese and ice cream or just keeping it raw in the frig has a set of very specific procedures.

3. Feed. Goats , especially milk goats, require a good mix of local vegetation and dry hay. At this time I am still seeking good alfalfa from a farmer friend in Grant Park, barring the lack of rain. We also purchase goat feed for nutrition supplement of the lactating mothers. Hauling Dry hay or finding a truck would be useful.

4. Composting. We process over 100 pounds of soiled hay and manure each week. In the next few years, our soil production will become more useful for gardens as the composting process becomes more regular. I also produce worms to set into the compost. (We have a good amount of chicken manure as well). Meanwhile we pay an unemployed youth to work with us. We would like to provide more short term jobs for these high school graduates who have little training in the work world. This area could prove to be the most viable; yet it needs to be developed. Soil production in the city of Chicago is not a common goal; yet with goats, the results for gardens could be cost saving or perhaps income generating.

5. Shelter. WIth six goats and decisions on which one to keep or sell, the availability of shelter is vital.

6. Public Relations: My priority remains high to seek out my neighbors on the west side, and obtain their help and be inspired by them as well. Last week a neighbor stopped by to tell me she now has chickens and rabbits and has begun to plant in her yard. She mentioned my model. It is humbling to see this influence. Yet many calls come from other sources and groups are also interested. While I rejoice in the interest, my time is stretched already. I could use some help and perspective on how to organize this area.

As a part of public relations, I am inviting the parents of the kids who attend St. John’s Church preschool program at 8:00-9 p.m. this night Thursday June 28 to come and enjoy goat ice cream with us. Goat cheese and crackers as well as veggies are provided at 6:30 p.m. Ice Cream share at 8 – 9 p.m.

Thank you again for your interest in goats in Chicago. Perhaps we are creating a new paradigm for local food efforts.

Sincerely

Caroly Ioder

Root Riot- Harambee

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