This evening I stopped in at a nearby farm to pick up an order of drug-free, hormone-free, etc. goat meat. Deck Family Farm is a beautiful place about ten minutes* from us, with lots of happy looking cows, chickens, sheep, ducks…I’m pretty sure I saw a bison there too, though it may have been a big muddy brown cow from a distance. I didn’t see the goats…I was tempted to ask, but didn’t want to impose and delay what must be a zillion chores on such a large (for one family) farm.
I ended up leaving with a half-gallon of fresh, raw cow milk, a dozen eggs, a pound of stew goat, a pound of goatburger, and a 3-pound goat roast. This is the kind of thing that excites me these days. Yes, I am almost 40.
If we ever buy “supermarket” eggs again, I will have to do side-by-side photos; pastured, free-range eggs from our neighbors have bright orangy-yellow yolks and make the store-bought kind look and taste pretty much like cardboard.
The goats we’re preparing to get will be a dairy breed, but I’m an inveterate carnivore and would like to eventually produce my own meat, so buying the goat meat is sort of an experiment to see how I like having goat as a primary meat source (though we’re planning on keeping chickens, too). If it works out, we may at some point consider getting some meat goats (different breeds from dairy goats).
 The more I think about it, the less likely it seems that we will want meat goats, for practical and sentimental (ie, they’re too darn smart and cute) reasons. Looks like we’re gonna be eating a lot of chicken! Rabbits are another very good smallholder meat animal, but suffer from the same “how do you eat a pet” problem as goats. I don’t think I’d have any problem eating chickens, though they do have a lot more charm and personality than I knew before [/edit]
I feel that if I can’t bear to put the bullet into the back of its head and cut up the carcass, I really don’t deserve to eat meat. We’ll see. But for now, we have a local source for clean, humanely raised meats =)
Of course, the moment I got home I had to try the milk side-by-side with some “whole” milk from the supermarket. A sip of one. A sip of the other. Remaining supermarket milk goes back into the bottle for emergencies, and I pour another glass of the rich, delicious raw milk. It’s on the left in the photo below
* Ten minutes on normal roads. On the way back, I decided to try a “shortcut” involving steep, twisty logging roads. It was a nice 45 minute drive; fortunately the van has a refrigerator to keep our food from spoiling.