Interesting news from WBEZ concerning the recent proposal to limit livestock in Chicago. Take a listen or a read on these new updates. A big thankyou to all my customers, neighbors, and goat supporters for your calls and emails to Chicago Alder offices.
Our mission is to glorify God, help restore community and provide healthful foods to our neighbors. We would like to share with our readers about a need of one of our neighbors. Rick Thomas and his mom Betty have been gracious and helpful neighbors to us for 14 years. Rick has had injuries which have caused him to be completely confined to a wheelchair. Since his last injury four years ago, he has not been able to independently leave his own house. We support Rick and Betty with food weekly as they have watched out for us; yet we hope to do more. He needs a useful ramp to leave the house in order to drive his car.
An ancient ramp used for another family member 20 years ago still is on the back of the house, which is a danger for him to attempt. I was chatting with Rick and he noticed our outdoor chicken coop and admired the work on it. I said I would ask if the man who built the coop could help us. Amazingly enough our volunteer from last year Eelco Grootjes, a structural engineer, has agreed to return to Chicago to build a new ramp. He is very good at recycling materials; however we will still need funds to build the ramp according to standards that allow Rick to use it.
In addition, Rick's driver's licence needs to be renewed. He has been driving modified cars since 1982; but needs as well as to modify his car so he can drive. GlennArt has committed to help him with the necessary paperwork to renew his licence. Yet he will need funds to install the hand controls.
If you have interest in community support, please click on the button below. This is a useful opportunity to help. Eelco comes the first of November, so any support you may provide will immediately be put to use.
Praise God the property at North Waller Street has been sold to the NeighborSpace Land Trust! NeighborSpace has support of Openlands, a conservation nonprofit dedicated to the restoration of natural spaces.. Openlands has received funding to plant trees in public spaces including community gardens. This Saturday October 19, Neighbor Space and Root Riot will work together to plant over 20 trees.
Saturday the event will start at 9 AM to finish at 1PM. Interested in planting trees?
Please click on the link below to register and/or obtain the details. We will meet at the Root Riot Garden at 445 N. Waller.
Several years ago, as I researched cheese as a business opportunity, I attended one of Meryll Winstein's classes. It was an eye opener for how to make cheese. She was completing a two volume set of instructions for artisan cheesemaking at that time. In 2018 completed her goal. Her priority is goat milk; Meryl raised goats in the city of St. Charles for over 20 years. I no longer make cheese; however Merryl's class has given me a foundation of knowledge of the business of not only cheesemaking but how to handle milk. Click the button to find her website:
What do goats have to do with the city of Chicago? Most goats need an acre per animal to grow and live. Here on the West Side, they live in limited spaces and graze on house sized lots. Here at GlennArt we have to work harder to keep them clean and well fed, importing their food from outside the city, and providing space for them in our neighborhood. Currently the city council of Chicago is reviewing ordinances for livestock. While it seems ironic that livestock exists here, the interruption of seeing animals in the Chicago gives perspective for nature in a city of cement, as well as fill a need in the urban agriculture community.
True, the care of these animals needs to be careful, clean and courteously done. We cannot have them smelling because of their poop, or left unattended by their owners, nor existing as loud or offensive to neighbors. Urban goats can provide a gentle reminder of the natural world that is cut off by city environments, especially for children. One child in our neighborhood blurted out when seeing our animals, 'They look so peaceful'. Another neighbor stated that if goats could live on the West Side his family could live in peace here.
At GlennArt Farm we keep them as a service to the city. Our focus is to glorify God, restore community and provide healthful food to our neighbors. We have found that goats have a niche to play in the development of sustainable urban agriculture. They produce milk for an alternative food source, their manure gives an immediate use for fertilizer, the goats love to eat down overgrown lots and they are gentle when interacting with people.
A herd in the city may consist of a minimum of two animals. We manage five does (or female goats). We breed our goats with breeders to maintain a small herd without the complication of keeping adult males. Our herd consists of five nannies and their kids (babies). Every year we have about 8 to 10 babies which are sold at the end of the year.
With help from Frontera Farmer Foundations, GlennArt created a mini dairy in the city of Chicago. The State of Illinois created regulations to allow the sale of raw unpasteurized milk from farm homesteads. After two years of work, we met the regulations standards and obtained the permit. Our production is tiny compared to large farms; however we have found a niche market of buyers that benefit from our product.
Manure is always a complication for keeping animals; however the soil amendments of goat manure allows it to be applied immediately and safely in gardens. Community gardens have amend their soil systems from our service to haul bags of manure to their sites. Urban agriculture and floral companies have reaped the benefits of our soil amendments in their products of fruits, vegetables and cut flowers.
Interacting with goats proves to be fascinating to the public. Providentially, we discovered ecotourism activities like goat yoga and what we call goat 'chill.' People like goats. These animals are pleasant, smart and funny and have no upper teeth. They are gentle with children and do not bite. In order to provide the experience to our neighbors, we offer 'open pasture' moments to feed and 'rub' their fur.
We take our precautions to keep them healthy to be munching, provide manure, milk and memories. It is our hope for Chicago to understand not only the benefits of goats in the city, but also the mental and physical health it gives to this city's inhabitants. For us it is worth the effort to show a beauty in this created world.
Roz Varon just sent us another link of an ABC program on social media. The videos of baby goats are a blast!
WOW! Join the fun close to the Loop of downtown Chicago at our GlennArt Yoga classes. We have classes at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays. Weather forcasts calls for the fun on the West Side of Chicago! Register Here!
Goat Yoga registration is still open and available for this weekend, July 6th and July 7th. Our gazebos will keep you cool and our baby goats will keep you laughing.
Sign up here:
Our Lab Samples are IN. After complications from kidding season, our quality control on the milk is updated to the first of June. All our girls are now on the milk line. I will be sending lab samples biweekly to check on my goats for health checks on their milk, and once a month for bacteria checks as well.
SOOOO, if you wish raw unpasturized goat milk, please complete the form on the link listed below. I simply cannot remember who is coming unless I receive an email via the order form. Customers may call to confirm arrival to pickup milk AFTER completing the order form online and receive a confirmation email. All inquires made via phone will be directed to the website to complete the form.
Thanks to all who have already discovered the form and have been ordering their milk. We hope all future customers will benefit from our product as well.
Although chaos hit Tuesday, we are grateful that all babies have arrived safely. I just left the garage. All new babies are quiet, fed, and growing. Mommies are healthy and calm. All goats has a space with water, hay and are clean. Gracie appears calm with few labor signs, our last mommy to kid.
I expected a chaotic week; however I was gratefully surprised to have so many people participate in it. My main help after David was my mentor Deborah Niemann-Boehle of Antiquity Oaks Farm. Both Abby and Starry Night birthed twins, male and female from Midnight on Wednesday (Starry Night) to the afternoon of the same day (Abby). I was not present at either birth, arriving as the babies began to stand. The complications came after. Starry Night had a rough kidding alone, she behaved like a millennial Mom: she did not lick and clean her babies completely, but laid down to rest. She made no effort to bring them close; yet was talking with them. All voice and no action. She did not realize she had to provide milk. I waited till 5 am when the situation became critical. Goat babies need colostrum by 6 hours old. Praise God for Deborah Neimann of Antiquity Oaks who took my calls since Wednesday early morning to provide a plan of action. We had to put Starry Night on the milking stand, milk her and feed the babies by bottle or attach them on the teat. She learned unwillingly to cooperate being bribed to get on the stand with apples and carrots. The babies were not latching onto her teat, they needed her to stand still to figure how. Starry Night continued to be nervous until tonight when she calmly received both twins at the same time.
While all this was happening, Abby had her kids like a pro at 3 pm. I did not notice her udder to abnormally swollen. At 6 p.m. last night Thursday, she received her evening grain and I found all her udder rubber hard to the touch. Once again I had to contact Deborah Neimann to help me understand what I was observing. California Mastitis Test confirmed the mastitis is acute. We had no medication to respond to this situation. At 7:30 David and I left for a three hour road trip to Romeoville the nearest source of help at Blaine's Farm and Fleet. Praise God it closes at 9 p.m. Abby was producing less and less milk as the infection took over her udder. Medication was administered by 10:15pm Thursday night. As of today, she is still separate from her babies with three treatments; however she is producing more milk after each 12 hour injection.
Continual rain did not help. We could not get the goats to the field Wednesday due to the kiddings. We had two hours in the Waller Street pasture before the rain hit again on Thursday at noon. Last night Abby was separated from her babies, resulting in bottle feeding them every three hours. Slowly training Starry Night to nurse every three hours has had an effect. She is much calmer and quieter as she is locked in a pen with them. Esther came into critical labor today at noon with three abnormal deliveries of her triplets, two boys and a girl, together weighed 26 pounds, big babies. Two were born butt first and one with legs back, which can be dangerous, but certainly painful to the mom to push them out. We still have complications with these three as they are not progressing. The rain continued till two this afternoon and again tonight.
Our urban farm operates in community and this week the community walked with us with great kindness. People showed up miraculously. When we went to the field on Thursday, Lorel Jankiszewski surprised us with a visit and walked three groups back to our Midway Park property as yet another storm hit. Other folk literally walked into our lives and supported us in the moments that we needed. Roman our ESL student from Belgium cleaned pots and pans late at night, when I was practically living in the garage with the laboring nannies. Kari our Air BNB guest showed up at 7 a.m. to help weigh babies and re arrange spaces to accommodate the increased population. Ali Kushki cleaned floors and hauled supplies at 10 in the night and helped with medicating Abby. The craziest moment was this morning when two women walked up to me to introduce themselves as the owners of the Oak Park Brewing Company on Lake and Austin. AnnMarie and Kristen provided support as Esther labored over her triplets, running into the house for more towels and finding gloves while I was on the floor of the pen with Esther. As a reward, they could name a goat. So Esther's first boy of 2019 was named Stout. We gratefully take this time to give a shout out to those who helped us in our time of need.
To date we have two goats in labor in the garage. Starry Night and Abby are due today. Both are uncomfortable and with contractions. We cleaned and cleaned the pens to help the process. It will be an interrupted night as I take a few hours to sleep and then check as their labors progress. More tomorrow.....
Seeker, Wife. Mother, English Language tutor, goat farmer, friend
(Carolyn's dates & thoughts)
Girls come home!
applied for Funding WWOOFUSA
Root Riot Meeting at Glennart. Planning garden changes.
> Urban Livestock EXPO
Cheese Document plan EXCEL Program
> FIRST GGG Gathering
3/9/2017 Plant: Spinach, lettuce indoors
3/21/2017 First day of SPRING!!!!
3/22/2017 Plant carrots with garlic
4/1/2016 Plan/repair pasture fencing
4/5/2017 set up potato beds
4/12/2017 Kidding Season begins
> Plant potatoes
4/21/17 Milking season begins
4/25/2016 Set up fencing
> Kidding season continues
5/20/17 Spring Gathering
5/25/16 plant Sweet potato in beds watermelon. squash
5/10/16 Cheese making begins
5/15-7/2/16 Last two does duePatsy and Destiny
Sale of bucklings
> Sale of bucklings
> Weaning begins
> Cheese making continues
> Sale of doelings
> Cheese making continues
> Dry out the does
> Does to Wisconsin for breeding