Our milking season started in June with the last arrival of our goat babies. Leani showed up on time and healthy. She is different from the other kids and has a fun personality. With white ears and black spots we call her the Prada Girl, as she looks sharp in her prada collar and leash. These goat kids attracted attention not only in the community but also with families in Chicago.
The Goat Chills consisted of spending an hour with baby goats at the Root Riot Community Garden pasture on Waller street, and sometimes on Huron Street. People come and sit on chairs in the pasture while goats play jump and visit with them. I even enjoyed moments to relax with goats.
During this year we have learned to live more intentionally with our neighbors. We have a gathering spot on Midway Park, which is across from the Root Riot Garden and Pasture. More people gather daily to drink and smoke and chat. More people are out of work these days and the hot weather drives them to a cooler space. Mothers need to have a place to sit with their children. So people I have not met before come to this place in cars or walking. We have offered families to come into the pasture when we were there, and a number of families walking by took our offer. The trees planted last fall occupy the sidewalk in front of the pasture on Waller Street. They were were stripped of all branches three times because more people were outdoors and wanted to feed the goats branches. We continue to put up signs asking not to tear tender trees.
Our Garfield Park agreement was cancelled this year, so we have one less place to graze our animals. We made heavy use of moving our goats to different lots within six blocks of the house. All of our herd from goat kids to milking mammas, are trained to jump into the van to find a nice place to eat forage. We learned to move the goats daily in July , August and now September.
Every year this urban farm expects one Great Escape of goats. In 2020, it came on the Long Street Property. Kids pulled the gate open to pet the babies and the big goats pushed their way out. We had twelve goats running up and down on Long Street before we could arrive. Praise God for our neighbors who corralled them into another lot. We arrived five minutes after the neighborhood community moved the animals. We cannot operate on the West Side without the kind help of our neighbors.
A group of landowners have an agreement for GlennArt Farm to use their lots for agriculture. We clean the garbage, mow the lots and provide the owners with manure for gardening. This year the owners' gardening efforts and the goats did not mix well. The property on Superior had a small plot of corn, potatoes and beans, so we attempted to fence the girls out. With nothing else to do but look longingly at the corn, the fence was pushed down and the garden destroyed. We made payment for some of the owner's loss. In our accounting recoreds, we called it expensive "goat feed." So fencing a garden from goats does not mix. We hope to be more considerate to our supporting friends in the future.