We enjoy our goats, even with the continuous work involved. It is heartening to read about other places that can make use of the goat world. The Chicago Tribune published a lovely story about Goats in the Dune National Park. Enjoy the read.
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:
My mentor once said the at goats originally come from mountains where they may roam and jump on rocks, finding browse in hills and forests. Truly they are alien livestock in the plains of Illinois. Within the environment of a city, their ability to thrive is stimulated by their owner's care. Basic goat care includes the following:
Clean living quarters, no deep litter options.
Ability to exercise in sunlight
Good hay to eat
Minerals to balance odd diets
Trimming of hooves
For GlennArt we work to maintain our animals beyond the basics. it has been a journey of mine to learn how to care for these animals to thrive in the city. When I started this experience over eight years ago, I had no desire to get this technical. When we became permitted to sell milk by the State of Illinois, life became more integrated. In order to assure these animals live healthy lives, I had to change:
Supplements like yeast and kelp;
Measurement of grain and nutrition;
Fecals, or poo review to understand parasite in goat stomachs;
Somatic Counts or infection indicators in mama goat milk;
Seven Point check of observations for healthy goats done monthly;
COWP timing which is a copper supplement vital to their health;
Herbal treatments for Parasites to avoid chemicals as much as possible;
Obtain vegetables to provide a variety of food sources (Sugar Beet Food Coop and Whole Foods).
This year I have committed to setting up the wonderful GOOGLE FORMS which bring my data from my phone to the spread sheets of information. Every time I change something, I have a form app on my phone. Thank you Google. (Just don't sell my data). It makes me happy to see my girls healthy.
Yikes! During our trips to Garfield we also almost ran over a bird on Pulaski and Lake. I looked for a nest in the Elevated train pillars. It turned out to be a baby pigeon. I called the Trailside Museum of Thatcher Woods. Here are the instructions if you find a baby pigeon. As you can see it looks like a small chicken. It had formed wings, close to flying. We tried not to touch it.
DO leave it alone when found.
DO NOT pick it up and take it. Baby pigeons are fed out of the nest by parents and will be cared for. Opps.
DO NOT feed the bird, as it will make it sick. Pigeon parents regurgitate a mix of food for the baby and will feed it on the ground.
Do NOT handle it much. We tried not to touch it.
So we brought it back to where we found it and praying for its survival.
With everything else we have done with goat care and farm work, our urban animal interactions gave us a new understanding of life in Chicago.
Sometimes that street cred we receive is a bit surprising. One Sunday in the fall of 2019, the doorbell rang with a total stranger stood there holding a kitten. He had almost run over it on Waller Street. The firemen by the Waller Street fire station told him to give the kitten to the 'goat lady.' She would take care of it.
So I took the kitten, chatted with neighbors, and called friends in Oak Park and Chicago. My neighbor six blocks away found a home for the kitty after about a day. Kittens are cute but demanding. We wished the best for his new home.
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