How did I get here?

March 12, 2012

How did I get here?  Not the girls, but me, the adult human.

Let’s start at the very beginning, in 2009.  Our city was planning to update the urban livestock code.  My concern was that we not be limited to three hens as in Portland, Oregon, since we did not have a limit – only that they could not be for commercial purposes.  That included selling or trading.  The nuisance codes covered any potential issues if someone were to have too many hens so I definitely did not want to see that changed to us being limited to only three hens.

At the time, our city was moving toward sustainability and was making an effort to loosen many of the codes that were restrictive to gardening and related activities.  Because we use city water (which we pay for), we were not allowed to sell anything grown on our residential property – including flowers or a sprig of parsley, yes, you read that correctly.  I doubt many people realized how restrictive it was. This is what brought the livestock code to the surface especially since so many farms had been annexed to the City in recent years.

What is important to understand here is that goats were not remotely on the radar for me, absolutely zero interest in them; my concern was only the hens.  Of course, the best way to be heard is at the beginning.  I volunteered to serve on the committee.

At the first meeting, Ann, one of our CSA farmers mentioned that, with a half dozen hens, two Nigerian Dwarf milking goats and a garden, a family on a city lot could produce much of its own food.  That was my first “contact” with Nigerian Dwarf goats.  About the same time, my middle son was found to lactose intolerant.  I love ice cream so this was a problem for family dinners.  I bought some local goat milk and made ice cream which he was able to eat without distress.

I have an oversize lot that could easily accommodate two goats, the number mentioned by Ann.  She also mentioned that Nigerian Dwarf goats, unlike full-size goats, breed all year so planned kidding could have one in milk all year for a steady supply of milk. I started considering Nigerian Dwarf goats, note the word “started” in 2009, definitely not a serious consideration but more something of interest but only a passing interest at that point.

So that is how the seeds were planted.

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