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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Prodigal Farm: Where goats are livin' the dream

Posted by on Sun, Mar 9, 2014 at 1:00 PM

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The previous day's ice storm had zapped the power at Prodigal Farm in Rougemont, but the goats didn't care. There was hay to munch, visitors to greet and hoof-trimming and vaccinations to be endured.
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Evelyn, her belly bulbous and heavy in the morning, delivered triplets by mid-afternoon: two boys and a girl. The father, Excalibur, aka, Chubby Cheeks, was in another pasture and did not learn of his progeny. This newborn, just an hour old, was already romping around.
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Kathryn Spann and Dave Krabb started Prodigal Farm in 2007. Environmentally sustainable and Animal Welfare Approved, the farm produces goat cheese—some of the most delicious you'll taste—and meat (I'm a veg, but others vouch for it). Despite the lack of electricity, 10 people drove out to the boonies—dodging downed tree limbs and nervously eyeing sagging power lines, to attend a goat-raising workshop.

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I have no intention of raising goats; it's illegal within the Durham City Limits. I came to the workshop to report for a future story in the INDY's food section, and because I love goats. They're like dogs with horns and hooves. But lest you run to the nearest farm and purchase some goats, they are not an impulse buy. The are a lot—and I underscore a lot—of work.
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The goats here roam free in the pasture, and in inclement weather, hang out either in sheds, such as the one Evelyn kidded in, or in a flotilla of school buses that have had the seats removed.
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"Some go in the buses at night," Spann told the workshop attendees. "But others like to sleep under the stars."
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As friendly as dogs, but with hooves and horns

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