Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Oh, the goatiness!

by June

Sigh.

I know the homecoming of our sweet Buttercup and Clover has inspired much elation in our bloggy neighborhood — and a pinch of envy too. (Dear Lyanda confessed as much.) And while there is plenty of bliss here over the jump-and-tumble goatiness of our new lives (goats scampering on the picnic table, goats clambering up the wood pile, goats cavorting in the meadow), there is also some...how shall I put this delicately? Well, there's some consternation on my part. I am, after all, the gardener of the family. And while I love the goats, the goats love the leafy greens of my labors, and that has caused some tension between us — just as some of our perspicacious friends (I'm looking at you, Tom, and you too, Clare) predicted.


The goats started with the raspberries and moved to the roses and ended up standing in my herb garden. You have to understand that my herb garden is pots on the back porch. Rosemary branches ended up lying torn on the boards. Thyme was hanging out of little mouths. I looked up from cooking to see Clover standing in the thyme pot and eating the Swiss chard from another pot. I might have shrieked. I might have muttered something about rosemary-and-thyme seasoned goats roasting on a spit. (Sorry, Blossom! Sorry, Fern!)

The leash was a good idea, but who leads whom?

Blossom and Fern are very vigilant about the goats' whereabouts. But goats move fast... One minute they are trying to get in the back door, and the next minute they are around by the front door eating the ornamental pine tree that finally, finally, finally got tall enough to disguise the ugly retaining wall, which the goats were standing on so they could eat the top out of my lovely little evergreen.

I might have shrieked some more. Later, Blossom tried to console me: "But, Mommy, the pine made their breath really really fresh."

Birch has intervened. Fencing the goats' run was slow work. But he made sure that it was a large, shady space with lots of jumping opportunities: a goat playground. When he finished and the girls led the goats in, it was glorious fun. Birch reported to me, "We've achieved TGH!"

"What's TGH?" I asked.

"Total Goat Happiness."


It remains to be seen whether we've achieved Total Mommy Happiness. I'm worried our little darlings can climb fences.

43 comments:

Conny said...

Oh June, the goats rambunctiousness makes me smile, but I am sorry for the destruction of your herb garden (and other parts of your yard). They should do fine in their enclosure, especially if they have things to climb on to play King of the Mountain. :>)

Are their collars different colors so you can tell them apart?

June said...

Conny: They have a very big tractor tire on which to climb. They love it, especially as they can curl into its cool interior for a nap on these hot summer afternoons.

I will ask the girls about the different colors. I believe it is just a function of our current twin-twin policy: Nothing can be the same! We tell the goats apart by their forehead patches of white. Also, Clover is much smaller than Buttercup.

Rachel said...

They are very cute indeed! We had similar issues with ours when we first got them. They also really liked to climb on the roof of the chicken coop and eat all of my newly planted shrubs.

June said...

Rachel: Did you say climbed onto the chicken coop? Oh, no, oh, no, oh, NO. I just know they are going to go over that fence. I feel for you and your shrubs.

Garden Girl said...

At least they're not like rabbits and won't burrow out of their new enclosure - will they? Oh the adventures of the rural idyll. Thanks for the reality check - has curbed my jealousy somewhat!

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

I still can't get over how cute they are! If it's any consolation, the chickens and new puppy made a few passes through my veggies. Thankfully I had extra to share. My dear husband finished the fences last week and TMH has started to reign!

June said...

Garden Girl: At first, I thought you meant at least they don't *breed* like rabbits. To which I would say, Hallelujah. I'm hoping they don't burrow or climb.

Amy: Oh, your poor veggies! Poor you! Let TMH reign!!!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I must admit, I'd sacrifice garden roses for these adorable little goats. Buttercup and Clover are instilling me with goat-envy. We actually went to a presentation about Nigerian Dwarf Goats two weeks ago...we're completely smitten, and seriously considering adding a couple to the farm next year. First though, we need to decide where to put them...hopefully out of reach of the orchard, and vegetable gardens. I know they sampled your rosemary, thyme, and chard...but darn it, it must be soooo difficult to stay mad at them for long.

June said...

Clare: I can't wait to hear those little bleats every morning. I'm still smitten despite the munch-munch-munch. You'll love them. They are truly sweet animals. We're all happy that the girls made their dream come true.

elizabeth ~ so wabi sabi said...

Oh...I thought about this when I saw the pictures of your lovely garden with the goats. It is a good thing they have such cute faces. And fences make for good goats (I hope).

csil said...

Hello, you can buy a net to close the goats. It's possible to electrify or not. It's easy has to move. I don't know where you can buy this in your country. You can ask to Sara : http://farmama.typepad.com/farmama/2010/06/cupboard-completion.html (you can see the net at the end of this article)
bye

tom @ tall clover farm said...

June I'm flattered by your choice of adjectives. If I may share a story, after felling a 45-foot fir tree, I was overwhelmed by the remaining branches. A stranger stopped by and asked is he could have them all. Of course I said, "Yes!" When I asked what he wanted them for, his three-word reply said it all, "We have goats." (I'm just saying...)

Jeanene said...

They are so beautiful, I'm sure the girls are loving them. We have the same problem with our ponies and horses.. They especially love all our young coconut trees we've just planted and I no longer have any beans in the garden. A couple of years back we had four dominican sheep who soon became almost 16 (they looked like goats) and goodness they ate everything. There was no fence that could control them and because our property was so large they were all over the place and even heading for the street many times. We were overwhelmed with many animals so had to find new homes for them.

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

THH?! What a hoot - your girls are sooo fun..and the goats? Well, if they didn;t have their good looks to rely on..well..

the photos are precious:-)

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

OK, I mean TGH..duh..it must be a case of TKC (total keyboard clumsiness)

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Howdy chicken and goat keepers! I've been on vacation so I'm just now catchin' up with all the news. I still can't get over how adorable those goats are. Sorry to hear they are messing with the edibles! Hopefully they'll simmer down before you're out of food! Best of Luck!

Anonymous said...

Someone posted your link on my facebook page, and I admit I had to chuckle this morning at your story. I was happy that someone else felt the same way I have felt. Mine have behaved well for a little while now. Then I left for a couple of hours, and my goat that looks exactly like your twins, jumped over our 2 1/2 foot fence and cleaned out my flower garden! So I feel for your herbs and other plants, but they are just too cute to be mad at!! Best of luck in their pen and achieving TGH!!!

a ji o ji suno ji said...

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are on my dog short list. However, didn't know about the chewing thing.

HA! You sneaked in a couple of photos of yourself, MT. Don't know why you don't post more, because you're very photogenic.

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