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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Some go in the buses at night," Spann told the workshop attendees. "But others like to sleep under the stars."