I’ve been dreaming a little big dream about training a harness/draft goat to help around my future homestead (another bigger dream in the works). I want to be able to move rocks, tote dirt and compost around and shift bundles of crops around without destroying my back or knees.
Why goats, you ask? Because horses are just too darn big and easy to hurt. Goats are low to the ground, easier to handle and are sturdy as all get out. Plus they eat all sorts of ruffage which means that you don’t need to buy much feed and you can house them in something much more reasonable than a huge barn or stall setup. Plus you can get milk and… if you’re of such a persuasion, meat out of the deal too.
And I found out that Hoegger Supply sells a goat powered garden cultivator and a variety of wagons and carts built for goaties. Plus, the internet is a wonderful gold mine of information on training draft or “harness” goats.
Mom and I took off early from school to go see what kinds of plants a nearby nursery had. It turns out this place was my kind of heaven. You drive down this steep driveway, over a bridge straddling two ponds full of ducks, past a large chicken coop full of about 50 ducks and chickens, past a shed full of meat rabbits, past a goat pen with five goats and finally stopping in front of a tiny greenhouse. Everything looked cobbled together in a charming, ex-hippy sort of fashion and the poultry were some of the fattest, happiest birds I’ve ever seen. And yes, the did have a little radio tinkling out classical music for the chickens. We picked out an Oregon early and a red cherry tomato plant, spearmint, four lavender plants, a Himalayan rhubarb, an officiannale rhubarb and a chocolate mint plants. Now I’ve got some teeny tiny baby rhubarb to keep my ceramic pig company for a few weeks while they get big enough to plant outside in the big, bad world.