Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Year of the Goat

I have found a kindred spirit in Margaret Hathaway, author of the book "The Year of the Goat - 40,000 miles and the quest for the perfect cheese." I thought this would be the case the moment I heard there was a book out there written by a woman who took a year off to travel the U.S.A. visiting goat farms in order to see if her dream truly was to own goats and make a living as a farmer. I have not been disappointed by the book.

From her initial pie-eyed dreams of living the simple life, connected to the land, to her cheese explorations to her guarded description of a goat sacrificed for a religious meal, I connected with much of what Margaret wrote. I connected even more with her telling her family that she and her boyfriend would survive off of money made selling puppets and her thoughts of a simple marriage ceremony that rapidly grew more unwieldy then first anticipated.

Published in 2007, it is a book that I feel I could have written, and that's not to take anything away from the author. She did write it, I did not. But it was like reading the description of a life I have partially lived, and in the book, I found inspiration to be even more outgoating - that is, to talk even more to the craftspeople and cheese mongers I meet at fairs and farmer's market. To investigate local goat dairies and creameries and cheese makers with abandon and fearlessness.

For those of you interested in examining small-scale farming as a hobby or a life-change, please visit her site and buy her book!

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