Monday, February 22, 2010

Farm Update

By day I work at a remarkable institution of higher education.   While many of you may have never heard of Goddard College, I would venture that someone in your life has been touched by contributions made by a Goddard alum or an alumni of a program from another College tailored after Goddard's educational model.  One of my favorite descriptions of Goddard learning is this.  While most institutions tell you what you need to learn to be someone, Goddard asks you what you want to be.

I recently read the blog of a Goddard Alum about how a book by the late J.D. Salinger impacted her life while here at Goddard.  In particular, a quote she referenced from Salinger's book " Franny and Zoey" caught my eye in particular and it has been on my mind ever since.  “An artist’s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else’s.”  That quote really defines a lot for me.   I see it in my everyday life and also in my approach to training my own dogs as well as helping my students with their own.  You set your own standards.  Sure we may strive to meet a level that someone else has decided upon but it is your choice to pursue that and do what is necessary to get there.  You get what you train!

So begins another blog post from the farm.  We currently have 23 new kids, with another 25 does due to kid between now and the end of May.   Amidst all of the new arrivals, the barn itself is getting a little new life as well.   Construction is about to begin on our new milking parlor, cheese make room, etc.  It's all very exciting and overwhelming.  Some of the changes are small but will make a big impact - like a convenient place to fill water buckets (goats love their warm cider vinegar tea).  Other changes will bring new adventures for both Mom and me in cheese making.   We'll start experimenting with our cheese making process in March and have already begun brainstorming new flavors for the soft chevre we'll be making.  Chocolate chevre anyone?

On the agility front, entries open today (by postmark) for our May 8-9 CPE trial here on the farm.  While it doesn't look like much now, in a couple months the agility field will be crowded with spruced up contacts, new jumps, and even a new rubberized table.   I almost forgot, as part of the spring construction going on at the barn we'll be running some additional wiring to the agility field and by the end of May - LIGHTS!!!

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