Urban Goat Keeping

By Fair Companies

Lately goats have been gaining acceptance as low-carbon lawn mowers and as a pesticide-free tool to eliminate weeds and clear brush. [You can also use sheep, like this school in PA is doing.]

But the idea of keeping goats in the backyard as a source of organic, low-food-miles milk has not gotten the attention it deserves. In this video, Mateo Rutherford of Berkeley, CA, shows us the backyard goats as well as more of their urban farm animals (chickens and rabbits) and we talk to a visitor who is preparing to adopt a few milking goats of her own.

The Goat Justice League of Seattle was founded to legalize keeping goats within the city of Seattle. The league’s founder Jennie Grant argues that since modern factory farming is cruel, polluting and produces eggs, milk and meat that are likely less nutritious and more prone to contamination, “why not let people with yards keep dairy goat does or wethers [castrated males]. They are not smelly. Their poop is a valuable fertilizer. They eat invasive plants and make delicious milk.”

Thanks to the groups’ efforts, in 2007, the Seattle City Council passed a measure allowing small goats to be kept within city limits. Grant encourages anyone with a 25×25 foot area within their yard and a desire to take care of animals (“taking care of goats takes work and lots of research”) to consider keeping goats as a source of local food.

In some cities like Berkeley, California, there are old laws still on the books that allow for urban goats. Homeowners Jim Montgomery and Mateo Rutherford decided to take advantage of this 1918 ordinance, allowing for 2 female goats and kids, to add to their backyard garden.

Read more at Fair Companies

4 responses to “Urban Goat Keeping

  1. GRt8 post. I love his t-shirt, “pesticides bug me” and they bring up a good point, it’s only natural to have animals with your garden.

  2. I’m a cattle and horse-lover, I don’t really like either goats or sheep, though my wife does. None-the-less, it would be great if goats and sheep clearly outnumbered cars in the semi-urban surburban realm. What I really and truly hate, are cars. I think it would be better if trains existed for long travel and short commutes were done principally by bicycle and animal-drawn conveyances. I would support some ‘hi-techery’ in the further development of the bicycle with maybe modest electrical support engines. Something like that. Airplanes should be shot down on sight and people should also W-A-L-K.

    We are totally insane.

  3. I totally agree with this video and with Ned who posted above. I have lived in city/suburb apartments most of my life.. My big dream is to save for a small piece of land and do something similar

    • I have a friend who visited Amish country in Pa., recently and he said they have some pretty fancy buggies. This surprised me a bit because the Amish I know are austere and call themselves ‘plain’. But it shows that you can ride in comfort even with a horse buggy, fully enclosed from weather, heated and with headlights. I see no problem with a few horse ‘droppings’ in rural areas, but for cities, they have specially designed ‘horse diapers’ to cathc the poop. Think of it: You could have designated compost heaps in towns and various gardeners could benefit from the diaper dumping.

      I’ve seen bikes now, that can carry four seated riders, each can pedal or coast. Older riders could rest, in turn. They are very lightweight, this is where the space-age construction comes in. We have a bike trail here, an old railroad and there are no steep hills on railroads lines, generally. Very easy travel. Think of the safety of not having some nut go by at 70 mph+, in an automobile.

      I’ve always thought low-flying airplanes were an invasion of privacy, but we’re waaaaaaaay past that now with government and techie surveillance instruments, stealing us from ourselves with their eavesdropping.

      It’s funny. People come on this site, some of them, and think themselves smart reciting some encyclopedia or some webpage they read about cellulose or something. I’m a Luddite and I’m considered stupid.

      Who really is stupid? ??


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