Mr. DirtNKids is a Mensan; you have to take a test — IQ test to be exact — to be accepted as a Mensan. Not to knock the high IQ, I like to use that word — ‘mensan’ — as an adequate description of his quirky [smarter] ways.
Like when I’m mad at him: Oh, that’s just what a mensan would say/do.
Or my personal favorite, in typical Chandler Bing style: Could you be more mensan?
To be truthful, I’m really just being spiteful that there’s not much else I have on him. He waits for me to whip it out like a Colt .45 when a moment calls for it. (It’s really all I’ve got on the man. He’s pretty perfect.)
Being a bonafide dues-paying Mensan for 10 years hasn’t exactly resulted in any tangible benefits. Until…the coordinator of the local Mensa chapter put together an informal, family style get-together at a goat farm, to learn about sustainability and to see how a local farm operates. Now this was right up my alley.
After putting together a day pack, charging up the camera and camcorder, we set out for the country. First, I needed to geek up the kids, and what better way than to meet the characters of the Blue Heron Farm family in a convenient on-line story book? (If you have kids under 7, be sure to view it in full frame. It’s really cute.)
The girls for sure were already discussing who they would meet first, Aunt Fanny, Challenge, and Goatrude. They are practically non-stop about it for the entire 45 minute drive and I can’t recall if there was ever a final decision made. Girls.
Arriving early, Christian, the owner, greeted the group with his newest goat kids, only a few days old. They are small and spirited, not yet in good control of their hind legs and sucking on everything. As an ice-breaker, he lets our kids give milk — cow’s milk, mind you — to the goat kids.
Why cow’s milk you ask? Because the mama’s milk is their money-maker. They use it make and sell cheese, not feed baby goats. Duh.
These little guys are just too cute for words and it makes me want to take one home with me to keep as a family member.
Next, it’s off to meet the milk-and-money-makers of the farm. Along the way, we are greeted by the dogs and a turkey who, for some reason loves the color blue — which just so happens to be the color of my jacket. Thinking now that I’m her boyfriend, this turkey lets me get right into her face for an up-close-and-personal portrait only a turkey mother could love.
The chitty-chatty pig was my my favorite. I swear, I understood everything he was oinking to me, that I could speak his language. He was saying something like, “Free me so I don’t become someone’s bacon!” Doubtful any of the Mensans understood.
See? Now I don’t feel so stupid.
A few things I did learn today.
1. Goats and children are not my favorite camera subjects, especially without my bifocals to help me see, using the manual focus ring, and the added time for the camera to write two files (RAW+HQ) rather than the usual one. The experience was all rather frustrating and not making me want to take any action photos, which are usually the more fun ones. I’ll have to hone my on-the-go technique for the next time.
2. Aiming milk from the teat of a goat into a small can is not as easy as it looks. I would get fired the first day if I was making money at it, so I know I won’t. John, on the other hand, may have found his calling.
3. Goat cheese made from fresh milk, taken from healthy, pastured animals, eaten with friends on a picnic table in the middle of a field grass tastes divine — like country should taste like — particularly the Chipotle flavored one.
4. Making cheese for a living does not appear to be a very profitable endeavor, however sustainable it may be. Though the animals are well-cared for, there’s still that taking baby from mama thing. And where do the male goats go, anyway?
4. I want to cuddle a baby goat. They are too stinkin’ cute for words.
Using others without their permission for profit is an
ethical question answered by the vegan ethic: DON’T.