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The Go Go Goats of Tryon Farm

n Collective's versatile little nibblers provide gallons of healthy milk


by: REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Ian Lamb, goatherd at Tryon Life Community Farm, gives a big hug to one of his beloved goats. Lamb has turned the farm into a goat Garden of Eden.

The dog has the reputation of being man’s best friend, but it actually might be the goat.

Certainly, the goats at Tryon Life Community Farm give a good case for being man’s most versatile animal friend.

The 11 Tryon goats are a marvel when it comes to getting rid of blackberry bushes with their ferocious nonstop eating, they are friendly, make great playmates, and they provide lots of comedy hijinks with their hilarious antics. They can even be rented out as living, breathing lawn mowers.

Best of all they give milk. Healthy, healthy goat’s milk that you can’t even buy at all of the organic-oriented food stores in this area. Business is now booming because the adult goats have given birth to six baby goats and can now focus their efforts on providing milk. When their weaning is complete, the Tryon goats will be giving out three gallons of milk a day. Goat’s milk has a great reputation for being healthier, since it is lower in fat, rich in calcium, and less toxic than cow’s milk and provides more nutrients than cow’s milk.

Brenna Bell is best known as the public voice and defender of Tryon Life Community Farm, but her favorite role is as a goat tender.

“Goats have a lot of personality,” Bell said. “I have learned the most about goats right from the goats on this land, which has had many generations of goats.”

The guiding light for the goats is Ian Lamb, who is praised by Bell for doing a great job. On a recent sunny, ultra-pleasant day farm, Lamb was watching with affection and admiration as his herd devoured some blackberry bushes. He has named them all. Like Clover, a little female goat with white ears and wearing a pink collar. Or Bramble, Lamb’s favorite goat, who he bottle fed as a baby. Lamb loves it when people ask him goat questions.

“Our goat milk here is so fresh,” he said. “It hasn’t been processed in the same way as goat’s milk in a food store. It’s filtered but it’s not pasteurized. There are a lot of enzymes in it.”

“It doesn’t taste goaty,” Bell added. “Raw milk never goes bad. If you leave it out it turns into cheese.”

A goat meal is always a banquet, because they like to do everything together. Especially eat.

“They like to be in a herd,” Lamb said. “Or else they get lonely and anxious.

“One goat is a sad goat,” Bell said.

Providing natural manure is another great goat asset.

“A huge plus is their fertilizer,” Lamb said. “They pee and poop for our gardens. We don’t use much else. They really do a lot for us.”

Goats are seemingly economic miracles on four legs. But their sheer goathood is what Lamb enjoys the most.

“They have such a nice presence,” Lamb said. “They’re very gentle. They are really animal therapists. Goats give a state of peace and connection. I love to see them walking, sleeping, eating, moving together. A lot of people who come to our farm like to pet our goats and have their pictures taken with them. They like seeing the connection with what we eat.”

Bell is a great communicator, but with the goats she can be silent.

“Hanging with the goats is a big part of my life here,” she said. “After a bad day with people I can come hang out with the goats.”

Now that the goat milk for sale at Tryon Farm will be doubling, Lamb and Bell want many more people to come out and get to know their goats.

“We are definitely looking for more new customers,” Bell said. “We want people to come here to buy our milk and see our goats.”

For more about goats and goat’s milk at Tryon Life Community Farm, go to the website tryonlife.org or contact Brenna Bell at brenna@tryonfarm.org. Naturally, the photo at the top of the site shows goats chowing down.

The goat era will only wax larger at Tryon Farm. Future plans include producing soap from goat’s milk.

Tryon Life Community Farm is located on 11640 SW Boones Ferry Road.

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