In the time of statehood, my county took up about half of it, from the foot of the rockies clear to the Kansas line. Now not so much. But still includes plenty of what we turned into farmland. In years I worked there, I only encountered live farm animals twice. The first goat got caught along a fairly busy road in the city. “What’s he doin?” “Eat’n grass.” But when I got there it had moved into the nearby richy rich neighborhood and landscaping. “I don’t suppose the county will re-imburse me for the expensive flowers this goat just ate? No ma’am, I don’t suppose they would.” I’d never handled a goat before. I was glad it came with handles. I wasn’t sure they’d have a place for a goat at our shelter. But we pitched up a temporary pen in the dirt under the big trees. Someone fetched some straw. Someone else bought some good hay. The goat seemed happy.
I swear, exactly a week later a deputy called, said I needed to come out to Deertrail, the last makeshift town before the county line, to pick up an animal on an eviction. Getting out of the truck I asked dog or cat? – Goat. He’d help he said, but the uniform just came back from the cleaners. That’s OK, better goat shit on my shirt than drunk-driver vomit on my shoes. He didn’t laugh.
Back at the shelter, musta been the sheepish grin on my face to get, “you’re bring’n another goat in are’nt you. Yep” They took to one another like, well you know.
It was just last year that the city and county of Denver loosened up the rules on farm animals in city limits. Saw that the restrictions were not helpful to what people were trying to do, which was help themselves out of the intrusive cash economy as best they could. Goats were included in that, although nannies allowed but no billies. Seems that when your nannies need a little hubba hubba, or what weterners term “graining the mare”, well there’s a service to help you with that, and probably on a barter system.
Yesterday I had about an hour before my library computer reservation, so I looked through the magazine rack. Took the usual, Southwest Art, New Mexico Magazine, but my eye hit on something new to me, YES! Magazine. I picked it up mostly becasue the cover was a picture of a guy on a bike pulling a trailer. He was called the soup man. Seems that issue was focused mostly on how people were gaining ground on the food thing; how to shorten the distance between farm to table by doin’ it yourself. But that’s not the remarkable thing. What really hit was this: on the back page in the publisher’s letter, she tells about a roundtable with the magazine’s 20 something techies when one of them blurted out that he didn’t know anyone his age that didn’t want to be a farmer. “W h a t?” she said. Ya, the rest agreed, and each one told why. The reasons were varied but the bottom line was that they all felt a value about producing something so elegant as food. Thinking about this it occurred to me that we are in the what, maybe 4th generation removed from the family farm? That from like the early 1900,s young people saw no value in the farm- the city was where the gold was at. But it’s coming around again isn’t it?
On planetary timescales, a hundred years isn’t even a puff of breath, but for us, wavelengths of light begin to take shape; events, trials, system failures and successes prove out real value. Like in the examples shown in the magazine, technology may play a part in human endevours, but technology’s place is becoming as a tool to an end instead of the end itself.
I later learned that very shortly after the arrival of the first goat, the shelter had used their network to locate a home. When the second came, it was a matter of waiting for the seven-day-hold to work out and the adopter would be happy to take both. Which was fortunate because by then the goats had a sister bond going. The adopter was a young couple from the mountain town of Buena Vista. They were running a natural health product line that included the use of goat’s milk.
Love’s usefullness ever becomes.