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The Year of the Goat

The Year of the Goat 
40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect Cheese
by Margaret Hathaway

The Lyons Press, 2007 

"We could not give up the dream of ourselves as goat farmers. We were possessed by the idea, and our hopes had gone so far into the country that our daily city lives seemed schizophrenic and disappointing," writes Margaret Hathaway in the opening chapter of this chronicle of a year-long exploration of goats and goat cheese.

"Karl had the idea of apprenticing ourselves but didn't know where to begin. I thought of trying to coerce family members to become business partners, but no one was really interested. We both tossed out the idea of simply moving to a small town and seeing what happened."

Inspired by a suggestion from Karl's therapist, the New York couple decided to take the time to travel, visiting goat farms and dairies, talking to breeders and cheesemakers and gourmands on a quest to find out what raising goats and making goat cheese was all about. This would help them decide, they figured, whether they wanted to devote themselves to milking goats.

Illustrated with Karl's photographs, their book is an entertaining survey of goats and goat farming in America, touching on mohair and pack goats and livestock auctions almost as much as it does chevre. Does it lead these city dwellers back to the land? Read on

The Year of the Goat
The Year of the Goat

The Goat Whisperer
Doug Curle believes he can communicate with goats..

In the Weeds
Due to their versatility and their ability to survive on tall weeds and woody brush, however, goats can adapt to almost any climate and situation.

Furry Friends
A pack of angora goats, a source of mohair, cluster together on a ranch in Sonora, Texas..

Cheese Trays
Bloomy rinded goat cheeses age in a cooler at Redwood Hill Farm & Goat Dairy, in Sebastopol, California...

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