Recently we have established a nice relationship with our local Whole Foods Market. In addition to their one-day sponsorship of our farm, which resulted in meeting terrifically nice people and receiving a generous check with 5% of their proceeds for that day (which starts to take the farm away from the brink of financial terror), they allow us to weekly pick up leftover and not-quite-sellable produce to feed to the animals.
On veggie pickup days, I’ve learned quickly to surreptitiously pull the truck around the side of the house and unload the boxes into the garden like Speedy Gonzales. The first time I arrived home with about 15 boxes of lettuce, melon rinds, pineapple, and an array of vegetables and fruits I myself have never tasted, the truck was surrounded by four-legged bandits who all threatened me bodily harm if I got in between them and the goods. So much for gratitude.
For one with such a discerning palate as Mr. Newman Goat, this has been a time of culinary revelation. Always the first to discover that the boxes have arrived (one wonders if he’s marked the day on his calendar?), he leaps up into the truck bed, stands directly on and in the produce boxes, and throws stuff around like Attila the Hun. And he has discovered taste delights hitherto unknown in the goat world; in fact, he’s threatened to publish a column with reviews. I think he’s serious, because these are a few excerpts of notes I discovered hidden behind a board in the barn:
“Pineapple cores are delightful, but slightly difficult for the goat’s mouth anatomy to work around (editor’s note: the turkeys just swallow them whole. Then again, the turkeys also have discovered how to make strawberry wine by stomping the berries in the box and getting totally sloshed on the runny contents; we suspect these boys led rather dissolute lives before they came here.). Pineapple sides and tops are preferable, because one can slowly appreciate the sweet juiceness of the thinly sliced pieces, so soft on one side and oh-so-crunchy on the other. Heaven.
“We prefer to leave the ubiquitous apple alone; God knows we get enough of that dreadfully boring flavor in the autumnal season, so who needs it in this heat. No, in summer, goats must absolutely go with the tropical flavors: papaya, guava, banana (peel and all), mango (but make sure your human removes the large pit, first. Yes, I know, this dependence nonsense is a bit out of control.). The mango, my caprine friends, will cause your taste buds to pucker with delight, your palate to explode in sweet harmony, and you will never again touch those dried out pellets your human calls “goat feed”. Goat feed, my dirty hooves. How dare they. Once you know the pleasure of the sweet tropical fruity flesh, you will heartily reject the plebian fare they buy in those ‘feed bags’. (editor’s note: even after his first mango experience, Mr. Newman did perform a ritual feed bag ransacking, so we think he is full of hooey).
“Now on to greens – you think grass is where it’s at? Think again! Remember the times you have broken into their gardens, eaten fresh buttercrunch lettuce, beet greens, and, oh, perish the thought, that gorgeous arugula! That is nothing! Imagine a dozen different types of lettuce, crunchy lettuce, soft and squeezy lettuce, lettuce with little flowery ends, red and light green and dark green and white lettuce. Imagine all of these all mixed in together for a veritable taste explosion. I’m thinking of marketing this myself as ‘spring mix’. You, my dear goat readers, will be the first to do the official taste testing….”
Ever inscrutable, Newman will happily crunch on a long, hard piece of green that has to be boiled almost out of existence to be edible by humans and resembles something you’ve always assiduously avoided, but then again, this is the goat who eats my students’ homework with relish. We’re a little alarmed by the discovery of his secret writing habit, and we feel reasonably certain that his gourmet articles will find success amongst the goat readership, so we wish to caution all you goat keepers out there to watch your mailboxes, and recommend that you immediately confiscate any issues that arrive of “Haute Goate Cuisine” — if you plan to keep on feeding hay, that is.
Till next time,
Star Gazing Farm 501(c)3
A haven for retired farm animals and wayward goats