Celestial Girl is a star spangled goat.
Mini-Nubian Pluto looks positively angelic.
Being part of a herd does not mean giving up your individuality. Banjo likes to nibble visitors’ fingers.
The way to Awee Farm is a rugged road whose potholes are large enough to swallow a small hippopotamus. There are no hippopotamuses on Cherry Run Road, West Virginia. There are, however, bluebirds, cardinals, zebra butterflies, whistle pigs and the ever present deer. The flora is that of neighboring areas of the Blue Ridge–maples, oaks, sycamores, wild cherry, sumac, Virginia creeper, wineberries. Houses are few and one could easily miss the eleven acre Awee Farm were it not for the road sign alerting one to its presence. There is where Sally Rivenburg raises Nubian and mini-Nubian goats. That is where my daughter travelled recently.
Sally is a Michigan native and a former school teacher who moved to West Virginia nine years ago. Raising goats was not one her goals until when her daughter gave her a Nubian kid as a housewarming present.
“Goats don’t like being alone,” she says. “They pine away unless they have company. I had to get him a companion.”
This summer, Sally’s herd totals twenty five gregarious goats who come running when she calls them by name. She interacts with each one of them at least twice a day, touching them and talking to them.
“This results in friendly, easy to manage animals,” she says in the website designed to provide information for prospective buyers “who are interested in providing a loving safe home to these wonderful creatures.”
This year, Awee Farm welcomed twelve Community Supported Agriculture shareholders. Produce from their gardens and Sally’s mouthwatering chevre and yogurt make a great start point for the revival of West Virginia’s slow food movement. Could quilting bees and ice cream socials be far behind?
NOTE– It has come to my attention, thanks to the erudite main character in Chandler Burr’s YOU OR SOMEONE LIKE YOU, that the correct plural of the word hippopotamus is hippopotamuses, not hippopotami. We stand corrected.