Recently, I was fortunate to stumble upon a copy of Goat Song in my local library, a book that not only beautifully articulates the wonders of raising dairy goats, but more importantly than that, draws attention to the importance of living simply and closer to nature, and developing crucial relationships with our land and food production processes.
In a time of mass commercialization of food “products” and rising health issues associated with the conventional American diet, there is a vital need to understand the faults of industrial agriculture and its effects on our health. Not only that, we should develop closer relationships to the production of our food, and author Brad Kessler moves from New York City to rural Vermont to do just that — to try his hand at raising dairy goats and making cheese. He documents the amazing process in his book, Goat Song.
Kessler poetically expounds upon the process in amazing depth and draws out all of the beauty, art, serenity (and difficulty!), and value in playing a stronger role in our food production processes. He writes about his first year raising goats with his wife, Dona, and making cheese with their milk, and his growing relationship to the land and his animals through drinking the milk and eating homemade cheese. He does so with incredible clarity and depth. His book also explores deeper issues such as culture and the history of agriculture, and how herding culture affects our world to this day.
For those interested in dairy goats, this is a must read, and a very deep book, but even for those interested in eating local food and small-scale food production, this is likewise a fascinating read and a beautiful account.
I recommend Goat Song heartily!
Image credit: waldeneffect.org