From rooftops and back yards to community plots and small farms,
across America inspired individuals are waking up and taking food
production into their own hands. Look into their lives and living
spaces as they nourish themselves and others, along with their
In this episode (Itty Bitty Farm in the City):
Chickens, miniature goats and a vegetable patch share Heidi and Ute’s
home in the midst of the Excelsior district in San Francisco. They find much
more than basic sustenance in this mini urban farm of theirs and get creative
with ways to exercise the goats.
Heidi and Ute:
Heidi is a country girl at heart with a self-professed obsession to feed her
daughter, Ute, the best food possible. She believes her urban farm is her
biggest contribution to her family, providing food, lessons and time together
with Ute in the garden and the kitchen.
When we colonize the moon in the not so distant future, guess what dairy
animal we are going to bring with us to live in our self-contained biospheres?
Cows? Heck no! How could we possibly get them in our rocket ships? The Nigerian
Dwarf Goat will be our small savior of all things cheesy and good. These little
fuzzy things stand no taller than 20 inches, yet produce about a quart of milk
a day with up to 11.3% butterfat. Here at Itty Bitty we wanted to be prepared
for our future’s new frontiers so we got ourselves a couple. Well
that’s not exactly the reason why, but I thought it might make a catchy
introduction to our newest additions.
Our new farm critters came from Oops Ranch in Lake County. They raise all
kinds of tiny things up there, including miniature ponies. And to answer your
question, no we are not getting one of those. I drove up on Sunday to pick up
Lucy and Ethel, a.k.a. Lucille Ball and Ethel Mermen. They are not exactly your
friendly petting zoo type of goats. Not having been physically handled too
much, they are skittish and shy. I am a touch embarrassed to admit that I was
completely unprepared for their arrival. The day before pick-up, I got one of
those Dogloos off of Freecycle and didn’t actually set up their pen
until I had brought them to our backyard. Finding a place to store them while
I built the pen was a challenge as the backyard is a giant construction site
right now with only one side of a 3-sided fence erected. My DF (Disgruntled
Farmhand) took charge here and tied them to a tree where they munched down
my peas and the rose bush that we’ve cut back more times than I can
count. I guess we won’t have to worry about that anymore. By the way,
if you need blackberry brambles or overgrown rose bushes removed from your
property, the girls would be more than happy to help.
This is 3 month old Ethel:
She is the friendlier of the two, or maybe she’s just smaller and
slower and thus easier to catch. Here is Lucy, looking like the anxious
goat that she is:
Ute is in charge of taming the goats. In this pic, she illustrates her
That Dogloo, or I guess we should call it the Goatigloo, is hecka rad.
So far we’ve determined that you can fairly comfortably fit (I love
split infinitives!) 2 goats and 2 five year olds in there. I think
Ute’s technique is working: