WBEZ | goats http://www.wbez.org/tags/goats Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Herd of goats, llamas, sheep and burros are grazing around the O’Hare grounds http://www.wbez.org/news/herd-goats-llamas-sheep-and-burros-are-grazing-around-o%E2%80%99hare-grounds-108408 <p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-07707cd9-7e20-3f9e-2c35-610b395b0a92">A herd of goats, burros, sheep and llamas are chewing their way through the grounds of O&rsquo;Hare International Airport in Chicago. The Chicago Department of Aviation showed off their latest &ldquo;employees&rdquo; this week, though the animals have been at work, clearing the vegetation around the airport for almost a month.</p><p dir="ltr">The group of 14 goats, five sheep, three burros and two llamas will graze inside fenced areas around the airport at least until the end of 2014. Officials say the animals were brought to the airport as a sustainable way to clean up the dense scrub vegetation that covers much of the grounds.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It gets pretty rocky under here,&rdquo; said Rosemarie Andolino, CDA commissioner. pointing to a five-acre field of grass and brush behind her. &ldquo;And there (are) areas where it kinda goes up and down and lawnmowers in many cases don&rsquo;t provide or aren&rsquo;t adequate to get to some of these areas.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/goats13.JPG" style="height: 225px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Three of O’Hare airport’s latest hires explore their new workspace. The burros are part of a herd of 25 animals that will eat vegetation around the airport to help maintain the grounds. (WBEZ/Lauren Chooljian)" /></p><p dir="ltr">Andolino said the contract for the goats won&rsquo;t exceed $19,500, and it expires by the end of 2014. The commissioner didn&rsquo;t have estimates as to how much it cost to maintain the grounds before the animals, yet a spokeswoman maintained there may be some cost savings down the road.</p><p dir="ltr">The herd won&rsquo;t be eating at the same spot everyday &mdash; Andolino says they&rsquo;ll move around to different places on the airport&rsquo;s grounds, depending on need. As for concerns about the animals during brutal Chicago winters, officials say the herd will only be out as long as weather permits.</p><p dir="ltr">Most of the animals in the O&rsquo;Hare herd come from Settler&rsquo;s Pond &mdash; a shelter for abandoned animals in Beecher, Ill. &mdash; but four of them were originally owned by Joseph Arnold, head of Central Commissary Holdings, LLC. The airport contract isn&rsquo;t technically their first job: Arnold&rsquo;s four goats used to provide milk for the goat cheese served at Chicago restaurant <a href="http://butcherandtheburger.com/">Butcher and the Burger</a>.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/goats17.JPG" style="float: left; height: 225px; width: 300px;" title="A day-old lamb stays close by her mother at their new home, the O’Hare International Airport. They’re part of a herd of animals eating its way around the fields at O’Hare. (WBEZ/Lauren Chooljian)" />Though they might seem an unlikely sight among the security fences and planes flying overhead, the burros, goats, sheep and llamas Tuesday seemed to make themselves quite at home. One of the sheep even gave birth to a lamb Tuesday, and all the animals gathered around to greet him.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a little boy and his name is O&rsquo;Hare,&rdquo; said Pinky Jenota, one of the caretakers from <a href="http://www.settlerspondshelter.net/about.html">Settler&rsquo;s Pond</a>. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s doing great, he was up suckling on mom, planes flying overhead. He didn&rsquo;t flinch, Mom didn&rsquo;t move - everybody&rsquo;s content.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">For now, the herd will continue munching around a five acre space on the airport grounds. Officials say they should finish that section in the next few weeks, and then it&rsquo;s on to the next spot.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Producer/Reporter Follow her&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a> .</em></p></p> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 13:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/herd-goats-llamas-sheep-and-burros-are-grazing-around-o%E2%80%99hare-grounds-108408 Goat and chicken lovers get together http://www.wbez.org/news/goat-and-chicken-lovers-get-together-105557 <p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/59748968" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500"></iframe></p><p>From the street, Carolyn Ioder&rsquo;s house on the western side of the Austin neighborhood looks pretty normal. It&rsquo;s a large off-white stucco with an American flag hanging out front and a big trampoline crammed into a fenced-in backyard.</p><p>It&rsquo;s the sounds from the garage that give it away. Inside her two-car garage, Ioder keeps one car, six goats and a small coop full of chickens. The animals live here year-round, and Ioder takes the goats to pasture daily in a vacant lot down the street. She has the owner&rsquo;s permission, and she gets water for the goats from the Chicago fire station at the end of the alley.</p><p>&ldquo;Goats are such flock animals, they like to be with each other but they&rsquo;re also extremely bossy,&rdquo; said Ioder, wrangling the goats onto leashes for their daily walk to pasture.</p><p>The occasion of this visit is the first-ever Chicago Urban Livestock Expo, to take place this Saturday at the Garfield Park Conservatory. The event, sponsored by a small coalition of urban agriculture enthusiasts, features workshops on raising bees, rabbits, chickens and goats within city (or suburban) limits.</p><p>Officially, Ioder&rsquo;s goats aren&rsquo;t livestock. They&rsquo;re pets. But Ioder does keep them as a food source.</p><p>&ldquo;In my house all the pets work,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;The cats take care of the mice, the dogs scares the people that aren&rsquo;t supposed to be around, and the chickens lay eggs and the goats give milk.&rdquo;</p><p>In the summertime, the goats can yield up to two gallons of milk a day, which is a lot for a single family to deal with. Ioder&rsquo;s only had them for a couple years, so she&rsquo;s struggling to get up to speed on goat cheese production. She started with just two goats, they had twins and twins again, and now she&rsquo;s dealing with a small herd. So she may also have to <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19540560/wanted-1-goat-herder-30-goats-at-ohare-intl-airport" target="_blank">sell some off</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;Not because I want to make a profit,&rdquo; she clarified. Feeding six goats every day is a big task, and her actual yard is a scarce patch of grass.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7026_018-scr.JPG" style="height: 174px; width: 310px; float: right;" title="The garage where it all happens. (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" /></p><p><strong>That&rsquo;s actually allowed?</strong></p><p>There are no regulations specific to goats in Chicago, except that you&rsquo;re not allowed to slaughter them. Same goes for chickens, a more popular pet that&rsquo;s already <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/owning-chickens-scratches-controversy-95624" target="_blank">banned in some Chicago suburbs</a>.</p><p>But urban agriculture experts say no one should get into city goat or chicken farming without getting educated. The backyard pen or coop can be clean and contained, but it takes some work. And they recommend checking in with the neighbors before you welcome in a new flock or herd.</p><p>&ldquo;I have met a couple people who&rsquo;ve complained about it,&rdquo; said <a href="http://urbanchickenconsultant.wordpress.com/chicken-faqs/" target="_blank">urban chicken consultant</a> Jennie Murtoff. &ldquo;I talked to a woman [...] who was adamantly opposed to chickens. She said they were noisy and they were smelly, and she was very unhappy about her neighbor having chickens. And then she told me she was a pit bull rescuer.&rdquo;</p><p>But she says if they&rsquo;re managed right, chickens should be less of a nuisance than some dogs.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re relatively quiet. If the owners keep the pens well, which doesn&rsquo;t take a whole lot of work, there won&rsquo;t be any smell. A lot of people don&rsquo;t even realize that the chickens are in the backyard,&rdquo; Murtoff said.</p><p>Plus, good housekeeping is the key to keeping the city from cracking down, which is part of what the Expo aims to educate people about. An unregulated urban farming landscape is ideal for these passionate local foodies, and they want to have a real conversation about what that takes.</p><p>&ldquo;If people are looking for a day out with the kids at a petting zoo, this probably isn&rsquo;t the place for them,&rdquo; Murtoff said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s an event for people who are seriously interested in the urban agriculture movement.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Local food systems, cute pets</strong></p><p>Murtoff stressed that getting eggs or milk from your own backyard isn&rsquo;t just a novelty. To her it&rsquo;s about having a hyperlocal source of good food, knowing where your food comes from, and maybe even saving some money.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7021_021-scr.JPG" style="height: 337px; width: 710px;" title="Carolyn Ioder's goats wonder whether microphones are edible. (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" />&ldquo;Too often we think that, oh, eggs come from the supermarket,&rdquo; Murtoff said. &ldquo;And they don&rsquo;t. They come from a bird.&rdquo;</p><p>And a cool bird, too.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re just wonderful little people inside those feathered bodies,&rdquo; she added.</p><p>&ldquo;What we&rsquo;re working for is local community development of food systems,&rdquo; Ioder said.</p><p>By day, she runs a bread company and stays active in various groups working on issues of food security. And she&rsquo;s not the only goat farmer in town - a scattered number of Chicago and suburban residents keep pygmy goats, which are small enough to pass as terriers but still give milk. Chicken farmers in the Chicago area probably number in the hundreds.<br /><br />Ioder doesn&rsquo;t see her work as real farming, but she said it helps keep her connected to her roots.</p><p>&ldquo;We were the first generation, my husband and I, to be born off the farm,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>And she ran out to catch a goat who was wandering towards the CTA tracks on Lake street.</p><p>The first <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/chicagochickenenthusi/events/urban-livestock-expo" target="_blank">Chicago Urban Livestock Expo</a> takes place Saturday, February 16 from 10am to 1pm at the Garfield Park Conservatory.</p><p>Follow <a href="https://twitter.com/LewisPants" target="_blank">Lewis Wallace on Twitter</a>.</p></p> Fri, 15 Feb 2013 10:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/goat-and-chicken-lovers-get-together-105557 While feuds simmer, no charges in Lil Jojo shooting http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/while-feuds-simmer-no-charges-lil-jojo-shooting-102423 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Keef2.jpg" title="Rapper Chief Keef (courtesy of the artist via Facebook)" /></p><p><strong>Lead Story:</strong> It&rsquo;s been over a week since <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/chief-keefs-taunting-tweet-has-him-hot-water-102220">the first news</a> of the death of local rapper Lil Jojo and the investigation into the involvement of rising local rap star Chief Keef and there&rsquo;s still no new news. Rumors of Keef being brought in for police questioning circulated on Twitter earlier this week but were never substantiated. Keef still insists that his account <a href="http://rapfix.mtv.com/2012/09/10/chief-keef-denies-tweeting-lil-jojo-lupe-fiasco/">was hacked</a> and later tweeted a more appropriate tribute to the fallen rapper. Another local rapper, No I.D. <a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1693628/chief-keef-lupe-fiasco-feud-no-id.jhtml">weighed in on the feud</a> between Keef and Lupe Fiasco but just this week Fiasco <a href="http://www.bet.com/news/music/2012/09/13/lupe-fiasco-extends-olive-branch-to-chief-keef.html">seemed to be seeking a truce</a>. Another rap star, Fifty Cent, <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/15111696-418/superstar-rapper-50-cent-defends-chief-keef.html">came to Keef&rsquo;s defense this week</a>, pointing to the lack of charges against Keef as a reason to withhold judgment. And now local rapper Lil Jay <a href="http://allhiphop.com/2012/09/12/potential-violence-brewing-over-death-of-chicago-rapper-lil-jojo/">has remixed the Lil Jojo track</a> that allegedly led to his death, promising vengeance for Jojo&rsquo;s killing. Of course, with all this back-and-forth, what&rsquo;s lost is that an 18-year-old boy is dead and a 17-year-old rival is eyed as being connected to the murder; if nothing else, 2012 will be remembered for being the year of the gun in Chicago and Lil Jojo&rsquo;s murder the symbolic incident of the city&rsquo;s spiraling gang and poverty problem that&rsquo;s spurred the violence these same rappers embrace and even celebrate.</p><p><strong>Also:</strong> It was a bad, bad night for the Bears in Green Bay, the magic of the week one offensive explosion gone as the Bears offense sputtered and the <a href="http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2012091300/2012/REG2/bears@packers#menu=drivechart&amp;tab=analyze&amp;pbp=gc-pbp-cd">Packers pulled away 23-10</a>. The entire game was mainly a defensive struggle as neither Pro Bowl quarterback &ndash; the Bears&rsquo; Jay Cutler or the Packers&rsquo; Aaron Rodgers &ndash; developed a solid rhythm. A poor performance from the Bears&rsquo; offensive line had Cutler scrambling and tossing wild throws that led to several Cutler sacks (six, actually) and interceptions (four, actually), a bad case of deja vu for Bears fans. Dropped passes, including a sure touchdown throw bobbled by Brandon Marshall, didn&rsquo;t help, either. At least the team gets a few extra days off before their next game on September 23 when they welcome the Rams to Soldier Field.</p><p><strong>And then:</strong> In one of the more bizarre stories this week, Fox Chicago <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19540560/wanted-1-goat-herder-30-goats-at-ohare-intl-airport">unearthed a bid</a> at O&rsquo;Hare for a goat herder. After a little digging, they found that the city&rsquo;s aviation department is looking for someone to oversee a herd of goats to be used to keep grass and brush levels near the airport that&rsquo;s hard for mowers to access. Other cities that have already instituted such a program include San Francisco and Atlanta. It&rsquo;s a pretty great idea and probably pretty cheap. But one has to question whether or not this is really the right city for <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_the_Billy_Goat">goats</a>. On the other hand, let&rsquo;s see this bid go out just to see which alderman has the clout to get his brother-in-law&rsquo;s goat business a contract. And which alderman has a brother-in-law with a goat business.</p><p><strong>Released: </strong>The full two-minute trailer for the upcoming Steven Spielberg-directed Abe Lincoln biopic starring Daniel Day Lewis.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qiSAbAuLhqs" width="560"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Elsewhere</strong></p><ul><li>Strange happenings in China were the next president <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/14/world/asia/xi-jinpings-absence-puts-communist-party-off-script.html?_r=1&amp;hp&amp;gwh=D2DE665D172CCBDB96932CF19343F6E5">is still out of sight</a> but not out of mind.</li><li>On the 150<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, <a href="http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2019140393_apuscivilwar150thantietam.html">an interesting look</a> at the sweeping reenactment.</li><li>New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg&rsquo;s big gulp soda ban in NYC <a href="http://gothamist.com/2012/09/13/bloombergs_soda_ban_victory_lap_big.php">has gotten the green light</a> and will go into effect next March.</li><li>Britain has a great new way to deal with unruly movie theater patrons: <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/british-theater-deals-with-noisy-moviegoers-by-hir,84959/">ninjas</a>.</li><li>And just because it&rsquo;s Friday, meet <a href="http://www.ajc.com/ap/ap/top-news/great-dane-from-michigan-is-worlds-tallest-dog/ph4PB/">the world&rsquo;s tallest dog</a>.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Looking Ahead:</strong></p><ul><li>The Christopher Vaughn murder trial, largely overshadowed by the Drew Peterson case, could <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/13/christopher-vaughns-sister-testifies-at-his-murder-trial/">head to the jury early next week</a>.</li><li>Don&rsquo;t hold your breath on state pension reform. State senate president John Cullerton says a vote <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-illinois-senate-president-no-vote-on-pension-reform-until-january-20120913,0,7636977.story">won&rsquo;t happen until at least January</a>.</li><li>Even as the paper moves on from <a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/182837/chicago-tribune-staffers-relationship-with-journatic-threatens-to-jeopardize-our-credibility/">the Journatic fiasco</a>, the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> is still <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120913/NEWS06/120919887/in-wake-of-journatic-tribune-reduces-number-of-triblocal-editions">cutting back on TribLocal sections</a>.</li><li>Despite the city&rsquo;s <a href="http://articles.redeyechicago.com/2012-09-12/news/33794614_1_analysis-of-preliminary-police-first-homicide-chicago-homicide">brief reprieve</a> from its violent year, things are still so crazy <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/13/rival-gang-members-hired-by-same-temp-agency-fight-on-break/">even temp agencies are unwittingly</a> setting gangs against each other.</li><li>The <em>Reader</em> <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/mayor-emanuel-pushes-chicago-teachers-toward-strike/Content?oid=7412909">weighs in on the teachers strike</a>, exploring how the teachers reached this point of frustration with the mayor.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Sports&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong></p><ul><li>Sox Watch: With their lead over the Tigers reduced to just one game, the Sox will have to wait until Monday to earn one back the easy way as last night&rsquo;s game was <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/ct-spt-0914-white-sox-tigers-chicago--20120914,0,7425822.story">postponed</a> due to rain.</li><li>It was <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/gallery?section=news/sports&amp;id=8809595&amp;photo=1">an emotional day for Derrick Rose</a> yesterday as he announced his new shoe, the Bulls star breaking down in tears while discussing his injury. But the good news? <a href="http://www.nba.com/2012/news/09/13/bulls-derrick-rose-knee.ap/">He&rsquo;s making great progress</a>.</li><li>There hasn&rsquo;t been much fuss &ndash; yet &ndash; over the fact the Cubs and Sox will <a href="http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120912&amp;content_id=38297678&amp;vkey=news_chc&amp;c_id=chc">only play each other four times next year</a> in back-to-back two-game sets at each park in late May.</li><li>There aren&rsquo;t any signs yet <a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/story/_/id/8375714/commissioner-mike-aresco-says-big-east-prepared-negotiate-notre-dame-buyout">of a buyout for Notre Dame</a> to exit the Big East early to head to the ACC, but if they get one, it won&rsquo;t be cheap.</li><li>Don&rsquo;t get too excited, hockey fans: things look grim as <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/news/time-running-nhl-union-swap-083401305--nhl.html">a lockout looms this weekend</a>.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Finally</strong><br />Saturday Night Live debuts its new season tomorrow night and they&rsquo;ve finally got a different cast member to portray President Obama. Jay Pharoah, who&rsquo;s been painfully under-utilized since he joined the cast, <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/09/13/as-obama-jay-pharoah-could-bring-snl-the-change-we-need/?mod=google_news_blog">will play the Commander-in-Chief this season</a>.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/djBUQOqgFMM#t=400" width="560"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 14 Sep 2012 09:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/while-feuds-simmer-no-charges-lil-jojo-shooting-102423 American goat cheese: From hippie chick to hip and chic http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-23/american-goat-cheese-hippie-chick-hip-and-chic-92376 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-23/goat-cheese-cake_vert.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>I'll never forget the taste of a particular glass of milk offered to me at my friend's house when we were in the fourth grade: sour grass. After I tried it, my friend's hippie mom proudly informed me it was goat's milk. Gross, I thought.</p><p>I had a pretty typical East Coast 1980s childhood diet of sugary cereals and processed dinners, and so my palate was completely unprepared for the funky flavor of goat.</p><p>But now, some 30 years later, I've often pulled goat cheese out of the fridge to bolster a quick dinner or to serve unexpected visitors.</p><p>I'm not alone in going from zero to 60 on goat, but how did it happen?</p><p>One of the grand dames of goat cheese, Mary Keehn of <a href="http://www.cypressgrovechevre.com/">Cypress Grove Chevre</a> in California, started her business in 1983, at a time when she says <em>nobody</em> wanted to eat goat cheese.</p><p>At the <a href="http://www.specialtyfood.com/fancy-food-show/summer-fancy-food-show/">Fancy Food Show</a> in Washington, D.C., this summer, the lines for her counter were sometimes five people deep.</p><p>Back in the 1980s, she says, people would tell her they didn't like goat cheese. But she persevered. "Well, try this one," she recalls saying. Eventually, it worked.</p><p>That's the rights strategy, says <a href="http://www.monell.org/faculty/people/pelchat">Marci Pelchat</a>, who studies taste and flavor at the Monell Center. One of the keys to getting people to try new foods is mere exposure — especially in a social setting.</p><p>"If someone serves it at a party, or you go to an expensive restaurant, that helps cognitively to make you want to try it again," Pelchat says. Basically, social pressure helps.</p><p>"It took us 10 years to get people not to go, 'Yuck,'" Keehn says, recalling the early food shows where she desperately tried to give away samples.</p><p>Now, goat cheese is nothing new to the rest of the world. In fact, goats were among the first <a href="http://archaeology.about.com/od/domestications/qt/goats.htm">domesticated animals</a>, valued for their size, their smarts, their lean meat and their milk. In Homer's epic poem, "The Odyssey," the gigantic one-eyed <a href="http://catchingarainbow.blogs.letelegramme.com/archive/2006/11/17/the-history-of-goat-cheese.html">Cyclops</a>, Polyphemus, puts goat milk curds into molds made of reeds — tah dah, cheese.</p><p>Fresh goat cheese has been <a href="http://www.frenchgoatscheese.com/en/all-about-french-goats-cheeses/the-history-of-french-goats-cheeses.html">prized</a> in France for centuries, and now there's dozens of varieties of aged goat cheese. But Americans never quite took to the flavor until the last decade or so.</p><p>Some of us may never like it, says Pelchat. It depends on our childhood experiences, whether our parents tried new foods or encouraged us to do it.</p><p>"Exposure does increase liking, [but] it depends on where you started out," she says. If you're open to new flavors, you'll have more food in your repertoire.</p><p>Keehn says she was always open to new things. She had a young family and not a lot of money in the early 1970s, and she noticed a neighbor had a few goats around her barn to control weeds. She was thinking about survival, and reading about how milk and meat were used in other cultures.</p><p>So with her neighbor's permission, she captured two goats and started domesticating them.</p><p>Soon, her biology degree kicked in, and she started building a complex breeding program. She began showing the animals at fairs. And then she had more milk than her family could drink, so she started making cheese.</p><p>"You can just heat up milk, add a little vinegar and it will coagulate, so that was my first cheese. We ate a lot of that, and it's not that great," Keehn admits. But she kept trying. She ordered French manuals on how to make goat cheese, and used yogurt as a starter because the special cheese-making <a href="http://thecheesemaker.com/cultures.htm">enzymes</a> available to today's cheese entrepreneurs weren't around back then. She sold it to friends and neighbors.</p><p>Now her Humbolt Fog, a pure white cheese with a gray-blue vein running through it, is among the most recognizable fresh goat cheeses around.</p><p>Goat cheese is the <a href="http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/emergingissues/downloads/goatreport090805.pdf">fastest growing market</a> for domestic goat milk, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, although it's still quite small compared to cow's milk cheese. Now <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Goat-Meat-Cheese-Bruce-Weinstein/dp/1584799056">books</a> about what to do with goats are everywhere, but there was nothing American available when Keehn started out.</p><p>To stay current, Keehn recently started making goat cheese wedding cakes — three goat cheese wheels stacked on top of each other, shaped like a three-tiered wedding cake.</p><p>"It's exciting to be invited to peoples' weddings, even if it's just for the cheese," she says.</p><p>And she welcomes the competition — of which there was plenty at the Fancy Food Show.</p><p>One company called <a href="http://www.happygoatcaramel.com/home.html">Happy Goat</a> was marketing six flavors of goat cheese caramels, including one featuring a nip of Scotch liquor. Now <em>that's</em> a flavor Americans will probably take to quickly.</p><div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</div></p> Fri, 23 Sep 2011 09:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-23/american-goat-cheese-hippie-chick-hip-and-chic-92376