Meet Julie Puhich and Nancy Laich, 2 of the farmers at Common Ground Farm in Olympia, Washington. Both Julie and Nancy are long time farmers in the Olympia area and collectively run the farm with Julie managing the field veggies and Nancy overseeing the goats and orchards. Common Ground was one of the most magical, welcoming, and aesthetically beautiful farms we have visited yet.
Common Ground grows diverse veggies and fruits for their 40ish CSA boxes. Members pick up directly at the farm or are delivered to in Seattle. They are growing some serious food here!
Here are some of their baby goats and milking goats. Julie described the goats as the "heart of the farm, " not only because they are physically located in the farm's center but because they are used in conjunction with so many important aspects of their farm- eating extra veggies, providing fertility for the farm, offering milk and grazing the land on rotation.
Through this project I have discovered that there are quite a few queer goat farmers out there. I don't think it is coincidental that queers are drawn to goats- they are very queer themselves. Strong personalities, individualistic and creative, polyamorous, feminist and lesbionic-
all qualities found in these amazing creatures. For a deeper understanding, I suggest reading the chapter in Brad Kessler's book Goat Song that talks about goat reproduction- I think you'll find the detailed descriptions of males in rut proof enough.
Meet Lucy, Common Ground's resident queer goose. Nancy told the magical story of Lucy who lives among the milking goats and has had many doe partners in her life. She usually chooses one doe, mounts her, and continues to cuddle up.
Some beautiful shots from around the farm...
pallet fence held together with bailing twine, do-it-yourself recycled material style
Thank you to Leu for taking these beautiful photographs and for help in the field and to everyone that hosted in the Pacific Northwest.
Next up: meeting with Perry Stevens in Wasington DC-the USDA's National Conservation Resource Service's GLBT Special Emphasis Manager.