Back in the coldest days of early March, I put out an APB on Instagram (@xoxofarmgirl) asking if anyone had a source for Toggenburg goats because my friends, Wendy and Larry, who have a very nice farm, were looking to adopt two girl kids. They had Toggs in the past and were fond of their beautiful markings and gentle dispositions.
Pretty immediately the lively Instagram farm community that I follow and who follow me started sending messages from near and far. "My friend in Minnesota has a few who are expecting kids soon." Some friendly Kiwis reached our from down under. More Toggs. I heard from about 30 different sources, but none had any geographically desirable little girl goats.
Since my friends seemed to think I could be a goat matchmaker, I started reaching out to folks more directly. "Got any baby Toggs coming?" I sent DMs to a bunch of likely suspects. Finally, I got a DM from the friend of a guy whose Toggs might be having kids in the Spring... relatively nearby... especially if you are comparing Rhinebeck with Minnesota or New Zealand!
One evening in early June, before the baby goats were out for delivery to Wendy and Larry, I zipped from the country to the city for a gala in Riverside Park. At the cocktail party, held in a northern part of the park with everyone dressed up and a band playing under the gazebo, I spied a suited gentleman holding a goat on a leash. "Is that a Toggenburg?," I asked. His eyes got bigger and he asked how I could possibly know that. "It's a long story," I said. Maybe the bigger question is "Why was a goat at the Riverside Park Conservancy Gala?" The truth is that the goats were on the clock. A team of goats had been hired by the Conservancy's crackerjack new CEO, Dan Garodnick, to rid the wilds of the upper park of hard to reach invasive plants and poison ivy. Dan, a former city council member, wasted no time in building excitement around the goats' arrival. Who put the "goat" in GO(a)THAM? Dan di. Bravo, Dan.
Fast forward to early July, and Maggie and Daisy, two tiny Toggs arrived at my friends' farm. I had the chance to visit them with some essential goat treats in my pocket. Still skittish, they were both interested even though only the smaller one got close enough to sample them. True to their reputations, the little Toggs were quiet and sweet with dramatic white stripes down their faces and oversized ears (which I think they will grow into soon enough).
Wendy and Larry are friends and thought I could help. I do appreciate that faith, even if it's a wee bit optimistic. That said, I get a lot of interesting inquiries from folks I don't know nearly as well. "Do you know where I can get my pig butchered?" I swear. Of course, I found a few good resources and passed them on.
I think Daisy and Maggie are going to be very happy little goats in their new home. And I am happy to have helped in the matchmaking!
XOXO Farm Girl