Birds in Fall ; Lick Creek ) Kessler’s account of tending a small herd of milking goats in Vermont captures bot"/>
 

Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, a Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese

Brad Kessler, Author
Brad Kessler, Author Scribner $24 (239p) ISBN 978-1-4165-6099-9
Reviewed on: 04/06/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4165-6115-6
Paperback - 246 pages - 978-1-4165-6100-2
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Novelist (Birds in Fall ; Lick Creek ) Kessler’s account of tending a small herd of milking goats in Vermont captures both the lush, poetic paradise of rural life and the raw, unrelenting drama of dairying. Kessler, a Saab-driving ex-Manhattanite, purchases two Nubian goats, breeds them and helps his wife, Dona, a trained doula, attend to the birth of four goat kids the following spring. The amusing zoomorphic and anthropomorphic descriptions, where goats forage as if they were at a sample sale and milk-fed kids stagger “like street junkies,” dissipate as Kessler endures a season of goat wrangling, haying and hunting coyotes. Kessler gives the legal aspects of unpasteurized cheese a cursory inspection; his devotion centers on a budding relationship with animals, the earth and goat cheese. He’s a back-to-the-land naturalist, who supports his detailed personal observations with extensive research as he explores the cultural, historical and biological aspects of pastoralism. While the tome’s lengthy poetic journal entries on animal husbandry and cheese making hardly qualify as a comprehensive manual, the observant, unsanctimonious read is bound to inspire hobby farmers and consummate cheese lovers. (June)

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