(KINDLE) ß Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese ⚸ eBook or E-pub free

This is a sweet book in the genre of over educated urbanites, usually writers, who move to Europe or to the country, preferably Vermont, to escape mid life responsibilities and find their souls via artisanal foods Snarkiness aside, I liked this book, especially Kessler s admirable musings on the life and spirituality of a shepherd It is a great lesson on the food chain and circle of life When he describes recalling the heat of the summer when he feeds his goats, in the midst of winter, the This is a sweet book in the genre of over educated urbanites, usually writers, who move to Europe or to the country, preferably Vermont, to escape mid life responsibilities and find their souls via artisanal foods Snarkiness aside, I liked this book, especially Kessler s admirable musings on the life and spirituality of a shepherd It is a great lesson on the food chain and circle of life When he describes recalling the heat of the summer when he feeds his goats, in the midst of winter, the hay he has harvested, and then writes of tasting the green grass and stored energy in his cheeses, it rings right and true The energy human and otherwise it takes to produce a gallon of goat milk, and then a wheel of cheese, is worth any Michael Pollan essay While it does contain the by now nearly satirical trip to France to discover the true roots of fill in the blank wine, cheese, olives, bread, etc , he plays this in a minor key, and with only mild aplomb his cheeses pass muster at a fancy pants restaurant in NY Yes, only someone from Berkeley or Brooklyn would do the research he did to find the locale in France most like his in Vermont, all in an effort tofully exploit its terroir, but he keeps it from being too precious Instead, with his light, laconic hand which leaves room for our imagination , it feels right And besides, who is going to pass up an opportunity to write off a trip to France I just couldn t finish this book Sure there are some interesting facts about goats that I didn t know But the author s writing style is extremely forced He uses big words to make himself sound smarter and tries to tell stories in a way that makes his life sound dreamy, but it ends up just not flowing And all the talk of pastoralism and ancient practices is starting to sound snobbish and I can t stand it So the end A goat s anus would open like the aperture of a camera and produce pe I just couldn t finish this book Sure there are some interesting facts about goats that I didn t know But the author s writing style is extremely forced He uses big words to make himself sound smarter and tries to tell stories in a way that makes his life sound dreamy, but it ends up just not flowing And all the talk of pastoralism and ancient practices is starting to sound snobbish and I can t stand it So the end A goat s anus would open like the aperture of a camera and produce perfectly round pellets, one by one Followed by the longest eye roll of all time Enough said I know when I really love a book, I tell everyone that they need to read it I also know that it rarely happens, and that it s even less likely to happen when the book in question is on goat farming But Goat Song is about so muchthan just goat farming Sure, Kessler walks you through his process of buying, raising and milking goats, but don t expect this to be some utopian back to our roots foodie lit This is the real deal, right from the goat vulva to the spinal parasites that threate I know when I really love a book, I tell everyone that they need to read it I also know that it rarely happens, and that it s even less likely to happen when the book in question is on goat farming But Goat Song is about so muchthan just goat farming Sure, Kessler walks you through his process of buying, raising and milking goats, but don t expect this to be some utopian back to our roots foodie lit This is the real deal, right from the goat vulva to the spinal parasites that threaten one goat s life This is a book that s graphic in it s description of goat raising idealists beware That s not to say there isn t beauty here It s exactly where you would expect it to be a baby goat s first steps, it s crying for milk from it s mother, the herd grazing calmly beneath blue Vermont skies And there s sadness too the aforementioned goat falling ill to a spinal parasite, real recognition of separation as kids are taken away from their mothers A real emotional roller coaster, this one.Kessler also does an amazing job of making goat herding seem ancient and universal, bringing in examples from across languages and around the world In fact, I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in etymology agricultural etymology, sure, but the examples are so far reaching and permeating that I think they would be of interest to anyone There s also a lengthy and interesting discussion of goat imagery in religion, from the ancient Greeks to modern Christianity Hardly surprising as goats are one of the first domesticated animals, another interesting tid bit as they obviously didn t end up the way their similarly domesticatied counterparts cows, pigs, chickens did, confined to factory farms and essentially a mass produced meat commodity.There is a fair amount of religious musing here too, but handled in the least imposing way Kessler brings his love of goats and cheese to an almost spiritual level and while that might sound laughable at face value, there is a true beauty in the interconnectedness of his thinkings that I guess you d just have to read to understand where I m coming from, as I don t have the vocabulary to describe it other than effortless, I guess His sentences flow casually and slowly, slowly, you too will see the process of raising goats and creating cheese as Kessler does, a timeless connection between man and nature that skirts on transcendent There s really so much to love about this book, whether you re into agriculture, anthropology, history, religion, biology and on and on It seems as though it would be nearly impossible to tie all of these themes together without sounding rambling or preachy or muddled, but Kessler handles it with first rate flying colors, letting each unfold and interweave at its own pace, only when appropriate Hands down one of the best books l ve read in a long while If the joy of escaping with a book is one of life s pleasures, then the rapture at being utterly engaged by a book is inestimable Enraptured was I today with Kessler s Goat Song From his invitation to follow where his goats lead, to his introspective and spiritual conclusion in which he reads an anagogic parable within cheesemaking, his affinage of milk and spirit, Kessler crafts his sentences, story, and references with the grace and reverence he displays in his relation of raising, herding, If the joy of escaping with a book is one of life s pleasures, then the rapture at being utterly engaged by a book is inestimable Enraptured was I today with Kessler s Goat Song From his invitation to follow where his goats lead, to his introspective and spiritual conclusion in which he reads an anagogic parable within cheesemaking, his affinage of milk and spirit, Kessler crafts his sentences, story, and references with the grace and reverence he displays in his relation of raising, herding, and caring for his goats Absolutely a peer to the agricultural sociologic works of Pollan and Kingsolver, Goat Song bespeaks the need to rediscover an American terroir, tapping into the zeitgeist of eating locally, of relearning what processes and connections exist within a sustainable and harmonious food system, of becoming engaged individually in the joy and profound rightness of cultivating one s own sustenance.Kessler s peripatetic, caprine led story meanders from history of language to history of place to history of religion, discovering in each the pastoral underpinnings of human nomadism that reverberate to this day, even if largely unnoticed and forgotten Though his human mind draws intriguing comparisons and conclusions from the act of herding, Kessler complements his circumlocutions with a plain spoken assortment of very basic tasks and explanations dovetailing his pedagogic tangents with the mucking of stalls, the epicurean bliss of making faisselle, the harvesting of the summer hay with neighbors These history lessons are penned alongside the dramatic a goat s debilitating illness and coyote predation and the comedic, epitomized by the trope of animal observation and the life cycle the copulation scene providing a literal and figurative sense of the word horny and a visual enjoinder to the caprine roots of the word capricious, Kessler s estrous does are mated to a nearby farm s buck who caprioles and charges and humps any nearby creature to satiate his lust, and, after several attempts, finally inseminates the desired target but not before achieving a masturbatory feat of auto fellatio.Like the bellwether goat guiding the herd, Kessler builds his story to the culmination of raising goats the cheesemaking while drawing this act in whorls of meditative and spiritual discovery He avoids a doctrinate overemphasis, drawing liberally from Jewish, Catholic, and Buddhist sources to examine the threads of land, goat, milk, bacteria, and human that culminate in a wheel of cheese, his tomme, which stands in for and beside the tome that he writes Both exercises take on the notes of the spiritual quest, the quest around the wheel of time, leading to the never ending and imperfectible state of affinage, French for the final stage of aging and refining a cheese, which Kessler aptly carries to the personal quest he travels.Shriven of the urban disassociation from nature by the character and caretaking of his goats, Kessler has crafted a piquant pastoral autobiography, attesting to his reacclimation to the rhythms of nature through the goat eyed perspective that takes bliss as it comes, whether in the form of rich provender or still cooling ch vre I m moving again Well, technically, I m always moving Whether to a new apartment, home, city or region, it seems I can t keep myself still Maybe that s why I continually return to the Midwest a place that in the public mindset anyway looks to be immutable still I love the romantic view of a land so broad and uninterrupted that a sunset is not just an event, it s a spectacle.Yet, if you know anything about Kansas, you know it s anything BUT still otherworldly winds, cyclones, torrential I m moving again Well, technically, I m always moving Whether to a new apartment, home, city or region, it seems I can t keep myself still Maybe that s why I continually return to the Midwest a place that in the public mindset anyway looks to be immutable still I love the romantic view of a land so broad and uninterrupted that a sunset is not just an event, it s a spectacle.Yet, if you know anything about Kansas, you know it s anything BUT still otherworldly winds, cyclones, torrential weather abound.Sometimes I sense the frontiersman in me clawing his way out, craving open spaces that can be, in turn, filled with adventure And I appreciate the desire inherent in that sensualitywhile, truthfully, having no goddamned idea how to attain it I know nothing of mechanics, nothing of survival techniques I quit the Boy Scouts while still a cuband most of the time I still feel like a mancub you can infer homoeroticism in this metaphor, if you d like.All of this is why I m drawn to stories of people giving up cities in order to commune with nature that express a dream to commune with the primordial pastoralist within us all.I could comment about the beauty of Kessler s prose I could rejoice in the way he lyrically describes the disgusting mating rituals of his goats I could go on and on about the fist sucking cuteness of his relationship with each pet rather, I choose to envy the simple bucolic life he ventured into After growing up in NYC, he chose a life completely void of noise and desperation.Simplicity, Emerson tells me, is the answer I want it so bad it hurts Everytime he describes a sunset, the howls of coyotes, the truly glorious workings of evolution, the spirituality of connecting yourself to the land, the satisfaction of laboring with your hands, the way histories as disparate as linguistics and cheesemaking intertwineencourages me to see that there s something out there I still should be seeking.The frontier, I think, doesn t have to be Kansas or Wyoming or Alaska or any open space, for that matter What this book proved to me is that the frontier we should all be searching for is peacefulness I hated everything about this narrator but I loved his goats. Yet another memoir of an arty Manhattanite with a substantial off farm income who moved to the boonies and discovered the meaning of life by tilling the soil and eating the produce of his farm His book is contemplative, historical, and literary as he extolls the joys of herding his goats through the countryside Read it, and realize that this story has been told eleventy bajillion times before in just the last decade, not to mention during the back to the land period of the 60 s and 70 s, and p Yet another memoir of an arty Manhattanite with a substantial off farm income who moved to the boonies and discovered the meaning of life by tilling the soil and eating the produce of his farm His book is contemplative, historical, and literary as he extolls the joys of herding his goats through the countryside Read it, and realize that this story has been told eleventy bajillion times before in just the last decade, not to mention during the back to the land period of the 60 s and 70 s, and perhaps once a generation going back to the founding of the country.It s a pleasant read, which is why I rated it as high as possible It s a love letter to goats and the pastoral lifestyle, and if by reading it you discover an urgent desire to buy a 20 acre tract in New England, I completely understand If you can afford it, buy a hobby farm, but don t quit your day job until you ve written a business plan and figured out how to make and market your artisinal cheese If there was any question about whether I had drunk the pastoralism kool aid, my having digested Brad Kessler s Goat Song in less than twenty four hours should prove it.While on the F train yesterday Lou I want a goat.Jeremy No.Lou I want a pair of goats so they don t get lonely.Jeremy No.Lou You can feed six goats on 745 dollars a year.Jeremy Finish a book and then we can talk about it.Lou In five years Then we can have a farm in commuting distance to the city and goats and one horse If there was any question about whether I had drunk the pastoralism kool aid, my having digested Brad Kessler s Goat Song in less than twenty four hours should prove it.While on the F train yesterday Lou I want a goat.Jeremy No.Lou I want a pair of goats so they don t get lonely.Jeremy No.Lou You can feed six goats on 745 dollars a year.Jeremy Finish a book and then we can talk about it.Lou In five years Then we can have a farm in commuting distance to the city and goats and one horse.Jeremy Maybe.You heard it here first In five years, I will have a bucolic existence replete with livestock Emily Giardina our dreams are coming true (KINDLE) ⛅ Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese ó A gorgeously observed chronicle about getting out of the city and living life on the land, in the tradition of Anne Dillard s Pilgrim at Tinker CreekWhen acclaimed novelist Brad Kessler started to feel unsatisfied by his Manhattan lifestyle, he opted to tackle his issues of over consumption and live a eco friendly life He and his wife moved to a seventy five acre goat farm in a small southern Vermont town, where they planned to make a living raising goats and making cheese They never looked back Now Kessler adds to his numerous accomplishments winner of theDayton Literary Peace Prize,Whiting Award for Writers of Exceptional Promise, and aRome Prize an array of cheeses that have already been highly praised by Artisanal, the renowned cheese restaurant in New York City In his transformation from staunch urbanite to countrified goat farmer, Kessler explores the rustic roots of so many aspects of Western culture, and how our diet, alphabet, reli gions, poetry, and economy all grew out of a pastoral setting With Goat Song, he demonstrates yet another dimension to his writing talent, showcasing his expertise as food writer, in a compelling, beautifully written account of living by nature s rules Beautifully written story of a couple who left life in the city to raise goats in Vermont Really liked the ancillary lessons on word origins TMI on goat sex in the breeding chapter, but all was forgiven when actually long before I read this part A book is like a key that fits into the tumbler of the soul The two parts have to match in order for each to unlock Then click a world opens.