This Sunday marked the vernal equinox, signaling that it’s verifiably time for brightly hued market bounties, warm-and-breezy picnic-perfect days and by far the best of all: baby goats.
If you’ve struggled to fill a void in your life or appease that nagging sensation that something is not quite right, snuggling a day-old, velvety-eared goat baby is really the only solution. And thankfully, Blue Heron Farm provides just such an opportunity.
In 2006, as naïve young city slickers, Christian and Lisa Seger started their own goat farm on 10.5 acres in Waller County, 45 miles northwest of Houston. The goal? To prove it’s possible to run a successful farm operation while treating land, animals and operators with dignity and respect. Their Nubian goats are pastured with access to dry, covered shelter. To maintain healthy acreage, the Segers rotate the herd daily, which means the girls have clean, untreated grasses on which to graze. Meanwhile, nutrients from their waste nourish and replenish the soil. It’s more work than other methods for certain, admits Lisa, but creating a sustainable system is an important goal, not to mention one that produces delicious, nutritious milk.
To stretch the milking season, the Segers stagger births from January to May, guaranteeing plenty of farm-fresh goat chèvre, feta, yogurt and cajeta—some of the biggest draws at both Urban Harvest Eastside and Rice University farmers markets—and adorable, knock-kneed kids to nuzzle well into spring.
When the weather cooperates, the Segers hold monthly farm tours, welcoming guests to join them for a stroll of the property, with plenty of time to hold freshly birthed babes, stand afield amid does with names like Binder, Persimmon and Carrie Underwood and capture the compulsory #goatselfie. Adventurous souls can try their hand at milking a goat under Christian’s tutelage, and afterward, a spread of cheese and crackers awaits in the pasture. Spring picnic, check.
During a visit last week, the baby count on the farm totaled 15 boys and seven girls. With 15 more pregnant mamas and a typical birth yielding at least two newborns, Blue Heron Farm anticipates another thirty or so sweet-faced darlings this season. As if that weren’t enough of a cuteness overload, a pair of petite rust-colored piglets recently joined the homestead. Lucky you.
Even if you doubt your GPS’ country road skills, you’ll know you’ve arrived when you approach a farm house with an impromptu parking lot out front and folks mulling about. (The big white sign helps, too.) Across the road, nosy cows assemble like small-town gossips, peering through barbed wire with alternating looks of curiosity and terror.
Those who follow the farm on Facebook for a daily dose of grinning goats and goofy foster pups may recognize familiar furballs beyond the chain-link fencing. And yes, puppy kisses and belly rubs are part of the tour, as well.
On Easter each year, Blue Heron Farm hosts a special tour that ends with an egg hunt for tots and expanded snack offerings and BYOB party for grown-ups. Note that the colorful eggs contain toys rather than candy, the result of a memorable first year in which Lisa gleefully filled eggs with various chocolate-covered treats (because goat poo, hehe) before learning why eggs left in the morning suns ought not be filled with melty chocolate…
This year’s Easter tour is Sunday, March 27, at 11 a.m. and $10-a-person. For details and tour reservations, visit blueherontexas.com.