Close your eyes, take a deep breath and imagine your own personal paradise. What do you see? Do you see a white sand beach in Roatan Bay Honduras, a pristine ski slope with virgin powder in the high mountains of Utah? Do any of you imagine the Teton’s while standing on Table Rock at 11,000 feet, the wild wind blowing you around with civilization 4000 feet below? Many of you might not visualize these specific places like I do but I bet many of you imagine similar places. My wife Marisa and I are weird in that we see paradise in other places that many of our friends and associates would think are strange. A few months ago we had the opportunity to visit one of these areas. Megan, Marisa and I visited Megan’s friends Marsh and Alisa and their small farm south of Spanish Fork, Utah. It is a place I consider to be a small piece of Paradise.
In speaking to Alisa she conveyed her families desire to be as self sustaining as possible. They have a huge garden, chickens, and goats on their family farm. They live on a country road and many of their neighbors have similar goals. They all helped each other dig root cellars last year so they can store their produce. The main reason we visited was for the goats. Our goal is to have goats once we have a bigger property.
Alisa’s husband Marsh and their son care for the goats. They feed them and water them every day. They also have to milk them twice a day. Alisa spent time giving us a goat-milking lesson while the kids fed them to keep them calm. The goats seemed OK with all of the people around and didn’t have a problem with so many hands on their teats. All of us took turns, and it turns out that I am a natural goat milker. I am not good at most things I try for the first time so I think farming runs in my genes.
After the tour of the farm we went inside and watched Alisa filter the milk. She then puts the milk in the freezer for two hours, which is supposed to reduce the bacteria and the goat flavor. Then we had some of the milk they had milked previously with cookies. We loved it and couldn’t tell a difference between the milk they had and cow’s milk.
Alisa and Marsh work hard to be self sustaining and it would be much easier to buy milk at the local mega store. I know that being self-sustaining is not all fun and games. This version of paradise has early mornings, manure, dirty clothes, and long days of weeding but I think real paradise should contain some form of work. They are an example and an inspiration to all of us who want to be more self-sustaining. Whether it’s growing plants on our apartment patio, or raising broilers in our pasture, we can all have a piece of paradise right where we live.
Go out and plant a seed, raise a chicken, support a local CSA, or whatever you do to make this world a better place and find paradise in your backyard.