Margaret, Karl, Joshua & Chansonetta (Photograph by Jose Azel / Aurora Photos)
Margaret Hathaway lives with her family on Ten Apple Farm, a homestead in southern Maine, where they raise dairy goats and poultry, tend a large garden and small orchard, make cheese, and give occasional workshops on basic homesteading skills. She is the author of The Year of the Goat, a memoir which chronicles her journey with husband Karl Schatz from New York City, where she was a manager of the Magnolia Bakery, to their home on the farm. The couple lives with their three daughters, Charlotte, Beatrice and Sadie; their dog, Godfrey; and an ever growing group of animals. She is also the author of Living With Goats, The Food Lovers’ Guide to Maine and The Portland Maine Chef’s Table Cookbook.
Karl Schatz is the Director of Aurora Photos, an international stock photography agency based in Portland, Maine. He is a small-scale farmer and sustainable agriculture advocate. His photographic exhibit, American Goat, documents the goat industry in America and has educated thousands about the wonderful and diverse world of goats. He is also currently the President of the Board or Levey Day School, Portland’s Jewish Day School, where older daughters, Charlotte and Beatrice attend.
Charlotte “Cha Cha” Schatz came into our lives in June of 2006. She took to the farm right away. Her first food was squash from the garden and her first word was “goat.” Since she could walk, she’s helped with chores, taken the goats for walks, fed the chickens, milked the goats, dug in the garden, and eaten broccoli straight off the stalk. When she was three, she got to name the new doelings “Toka” and “Tonni” after her two imaginary friends. When not outside on the farm, she can be found doing schoolwork, dancing ballet and tap, writing in her journal, chasing after her little sisters, and making smoothies.
Beatrice “The Beast” Schatz arrived in our lives in April of 2008, and was born a farmer. At 3 days old she made her first trip to the Fedco tree sale to pick out the season’s seed potatoes. A few weeks later she was assisting her mama deliver the farm’s first baby goats. Since toddlerhood, Bea’s enjoyed eating raw corn (and everything else), climbing, picking up slugs, digging in the dirt, collecting eggs, and getting alfalfa treats for the goats. At 18 months she was already talking in sentences and calling her parents by their first names. At three and a half she became a big sister. At six, she reads, excels at math, can recite the names and characteristics of most dinosaurs, enjoys the macabre, and, despite missing most of her teeth, is thoroughly carnivorous.
Sadie Schatz arrived in November of 2011. She came out with a full head of dark curls, enormously round cheeks, and an easy-going temperament (unless you suggest sitting on the potty). She is a born talker, explaining the goings on at the farm in copious detail to anyone who will listen. Sadie can be found demanding “warm milky,” dancing in her sparkle shoes, playing with her Woodsies, dragging around Filthy (her blanket), and searching for cows. She is desperate to catch up to her beloved sisters, and spends much of each day asking when we’re going to pick up “ChaBea.”
Godfrey has been there since the beginning. Before there was a farm, before there were goats, before there were children, there was Godfrey. Affectionately referred to as a “Brooklyn Brown,” he was born at the North Shore Animal League on Long Island, and came to live with us in Brooklyn when he was six weeks old. He traveled all 40,000 miles with us, and has seen more of this country than most people. You can see some of Godfrey’s adventures on the Aurora Photos website. He’s great with the goats, great with the kids, and even great with the cat.
Truffle came into our lives in the spring of 2008 following the sudden and unexpected death of our first cat, Snuppy. Both cats were adopted from the Hart of Maine cat shelter in Cumberland. Shortly before Beatrice was born, Truffle stopped eating and developed fatty liver disease. We had to feed her through a tube in her neck for almost 4 months. An incident with a rabbit jump-started her appetite, and she’s gone from 7 lbs at her frailest to now weighing in at almost 16 lbs. She is in love with Godfrey, and spends much of the day snuggling up to him and cleaning his ears.
Joshua, an Alpine wether, is named after Civil War hero, former Maine Governor and President of Bowdoin College, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Joshua (the goat), like his name sake, is a leader, and the top goat in the herd. He is also as tough as nails, and has butted through the pen door more times than we can count. He has broken off the tips of both his horns, one of which he left attached and we had to eventually saw off in a reenactment of Civil War surgery.
Flyrod is an Alpine doe named after Cornelia “Flyrod” Crosby, the great Maine outdoors woman and first registered Maine Guide. She’s a great milker and at peak production often produces more than 10 lbs of milk per day.
Percival is an Alpine wether named after Percival Baxter, the 53rd Governor of Maine, who served from 1921-1925. Percival Baxter (the Governor) established Baxter State Park, personally buying and deeding the land to the State himself. Percival the goat is a gentle giant, usually bringing up the rear as he lumbers down to the paddock each morning.
El Diablo, aka “The Legless Wonder”, lost his legs in the Winter of ’07. On the coldest night of the year, he got both feet tangled in a piece of string. We came out the next morning to find him alive but his feet frozen solid. We wrapped them in a warm cloth to try to thaw them, but the frostbite was too severe. The feet eventually sort of hardened and mummified, but El D survived. Weeks later while on vacation in Kansas we got a call from a worried farm sitter informing us that one of El Diablo’s feet had fallen off, and what should she do? We keep it in a ziploc on the shelf. Eventually the other foot fell off somewhere in the barnyard, and now El D gets around just fine, hopping from place to place, and even getting up and down the 8 foot high ramp into the chicken coop in the barn.
More farm resident profiles and pictures coming soon! Goats: Toka, Sarah, Emma Rose and Prunella, roosters El Guapo and Richard Blanco, and Bea’s rabbit JT (The Jewish Turnip).