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 two daughters, Charlotte and Beatrice; their dog, Godfrey; and an ever growing group of animals. She is also the author of Living With Goats, in bookstores now!
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 leader of Portland’s Slow Food Convivium.
Charlotte “Cha Cha” Schatz came into our lives on June 25, 2006. She took to the farm right away. Her first food was squash from the garden and her first word was “goat.” Now she likes helping with chores, taking the goats for walks, feeding the chickens, milking the goats, digging in the garden, and eating broccoli straight off the stalk. She got to name the new doelings “Toka” and “Tonni” after her two imaginary friends. When not outside on the farm, she is a big fan of Angelina Ballerina, and spends much of the day doing her “ballet.”
Beatrice “The Beast” Schatz arrived in our lives on April 29, 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. She likes 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 is already talking in sentences and calling her parents by their first names.
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: Chansonnetta, Toka and Tonni, and Myron the Miracle Rooster.