Moon is the new billy goat at Majestic Muse Farm in Cook MN. He came to Majestic Muse from Whispering Meadows Farm, bringing "good milk lines" with him. Lauren Adamczyk, one of the owners of Majestic Muse Farm, describes him as "a character... He loves to sing! He has a high-pitched call. When we walk away from his pasture he calls to us, and he'll sing for--I don't know--about 15 minutes, wondering if maybe we'll come back to him with a treat or just give him some attention. He loves people."
Moon is just one of the animals at Majestic Muse Farm, which the owners call a "sustainable mini-farm." Lauren Adamczyk explains what this means: "We produce 90% of our food here, and we raise heritage livestock and heirloom vegetables so that the farm kind of sustains itself. We use open pollinated seeds so we can collect our own seed to plant again year after year. ..Most people think you need 40 acres, 160 acres--or more--to be able to make a living farming, or to be able to even produce your own food or food for others--so we're trying to change that a little bit and show people you really can produce on small acreage."
Majestic Muse is owned by Lauren, her husband Jim, and brother David. The farm is 11 acres in size, and started with just 3 1/2 acres. Much of it is wetland. "We have between 5 and 7 dry acres here," Lauren says. The farm is home to heritage livestock, meaning all the breeds are on the conservation list. They include Nigerian Dwarf goats, Finnsheep, Silver Appleyard ducks, and Champagne d'Argent rabbits. Majestic Muse produces all of its own dairy, including cheese and milk from goats and sheep.
Majestic Muse Farm recently presented two workshops at the Homesteading and Sustainable Lifestyles Expo in Orr. One was titled: "Intro to Goats and Sheep: Dairy and Beyond." The other was about raising rabbits for sustainable meat and fur.
The main thing Lauren Adamczyk would recommend for people thinking of raising livestock is to set a goal. "Know what you want to get out of the experience, and what resources you already have working for you. For example, sheep are much easier to fence than goats. People who don't have a good tall fence might want to consider sheep."
Lauren describes goats as "charismatic," sheep as "stubborn, but can be kind and would be soft-spoken if they could speak," and rabbits as "quiet and sweet--good mothers."
She recommends finding a mentor for anyone getting started with livestock. "Reach out on social media or ask around your area, maybe in agricultural groups like 4-H."
To find good quality animals, "Read and then read some more to find out what you're looking for and then be willing to wait until the right animal comes along."
You can look for Majestic Muse Farm at the Cook Farmers Market Saturdays from 8-1 and at the Virginia market Thursdays 1-5. They sell produce, herbal salves, goat milk soaps and lotions and a natural bug spray. There's more info about Majestic Muse Farm--including how it got its name--in the interview below.