"Donny, shut the - when do we play?"

Today is G Day. We hit the road this afternoon and head west into the night, looking to manifest our goat roasting destiny. Our recipe is set, the trunks are loaded, and "God Bless Texas" is playing on a loop. Let the games begin.

Also, Dougie Shoutout to Jason Flynn for his piece profiling our goat roasting team in the school newspaper.


"How was your meeting, Mr. Lebowski?"

The Little Lebowski Urban Goat herders and roasters are making moves. Culinary conferences have been held. Two goats have been eaten. Fences have been erected. And a new herd has been established.

The TeCroney Manor pastures will host the goats again for the time being. There's plenty of regrowth, which means fat goats in a matter of weeks.

Wednesday night, another goat will be be roasted as our last team building exercise and opportunity to tweak our recipe. We're close, but nobody wants to roll into Texas with less than perfection.

Practice like you play.


"At the wooden bridge we throw the money out of the car!"

I took this picture on a recent fishing trip in Virginia. These goats were lounging on a country bridge, in a hurry to go nowhere.

I realize there's a corresponding folk tale to this scene. But, I later waded under the bridge, so let's not talk about it...

Rare are opportunities to sneak in a fish-of-the-day pic.

"They posted the next round for the tournament."

On a brighter note, I have news to share: The Little Lebowski Urban Goat Roasters are taking the show on the road. Roughly two years after our initial goat roast and a foreshadowing blog post, we're headed west to Brady, Texas to compete in this year's BBQ Goat Cookoff. That's right, the granddaddy of 'em all:

In researching cooking techniques for our very first goat, I hit the knowledge jackpot: past champion Alton Bradshaw, a demi god of cabrito. His guidance was no doubt the cause for a successful roast, and for our immediate induction into the goat barbecue community. Ever since, his name his name is spoken with reverence and respect. Now, it's time to meet our makers - the apprentices will cook with the masters.

"Who's your friend in the Volkswagen?"
It's clear Texans don't mess around when it comes to goat cuisine. But don't worry; we don't plan on tiptoeing around our roaster either. The wheels have been turning for months and practice roasts are in the near future. We'll ride into Texas with our heads and hopes high. Laissez les bon temps rouler!


"They're gonna kill that poor woman."

In honor of her eventful career on the cul-de-sac farm, this hen deserves one last post:

Queen of the grounds, the hen invited herself in to watch the Bravos with Mark.

"Ya. Uzzervize ve kill ze girl."

Unfortunately, the freedom our final hen enjoyed ultimately resulted in her disappearance. Upon returning from Jazz Fest, neither the chicken nor any sign of her were to be found. Sure, death is certainly a possibility, Dude. But, without evidence of fowl play (sorry), nothing is certain. In the meantime, we will continue to convince ourselves of her new fantasy life in the jungle of bamboo behind the yard. Farewell, chicken.

Note: Images are courtesy of Mark Powers - photographer, dougie, and fellow herder.


"Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals."

For as many extracurricular hours I've spent reading, writing, and learning firsthand about goats and how they relate to landscape architecture, you had to know that it was only a matter of time before I found a way to bring 'goatscaping' into the classroom. Our Urban Design final project was the perfect opportunity. The parameters were open-ended, and the presentation date fell on Cinco de Mayo. Of course I was going to roast a goat.

My classmate Eric Marlowe and I chose to follow up on an earlier project - the urban revitalization of downtown Watkinsville, a small town near Athens. In that project, I proposed goats as part of the solution to reclaim a valuable urban forest.

I knocked on a few doors, but it appears none of Watkinsville's urban citizens are eager to host goats in their backyard for a few days. Instead, we revisited the idea of keeping a small herd at my house.

Feeding time at the Cul-de-Sac Farm

For a little under a week, we watched, filmed, and photographed our modest herd doing what they do best. In less than 48 hours, they had stripped every bamboo leaf within reach and sheared our monkey grass mounds to the ground. The remaining landscape was drastically improved. Mission accomplished.

Three of the four goats were returned to Miss Charlie's farm. The fourth is pictured below, the centerpiece of our presentation:

Dougie Shoutout to Eric for his extremely hands-on involvement in the entire butchering and cooking process.

Prior to Presentation Day, Eric and I requested the half-way point recess for our time slot. The goal was to move our audience through an outdoor exhibit, culminating in a heaping plate cabrito and veggies. After a brief introduction, the masses were released to check out a video, slide show, poster boards, and a pre/post goat example. We even had past goat herd owners Willy and Dana present to shake hands and answer questions.

All told, 30 to 40 people (and one dog) stopped by the studio to learn more about goatscaping and eat with friends. Muchas gracias for attending. I have a hunch this won't be the last time I roast a goat on campus...

To see more pictures from the presentation, click here. When I get a free minute, I'll make the video available online, as well.

"Gimme the marker, Dude. I'm marking it 8."

A little under two years and a couple of herds ago, this was the view from the Dougie House back deck:

And now, what was once an impenetrable thicket of honeysuckle, wisteria, privet and English ivy has been been replaced with a lush, inviting landscape, like something out of an Irish tourism brochure:

From Platoon to Braveheart. From DK's Barrel Blast Jungle to the hills outside of Hyrule.

And, as if retaking control of the yard wasn't good enough, the plant you see thriving is a native - Jewelweed. Here's the best part: Jewelweed is Mother Nature's remedy for poison ivy reactions. Uh, yes please. Now we've got an endless supply of the magic plant the next time I inevitably rub Satan's ivy all over my face...