Lebanon participates in Connecticut Open House Day

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Lebanon - posted Tue., Jun. 11, 2013
Columbia resident Evan demonstrates an antique corn shucker/grinder at the Lebanon Connecticut Open House Day event on June 8. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Columbia resident Evan demonstrates an antique corn shucker/grinder at the Lebanon Connecticut Open House Day event on June 8. Photos by Melanie Savage.

Three LaMancha goat kids - triplets less than 24 hours old - were a very popular draw at Lebanon’s Connecticut Open House Day, held June 8 at various locations situated around the Town Green. The kids - two white, one black - were still somewhat unsteady on their feet. A fourth goat, a one-month-old Alpine kid, was hilariously full of herself as she leapt onto and off of an overturned wash tub, balanced on two hooves to try to taste anything within reach, and playfully butted the much smaller triplets.

The LaMancha’s underdeveloped ears are genetic, explained Lara Reynolds, who supervised the corral for Lebanon’s Oak Leaf Dairy. “They can hear just fine,” said Reynolds, adding that LaManchas, “have a very high butter fat content in their milk,” said Reynolds. They are also very mild-mannered, “So they’re very nice in a herd setting,” explained Reynolds.

Oak Leaf Dairy currently houses approximately 140 goats of five different varieties, said Reynolds, with 100 goats currently producing milk. Reynolds said that the three LaManchas represented the last of a very busy kidding season, with most of the farm’s does giving birth to twins. “Triplets are pretty common, too,” she said. “We also get quads.” From the milk produced by the does, Oak Leaf produces goat milk caramel, cheese and soap, which they sell at local farmers' markets.

The Oak Leaf goats were among a variety of animals present at the event, which also included pigeons, doves, sheep, chickens and alpaca. There were demonstrations, including pewter molding, yarn spinning, stone wall building and corn shucking. And there was food, including waffles and wafers made the old-fashioned way in antique molds heated over an open fire. The various historic homes surrounding the Lebanon Town Green were also open for the event. And members of the Four Seasons Model T Club were offering free rides around the mile-long historic green.

“We’ve been doing this for five or six years,” said Ed Tollmann, an organizer with the Lebanon Historical Society. Tollmann said that this year’s event brought five or six new exhibitors, despite a tropical storm the night before that threatened the event’s postponement. The event is deliberately very laid-back, said Tollmann, with some exhibitors choosing to wear historic costumes, some not. “It’s more of an educational day,” said Tollmann. “It’s a chance for visitors to learn and ask questions.”


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