Goats for sale, via Facebook
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Goats for sale, via Facebook

A family of farmers in the Beit She'an Valley uses social media to sell their ovines

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

The gang's all here (Courtesy Miriam Shechter)
The gang's all here (Courtesy Miriam Shechter)

Need a goat? Miriam and Eliyahu Shechter have some for sale: 19, to be exact.

“We only need one or two for our family,” said Miriam Shechter, who posted her photos of the goats on the Buy, Sell, Swap (Israel) Facebook page Tuesday morning, and had already garnered 99 shares, 149 comments and 183 likes by midday. But no sales. Yet.

The Lubavitch couple, Americans who moved to Israel a year and a half ago, currently manage a farm in Moshav Sde Trumot near Beit She’an.

They hope to turn the place into a tourist site where visitors can come to stay for a day or two and “be a part of our farm life,” said Shechter.

One of the baby goats born to the Shechter's herd near Beit Shean (Courtesy Miriam Shechter)
One of the baby goats born to the Shechter’s herd near Beit She’an (Courtesy Miriam Shechter)

“If people can’t take a goat into their life, they can come and stay with us and be a part of our farm life,” she said. “A lot of people are very inspired and attached to natural living.”

The Shechters — she’s from New Jersey, he’s from Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York — got hooked on farming as a couple. They moved around the US, learning beekeeping and ritual slaughter in Iowa before coming to Israel to their farm near Beit She’an.

Their concept, said Shechter, is hobby farming, starting slow in order to avoid “burning yourself out.”

Even so, life on the farm sounded pretty hectic over the phone, as Shechter negotiated the sale of a few chicks being raised in an incubator in their living room to some young neighbors, while describing how they ended up with a herd of goats.

Goat. What's not to love? (Courtesy Miriam Shechter)
Goat. What’s not to love? (Courtesy Miriam Shechter)

Her “hippie” brother, she said, visited during the summer with some friends, one of whom had another friend with goats for sale. The Shechters bought the goats, but found themselves overwhelmed by the amount of milk produced by the herd as well as the Jewish legal obligations related to having livestock.

That, she said, is something they need to discuss with their rabbi.

In the meantime, they have “a freezer chock full of goat milk,” said Shechter. “We’re making cheese and yogurt to get it out of the way.”

For now, the Shechters are hoping to keep one or two goats, along with their horse, sheep and chickens. With plans to build a guest cabin to host visitors, they have their hands full, she said.

But if you’re interested in buying a goat, they’re still available, for NIS 800 to NIS 1,800 ($200-$450) apiece.

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