Creative Woodworking NW Urban Goats

March 13, 2013 § 4 Comments

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I’m always perplexed by large vacant lots in the middle of a city. Space is precious in a city, and in my mind should be utilized, either through active or passive use. Admittedly Portland does a much better job of this than where I previously lived, but there are still a few curious empty spots in the heart of the city. One such lot sits in the central East side, and I pass it every day on my bus ride home. One day a few years ago, a herd of goats appeared in the lot. They instantly became the rock stars of the neighborhood, and for months you would always see at least a few people lined up along the perimeter fence staring, taking pictures, and calling them over as if they were well-trained dogs. The goats have returned each year on a seasonal basis, and their voracious appetites have turned the once weedy, overgrown mess of a lot into a quite appealing meadow.

This year a new sign appeared on the lot, indicating that Creative Woodworking NW is sponsoring the goat program. Creative Woodworking NW operates out of a large old warehouse at the southern end of the empty lot. They are well known in the local woodworking community because they will mill or process your lumber with their huge machinery. Their hourly rates are reasonable, and a real favorite for woodworkers is their 50″ surface sander. A while back I needed some construction lumber milled up for some home repairs. Figuring my time was worth something, I took the boards to them to be jointed on one edge and ripped to width. In less than 10 minutes one guy jointed them on their Martin jointer, and then loaded each into a power feeder that sent them through a table saw. Damn.

When you live in a city, it’s easy to hunker down and forget that most of the planet isn’t covered with asphalt and buildings. These small animals represent the often forgotten joys of nature. Three years later, the goats still bring smiles to the faces of locals.

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