Virginia isn't known as mountain goat territory, the goats at Westmoreland
Berry Farm don't know this. In fact, they are quite at home atop the specially
made catwalk (goatwalk?) made up of a series of ramps and platforms looming
20 feet over the entranceway to the farm. While onlookers gawk and point,
the goats seem more interested in soaking up the sunshine from the specially
made perches. That is, until they hear the magic sound of a quarter dropping
into the feed dispensing machine .
faster than even the most seasoned waitress hearing the tip hit the table,
they spring to life. Within a matter of seconds, the goat has reached
his feeding post, where humans are trained to take the corn from the machine
and place it on the small cup on a rope. Then at the encouragement of
the goat, who is now peering down hungrily from above, humans are further
encouraged to pull on the rope and thus hoist the food to its waiting
customer above. If additional encouragement is needed (ie. The humans
are too slow), the goat further encourages its human servant by banging
its horns on the metal pulley until the food arrives. Once all the food
is consumed and the goat is thoroughly convinced the human is all out
of money, he retreats back to his comfy nesting perch above the driveway.
All in all it's a very impressive display of conditional training but
it is unclear as to who has really trained who.
if this unusual display of animal behavior were not enough reason to visit
Westmoreland Berry Farm, you'll also find a lot more to see and do. After
all, it is called a berry farm for a good reason. Throughout the harvest
season of April through October, visitors can pick a variety of fresh
farm produce including strawberries, red raspberries, blackberries, raspberries,
blueberries, cherries, peaches, apples, pumpkins and gourds, asparagus
and sugar peas. If you are not inclined to pick your own, they also offer
freshly picked produce in the farm store.
you choose to visit just to spend the day enjoying the scenic views of
the fields, vineyards and Rappahannock River, this is the perfect place
to do it. The farm offers picnic tables for those who would like to bring
their own or if you prefer they have all the necessary trimmings for a
lovely feast. The farm store offers hot dogs, chips, drinks and wonderful
ice cream sundaes and shortcake topped with fresh berries grown on the
farm. The store also offers preserves, fresh farm produce, honey, goat's
milk products and various gift basket type items. You are bound to find
something that you just can't do without.
addition to providing the perfect location to spend the day in the country,
the farm also hosts various special events throughout the year including
activities for Mother's and Father's Day, Bluegrass Music, Community Yard-Bake
Sale, Scarecrow Making, Gourmet Tasting, Apple Butter Making and much
more. Regardless of your reason for coming, its not a baa'd way to spend
an afternoon! We may be partial to hawgs but these goats got game.