Mean Girls Down on The Farmpit
The Hairy Farmpit Girls and their Very Special Goats
Reading Time: 5 minutes
On a small farm in rural Georgia, a clique of mean girls rules the roost. They also rule the barn, pasture, and feeders. This farm, The Farmpit, is home to 15 goats, four miniature donkeys, 35 chickens, three turkeys, two pigs, two dogs, three cats, and two delightful women known as the Hairy Farmpit Girls. The women’s names are Jennifer Evitts and Swan Rubins (the Rubitts) and they definitely aren’t mean girls. That title goes to the miniature goats Goatie Hawn, Whoopi Goatberg, and Basil. According to Swan, “They are a tight clique and are all snobby to the others. They would not let you eat lunch with them and they would make fun of your jeans, no matter how new or expensive they are. You will never be in their circle unless you are born in.”
As with most mean girls, Goatie is a completely worthless goat. She doesn’t make much milk, and she tries to kill her babies. Her last baby, Blurt Russell, was found frozen, starved, and half dead. She rules the other goats with an iron fist and manages to guard all four feeders at the same time.
At only 40 pounds, (or maybe more now that she eats all the hay) she even manages to keep 140-pound Baaaaretha Franklin away from the food. When moved to give the other girls a break, she took on the donkeys, head butting them, bullying them, and keeping them away from the 1200-pound bale of hay that they enjoy ripping apart. Early in life, she learned that humans have kidneys and earned the nickname Kidney Crusher.
If Whoopi were human, she’d shop at Hot Topic, have a serious Xanax addiction, and insist her problems are worse than yours. She likes to boast about being the first goat born on the farm, and having the most traumatic birth story.
When Jen and Swan moved to the farm, they bought a couple of pregnant Pygmy does with the understanding they’d have baby pygmies in a month or two. The first doe went into labor the next day. With Jen gone, Swan asked a neighbor to help. “Keep this fence gate closed,” Swan said. “That’s all you have to do.” The neighbor didn’t do that. The goat got out. Everyone for miles around helped with the search for the missing goat and her babies. Six days later, someone spotted them three and a half miles away. It took them nine hours to catch the mama goat, and thus baby Whoopi came home after being born not quite on the farm.
Perhaps because of her traumatic birth story, Whoopi has anxiety issues. When the other goats go out for a walk or to clear brush, Whoopi stands at the gate and calls for them to come back. Sometimes she just goes into the barn and stands with her head in the corner. She just can’t handle the other goats going on adventures without her, but she also can’t leave the safety of the pasture.
Basil, (pronounced Baaaaaaysil) is the last of the mean girls and the hottest mess of the hot messes. She’s tiny and incredibly butch. After Vincent VanGoat got so much attention for his breeding troubles Basil decided to step up. She decided she was a billy goat and claimed to have fathered half the babies there including her own. She also started nursing herself, presumably to impress the ladies. Jen and Swan were not impressed. Not only was it incredibly awkward to watch, but frustrating as Basil literally drank up their profits. Some people say the mark on Basil’s face looks like a phallic symbol. To this she says “So? I told you I was a billy goat.” Basil is most known for her ability to always make weird faces for the camera.
An Unusual Retirement
When the stress of Swan’s job as human trafficking and child abuse investigator started getting to her, she and Jen moved from St. Augustine to Putnam County, Florida. There, they lived on the river and had a little bit of property. “And so we’ve got a handful of chickens and just started taking care of our chickens,” Swan told me. “And as my job got more and more stressful, and I got more and more chickens, we decided to quit everything and move. We bought a house that my parents owned up in Georgia, their old river house, which has 240 acres with it.” That’s when the couple made an unusual decision to take their savings, pay off the house, and retire for two years while still young.
“Anybody can retire and be old maybe in pain while they do it,” she said. “I just thought, let’s have two years of retirement where we can just be irresponsible and healthy and have fun now.” So, at 32 years old, they retired to an old river house and did whatever they wanted. Swan started blogging about the process and people loved her humor and sarcastic wit.
The Rubitts spent over a year getting the property ready, then they got a handful of goats and started milking them. “We were just trying to get enough milk for our own milk, cheese, butter, and stuff like that,” Swan said. “Well, we ended up having too much milk, which I didn’t expect to happen. We had more milk than we could ever deal with so I just started making soap with it. And then I couldn’t stop making soap. Next thing you know, I looked around and I had like 500 or 1000 bars of soap.” At first, they gave it as gifts, then people starting asking to buy it. When they realized how many people wanted to buy their soap, they got a business license and The Hairy Farmpit Girls was born.
By selling soap, the Rubitts hoped to make enough to feed the goats and maybe supplement one income a bit. To their surprise, the business grew enough to supplement both their incomes and then some. They kept going until they were making 5,000 to 10,000 bars of soap a month. They developed a website and started filling online orders. “We were just able to sit at home and ultimately make soap, which I find to be fun. I never regret it. So we make soap and milk goats and laugh about stuff and ship out orders. We’ve only had this property for almost five years. We’ve been a hundred percent able to survive off the soap for about the past two years.”
The Future of The Farmpit
Jen and Swan thought at first they would let the business grow as much as it could. Then they realized something important. They loved their jobs the way they were. If they opened a store or hired employees, it might start to feel like actual work. “Right now we listen to music and podcasts and we laugh about things and nobody has any control over us whatsoever,” Swan told me. “If I want to talk about buttholes to 30,000 people online, the only person that I have to answer to is Jen, and she’s going to say yes.”
Originally published in the March/April 2020 issue of Goat Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy.