NOT
your average
COMMUNE




MORNING MILK

Stephen Lloyd-Moffett and his partner, Kayou, milk the goats every monring. This milk is the only milk that can be found at The Lavra.

Oct. 9 | Location:The Lavra
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One of The lavra’s house goats named Poe peeps over the gate that surrounds his corral at 8:30 a.m. Owners Stephen Lloyd Moffett and Kayou Hart prepare to feed the goats before milking. Poe watches. Oct. 9 | Location:The Lavra
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Kayou Hart, doctoral history student at UC Santa Cruz and Lloyd Moffett’s partner, pours a bucket of food into the goats’ corral. Poe eagerly jumps up in hopes of reaching the bucket of food. They feed the goats every morning at 8 a.m. before milking. The goats now know this to be a routine.
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“We’ve learned that the animals like consistency so they are amazingly consistent once they learn the program.” Lloyd-Moffett said. “So now when we walk down in the morning, everyone goes to their spot. Oct. 9 | Location:The Lavra
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Sophie, Pumpkin and Poe eat their breakfast while Ivy is being taken out of the corral to be milked. Just as the goats routinely expect to be fed every morning, Ivy expects to be milked.
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“Ivy know she’s going to be let in. She knows what’s coming so she’s happy so we’re happy.” Lloyd-Moffett said. “It becomes a little more difficult when you have a bunch of different people doing it because she’s like, ‘Wait, no, that’s not what I’m used to.” Oct. 9 | Location:The Lavra
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Lloyd-Moffett and Hart milk Ivy whose front paws are shackled to wooden poles because she likes to step in her milk bucket. They milk her for about ten minutes. Ivy kicks a bit but remains calm and steady for most of the process. Lloyd-Moffett and Hart milk Ivy with ease. It’s obvious they do this often.
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“Part of the vision of The Lavra is to be closer to the Earth and closer to our food” Lloyd- Moffett said. “And when we are milking the goat and using the goat for our cheese, that gives us a connection to where our food comes from.” Oct. 9 | Location: The Lavra
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Hart explains the technique of milking which involves frequent squeezes along with slight pulls.
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“People think when you squeeze, it hurts the goat but it really doesn’t,” Hart said. Oct. 9 | Location: The Lavra
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After unshackling Ivy and taking her back to the corral, it’s time to clean up. Lloyd-Moffett grabs all of the chemicals used to clean Ivy’s udder before and after milking. He calls out to Hart while she brings the fresh goat milk into the shed where she will pour the milk into a carton. Oct. 9 | Location: The Lavra
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Inside of the door of the shed where the milk is stored reads the saying “Cheese is milk’s small leap into immortality.” The goat’s milk produced at The Lavra is the only type of milk that can be found on site. They can use this milk for many purposes and sometimes, they will even use it to make their own cheese. Hart, especially, is a big fan of the cheese.
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“Kayou really likes cheese so yes, we can make many different things but this is something we can do that connects us to our food,” Lloyd-Moffett said. cOct. 9 | Location: the shed at The Lavra
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Hart pours the fresh goat’s milk into the jar which will be stored in a mini-fridge just a few feet in front of her. A thin cloth is tied around the top of the jar. As she pours the milk, it seeps through the small holes in the cloth. The unwanted chunks of milk will stay on top of the cloth to be thrown out. Oct. 9 | Location: the shed at The Lavra
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Inside of the shed, on top of the mini-refrigerator where the milk is stored sits an old, stained envelope that reads “Goat Money.” The goat milk that the residents are not using is up for sale to anybody who wants it. It costs five dollars.
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Resident James Schultz shows me where the milk is and reveals that he does not drink it himself.
“I do not drink the goats’ milk but I’m told it’s quite good. I’m vegan,” Schultz said. Oct. 12 | Location: the shed at The Lavra
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Schultz reaches into the mini refrigerator to pull one of the four jars of milk to show me. Each jar is full to the top and dated with the morning that milk was made. The jar Schultz is holding is dated from the previous morning, Oct. 11. Oct. 12 | Location: The Lavra
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When the goats are not being milked or tended to, they can simply hang out in their corral. Inside their area is one tire and some bricks that they can stand on as a sort of play structure. There are also two small sheds that the goats can use for shelter. Branches with green leaves sit on the ground that the goats can regularly snack on.
After following me around the corral, Poe stands atop the tire to get a better look at what I’m doing. Ivy is standing to the right of Poe, looking off into the distance where two residents are walking by.
Schultz is in the corral with me. He has fun with the goats.
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“I love living around the goats. They are curious, helpful. They’ll eat anything, including banana peels,” Schultz said. “They are sort of funny and each have their own characteristics and personalities.” Oct. 12 | Location: The Lavra
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Poe is curious about my camera. He follows me around before finally sticking his face into the lens. After realizing my camera is not something of interest to him, he walks away to snack on his food. Oct. 12 | Location: The Lavra
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The main house at The Lavra sits on a hill, above the goats’ corral and other residents’ areas but below an orchard and construction zone where they are building a parking lot.
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To the left and some steps down the hill lies the goats’ area where Ivy, Sophie, Poe and Pumpkin are expectedly waiting for the next morning when they will be fed and milked again.


THE CHILDREN OF THE LAVRA

Stephen Lloyd-Moffett's children live at The Lavra part-tme. They discuss their experience living in such a unique place.



WHY LIVE AT THE LAVRA?

Residents describe why they chose to live at an intentional community. Stephen Lloyd-Moffett explains why he started it all in the first place.