West Side farm helps make goat yoga craze possible in Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The workout known as goat yoga is gaining in popularity in Chicago, but did you ever wonder where they get the goats? Roz Varon went out and found the answer.

Roz was at the Garfield Park Conservatory when they said their goat yoga classes using baby goats would be starting up in May. They said they get their baby goats at a goat farm in the Austin neighborhood.

From the street, it looks like a typical home, but in the backyard it's an urban farm!

"We've been here for 14 years," said Glennart Farm co-owner Carolyn Ioder. "We started with chickens 12 years ago, bees around 10 years ago and the goats started about 9 years ago."

Both Carolyn and her husband David come from farming backgrounds. GlennArt Farm began as a hobby, but now, their seasonal farm is a local supplier of eggs and honey, makes cheese and generates 14 gallons of milk a week, milking goats every day, definitely an acquired talent!

The Ioders are dedicated to the Austin neighborhood, working with local youth groups, garden groups, co-ops and restaurants. They've even become a local attraction, something they gladly welcome.

"So people drive by, they stop, they get out they take a picture and chat, they go back in," Ioder said. "It's a different environment than one would expect on the West Side."

And the West Side supports them back, allowing the goats to graze in nearby fenced in lots, which are also hive space for Carolyn's beehives.

Now, regarding that goat yoga, it happened by accident. They heard about the trend, started sessions near their farm and expanded to the Garfield Park Conservatory, bringing their goal full circle.

"Our mission is to glorify God, restore community and provide healthful foods," Ioder said.

And by doing that Carolyn says, things will happen.

The goat yoga classes at the Garfield Park Conservatory are so popular, they're already sold out for the summer, but the goat yoga at GlennArt Farm starts this Saturday and runs through July 4.

For more information on GlennArt Farm, visit www.glennartfarm.com/about-our-urban-farm.html.

For more information on Harambee Community Garden, Austin neighborhood, visit https://publicgood.com/org/neighborspace/campaign/harambee.

For more information on the Garfield Park Conservatory, visit garfieldconservatory.org.
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