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North Alton goat farm aiding in recovery of brain injury survivor

Jasmine Lomond and Brendon Meister of Maritime Treasure Goat Therapy have started a family business that’s proved to be a life-changing venture for Meister. They are pictured here with goats Coco, Pumpkin and Squash.
Jasmine Lomond and Brendon Meister of Maritime Treasure Goat Therapy have started a family business that’s proved to be a life-changing venture for Meister. They are pictured here with goats Coco, Pumpkin and Squash. - Ashley Thompson

NORTH ALTON - In the trying times that followed Brendon Meister’s accidental drug overdose, no one would have guessed that the long road to recovery would lead him to where he is today.

“I never in a million years would have thought that I’d be a goat farmer,” the jovial 28-year-old proclaims with a chuckle during an interview at the home-based business he operates with his stepsister, Jasmine Lomond.

“I grew up in Toronto!”

The North Alton-based duo purchased goats in July 2017 and launched a joint business venture aptly named Maritime Treasure Goat Therapy.

The family-run business was born out of a desire to use goats a form of therapy as Meister continually works on improving his short-term memory following the overdose the left him clinically dead for about 30 minutes in March 2016.

He spent weeks in a coma after being revived and suffered brain damage as a result of oxygen deprivation.

Lomond, 28, works with Meister daily. His chores and activities are logged in a memory book that tracks his progress from day to day, and the playful goats are playing a key role in Meister’s recovery.

“When he first got here I’d get him up and try to force him to stay up at 3 p.m.,” says Lomond.

“Now every morning he’s up at 8 a.m.”

Meister laughs out loud when Lomond reminds him that he used to ask her the same questions every five minutes, often forgetting her name, when he first relocated from Toronto to North Alton.

They agree he’s come a long way since then.

“Well, I remember her name,” he says through a laugh.  “So that’s a start.”

Interacting with, and caring for, the goats has proven to be therapeutic for Meister. Tending to livestock comes with daily responsibilities the self-proclaimed animal lover has whole-heartedly embraced. They feed and water the goats, ensure their enclosure is maintained, take care of their feet and milk them.

“Now he has a reason to get up every day and to get up early and stay awake and do things.” They’re his animals, too. He needs to take care of them and be responsible for them,” says Lomond.

“I don’t spend all day in bed and that’s probably good - although I do like bed,” adds Meister, teasing Lomond.

“It gets me out doing more stuff. Whenever we go to markets I’m always there.”

They sell handmade goat milk products, predominantly soaps, bath bombs and sugar scrubs.

“I really enjoy designing the recipes because it’s a little more challenging,” said Lomond, an Acadia University graduate who majored in chemistry.

“You know what’s funny? She makes all of these soap recipes, but she cannot cook,” jokes Meister.

“This is true,” Lomond admits.

“If she just looked at her meal like a science experiment I think it would turn out great,” Meister concludes.

Learn more about Martime Treasure Goat Soap at www.maritimetreasurefarm.com or https://www.facebook.com/MaritimeTreasureGoatSoap/.

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