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Thank God for The New York Times’ vast network of stringers, scanning the nation with telescopes to spot emerging trendsetters and tell their stories.

In the past week, The Times floated two tales that could be tailor-made for takeoff in the DIY-obsessed Brooklyn of today.

First up? How about local, artisanal tobacco? Could there be a more obvious extension of the urban gardening love fest happening these days? Audrey Silk of Marine Park, started growing Golden Seal Special Burley tobacco in her Marine Park backyard and curing it in her basement in 2009, when she started getting fed up with the whole tobacco tax pile-on and smoker-hating vibe being pushed by city hall these days. Can it only be a matter of time before home-grown, hand-rolled Brooklyn smokes show up on a sidewalk outside a bar near you?

Next on the radar? Urban goats. Coming hot on the heels of the blossoming interest in urban bee and chicken-keeping, interest in raising goats in cities has reached a steady simmer. Reporter Jennifer Bleyer brings us the story of Heidi Kooy, who is raising two Nigerian goats in her backyard in San Fransisco (where she herds them into her car for daily rides to the park for exercise), as well as tales of several other pioneering urban goatherds. While goat-keeping in New York and many cities is currently banned, it’s probably only a matter of time before the Goat Justice League opens a chapter here.

What do you think? Passing fads or here to stay? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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