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Comments in the moderation queue: 96

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The pies were and are both being immensely enjoyed. The chocolate crust on the butternut squash pie was a perfect conbination. The berry pie almost doens't even need ice cream or whipping cream. Good by itself but great with a dairy supplement. Thanks for bringing them.
Comment by Richard Fri Nov 28 08:15:59 2014
Being that I'm not a fan of the crust, I raise my hand to claim the center piece! What a great idea to make deep dish square pies. I like it.
Comment by Su Thu Nov 27 11:32:54 2014
JD --- I'd love to hear more about your goat walks! For example, were the goats able to get all of their food from their two walks a day? Which plants did they most like to eat? Perhaps you have some photos even and would like to turn it into a guest post? If so, email me at :-)
Comment by anna Wed Nov 26 20:07:10 2014
Simon --- The workshop we took was put on by the local USDA Extension Service. Every county around here has their own extension service office, and each one seems to have their own grafting workshop. Of course, I don't know if your region will be the same, but it's worth looking up your county office and asking!
Comment by anna Wed Nov 26 20:03:32 2014

Next to "normal" pears, you might want to look at cooking pears as well.

In the Netherlands the most well-known varieties are "gieser wildeman" and "Saint Rémy" (the latter originated in Belgium).

Cooking pears can be kept for a long time, and of course you can cook them (e.g. with some cinnamon) and can them.

They're also very good in pancakes.

Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Nov 26 14:17:05 2014

Love the free download! Now I have to get my act together to get your other books. Very informative and I like the links to other sites.

Keep writing! :)

Comment by Nayan Tue Nov 25 21:05:43 2014

Thanks for the book sale, Anna!

And thanks for the heads-up on the soil fertility book, John. Just downloaded the pdf. Only skimmed part of it so far, but it looks like good stuff. For those interested, the direct link to the download page is here

Comment by Jake Mon Nov 24 23:43:29 2014
Everyone thinks kudzu is bad, but I think honeysuckle is worse. I don't pull them off the trees, but clip them off at the roots. Then they die. Right now wild blackberry brambles are also on my crap list as they spread so fast and now they're in my neighbors yard beyond the fence and leaning over and I cannot tell you how many nicks, scrapes and gouges I have on my arms from trying to keep them cut back and taking over my property. Unfortunately the "neighbor" is Bank of America and you can't get them to do anything.
Comment by Nayan Mon Nov 24 22:58:03 2014

Hi Anna and Mark,

Just downloaded your book from SmashWords.

First time I have been able to actually download one of your free books :).

Looks nice :).

Have you discovered the Parnes book on Soil Fertility? Also free pdf on Woods End Labs website.

GREAT read. Lots of real info. Even prices of various amendments!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all,


Comment by John Mon Nov 24 08:48:47 2014
I recall a while back you mentioned that you took a workshop on grafting, and I was wondering if you could provide the link or information as we live close to Virginia and would be interested in learning how. Plus, you returned home with several grafts from the course, which seems like a great deal. Feel free to e-mail me your reply, if you prefer. Thank you.
Comment by Simon Sun Nov 23 21:10:42 2014

Laura Childs' Joy of Keeping Goats Very practical and open and with fantastic photos

Comment by JD Sun Nov 23 16:13:52 2014

I've lived on a farm where goat-walks were the norm (5-12 goats, 1-2 hr walks twice a day) and I found after being introduced to several lush spots in the woods, they will vary their feed and wander between them as nutrition and their tastes dictate, usually i find a spot in the middle and blow on my harmonica or carve sticks and sing goat songs. I have a detailed list of goat fodder/browse species by month (NorthEast specific) i could upload if folks are interested.

Comment by JD Sun Nov 23 16:08:23 2014

Nayan --- In my experience, cedar apple rust doesn't usually impact apple fruits. The fungus just weakens the trees so they don't grow well and don't have many fruits, but the fruits that do exist are just as good as on uninfected trees.

I'm not sure if you're used to eating non-grocery-store fruits (and if so, feel free to ignore this paragraph), but you really shouldn't expect beautiful, unsullied fruit from an unsprayed tree. There are all kinds of bugs and diseases that make apples look gnarled and blemished, and if you don't want to spray chemicals (which we don't), you need to figure out which is which and delve deeper into non-chemical control. In many cases, it's simpler just to cut out the bad spots!

Of course, fruit flavor will be impacted by many other factors as well. Thinning the fruits and pruning/training the tree to allow lots of light inside is imperative if you want big, sweet fruit. And the trees need full (or nearly) full sun to expedite ripening. Hope that helps you begin brainstorming your tree's problem.

Comment by anna Sun Nov 23 14:33:47 2014
Kathleen --- Hazels are the only nut trees we've planted that are currently producing, and they just barely started this year. We do have lots of wild black walnuts, but I never quite talk myself into harvesting them in the fall --- their shells are just so darn hard to crack! I'll be curious to hear how they do as rocket stove materials if you give them a try.
Comment by anna Sun Nov 23 14:27:19 2014

Lots of interesting comments I never quite found time to answer! (But be assured I read them all. :-) )

Eric --- Our property's basically not marked at all. I felt impinged upon the few times our neighbors put up no trespassing signs pointing in my direction, and I'd hate to make someone else feel the same way. That said, I would hope that people wandering around with guns would take the time to ask the landowners about boundaries --- I know that the few times we've let people hunt here, I've been very clear about where our property ends and someone else's begins. Technically, you're supposed to have the landowner's written permission to hunt on private land in Virginia, which I know isn't likely to happen, but should put the burden of knowing where boundaries lie on the part of the hunter (since the law clearly states that private wooded land isn't a commons).

Karen B --- I doubt a tree tube would last long inside a goat pasture where grazing pressure was high! The one baby tree we have in their pasture currently is firmly enclosed in remesh wrapped in chicken wire, staked down with two t-posts. You can't be too careful.... :-)

Comment by anna Sun Nov 23 14:26:01 2014
I've commented before on how I have cedar trees all over the place in my area. I have a Stayman Winesap tree that is about 10 years old and it's completely filled with Cedar Apple Rust. Yes it produces apples, but they're barely edible. Perhaps I should've fed them to my neighbor's pigs when he had pigs. Instead I'm looking at Stark Bros. catalog and thinking of getting their cedar apple rust-resistant trees Enterprise and Jonafree. Anyone have any experience with either of these two trees?
Comment by Nayan Sun Nov 23 10:12:06 2014
My own goat has done a number on some of my trees. Thus he's now banned from the orchard. He's stripped macadamia nut trunks and all kinds of citrus trees. The two apple trees were killed the day he decided to completely strip them. Funny thing is that he would peacefully coexist with those trees for months then one day I'd come home to find he debarked 5-6 trees!
Comment by Su Sat Nov 22 17:46:37 2014
That dog has so much personality in her face.
Comment by Yamila Abraham Sat Nov 22 16:58:40 2014

if you have any cheep fencing around (say snow fence) how would it work if you fenced off a large area of woods? Would the goats stay in there or would they escape right away?

I have my goats in a pasture where one side is cattle panels and the other side is 6foot concrete reinforcing mesh. So far no escapes.

Comment by BE Sat Nov 22 14:16:00 2014
I think your girls are proving the lore that "If your fence won't hold water, it won't hold a goat." They are crafty, motivated...and flexible!
Comment by Kathleen Sat Nov 22 11:11:18 2014

Thats the one thing you can count on with your goats; they'll always tell you when something is wrong. If some of them get out the other ones always tell on them by screaming their brains out. My goats are nice and quiet the rest of the time. Though, on the flip side, if they're all out getting into trouble it stays quiet. lol...

Comment by T Sat Nov 22 10:36:11 2014
We've got a Saturn station wagon that serves a similar function. The back seat stays perpetually folded down to make space for hauling stuff. But just the other week I finally vacuumed the all the dried compost and wood shavings out of the cracks, and now it looks like new!
Comment by Jake Sat Nov 22 00:43:31 2014
I was cracking walnuts and got to wondering if the left over hulls and shells would make good rocket stove materials. What do you think? Do you do much with nuts out there?
Comment by Kathleen Fri Nov 21 22:13:53 2014

You, and several other people in the comments, have mentioned larger breed goats being Houdini on steroids, but Nigerians being more docile. Not so!! I too heard this and got 2 wethers to start with. Since then I have spent nearly every day chasing them down and putting them back in our pasture. Trust me, they have plenty to eat. They love to test the fencing! Every day! I had 4' fencing (was told that was adequate), after multiple stages of reinforcing and adding height, I finally replaced all the 4' (150' of it) with 6.5' fencing (especially needed if any trees are near the fence). Our one goat can clear a 5' fence (going over), the other is an expert at going under. Most of our fencing has now been staked at the bottom or has heavy 2x6 boards attached to the bottom. I since learned because they are smaller they are much more agile. Houdinis!! The other issue with your plan is that they with destroy (smash, trample) much more than they will actually eat. A big herd is forced to eat everything. A few have the luxury of eating only the best parts and leaving the rest.
Hope that helps!

Comment by Farmer Becca Fri Nov 21 21:59:12 2014
This is how my moms car looks like also. But hey these Toyotas run for ever with little maintenance. To bad they do not make them like this anymore.
Comment by Olan Fri Nov 21 19:14:59 2014
This is how my moms car looks like also. But hey these Toyotas run for ever with little maintenance. To bad they do not make them like this anymore.
Comment by Olan Fri Nov 21 19:14:22 2014
I would not woory about them falling off , my goats use my tractor as a playground if i leave it where they can get at it (ruins the paint job ) "sure footed as a mountain goat " is very true !they can easily standing jump onto a medium size tractor wheel ( 5 / 6 foot ) , now getting their heads stuck in a cattle pannel is another thing , once or twice a year here in TX i stop on the road to untangle a goat from a fence , dehorning makes life a lot easier .
Comment by diogenese Fri Nov 21 18:20:29 2014
Hubby and I purchased 50 60" tree tubes from to protect our newly planted trees from deer predidation. They weren't that expensive, and the baby trees seem to be thriving in the protected environment. Could that help with your goats in tree pastures?
Comment by Karen B Fri Nov 21 17:27:50 2014
Brrrrrrrr. But Lucy is a cute "puppy".
Comment by Nayan Fri Nov 21 09:05:09 2014
I just learned that Elizabeth Bishop kept goats in Brazil...haven't tracked down what she wrote about them, tho. Carl Sandburg's wife, Lilian "Paula" Steichen, a Phi Bet from the U. of Chicago, kept goats at Connemara Farm, outside of Asheville, and there is a video of this (Goat Tell It). Also, I think she wrote The Year of the Goat which I haven't yet checked out.
Comment by adrianne Thu Nov 20 18:14:24 2014

Is there a lot of unnatural goat care?

Or are there artificial goats?

Comment by Roland_Smith Thu Nov 20 14:16:10 2014

Craigslist score! Thompsons banner root chopper. Close to home, working condition, cheap.

Comment by dave Thu Nov 20 09:46:45 2014

When establishing my backyard I covered it with four inches of sea grass that had been washed up on the beach during a storm. There was some seaweed mixed in with it. A self seeded peach tree came up which I allowed to grow. It grew five feet a year and got so big I had to prune it hard because I couldn't reach the peaches even with a 20 foot pole!

I live in a dry climate so it took about a year for the seagrass to rot down. Everything I plant in the soil it created does extremely well. Worms love it. I poured 10 gallons of undiluted sea water around the peach tree this year and it looks like I'm going to get a big crop of peaches - no negative effects. Worms are still there.

There was a patch of my front lawn that wasn't doing too well compared to the rest of my lawn. I dissolved 2 heaped teaspoon fulls of Himalayan salt in hot water and added it to a watering can full of tap water then watered the lawn patch. It's now the same as the rest of the lawn.

A certain amount of salt aids soil fertility. Consult "Sea Energy Agriculture" by Maynard Murray if you have any doubts.

Comment by Robert Wed Nov 19 20:04:18 2014

Hi Anna and Mark,

Sounds like the title of a new book :).

IF, you can learn from what didn't work and make it work!


Comment by John Wed Nov 19 11:40:41 2014
Our local farm store has collars for hunting dogs in reflective Hunter Orange. That might be an option to reduce the goats from be mistaken for deer should they wander afar.
Comment by David Hicks Wed Nov 19 08:44:50 2014

A friend of ours is a rock hound. He always has his rock polishing machine going. He has never had a mouse problem.

Another friend turns on her overhead fan when she hears mice in the walk. She says mice don't like the vibrations.

We don't have a rock polisher or an overhead fan so I will try a few standing fans letting them touch the wall as they spin.

Wish me luck.

Comment by mona Tue Nov 18 20:59:27 2014

my neighbors have their property lines surrounded with 3 strand electric fence to keep their goats in, and stray dogs, coyotes, tresspassers out. be sure to get a good fence charger. the cheaper ones are not powerful enough to deter wildlife with a long span of fence currently they have over 100 acres surrounded and cross fenced with electric fenceing

Comment by ron Tue Nov 18 20:00:41 2014

Don't worry about them munching the apple twigs. They will wait for either blossom set or fruit. They might even leave it alone long enough for you to dream of homegrown apples before they eat all the fruit, then girdle the tree sharpening their horns. I know mine do.

They got loose last weekend and ate 25 drying persimmons, all the amaranth seedheads drying, all the cabbage, broccoli, and most of the Chinese cabbage, trampled the carrots, and pulled most of the strawberry plants out of the sides of the rock wall. Gotta love goats.

Comment by Eric in Japan Tue Nov 18 19:16:57 2014

How well marked as far as property line and NO TRESSPASSING is your place? If someone is coming via other wooded/wild property they may not know they are on yours. Some folk I know (wife's anti-hunting vegetarian aunts in Lee county) complained of hunters coming on their land, but after I looked in my view their property line is not well defined and their no trespassing signs faded and few between.

But yes, I'd hate to think of your goats being mistaken for deer. They are about the size of deer down there in south GA!

Comment by Eric Tue Nov 18 18:47:26 2014

Here's hoping our goats aren't too capricious

Hee hee, nice one.

Comment by irilyth Tue Nov 18 13:01:43 2014