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View the most recent comments below. To join in the discussion (or see a comment thread in order), click on the title of a comment, then follow the directions on the subsequent page to add a comment of your own.

Sorry to say I worry about that spot for seed starting. Since it's low, it's cool, and moisture from the trays will build up on wood surfaces. Over time you'll develop a mold problem. In fact, it's happening already, even though you can't see it. I'd move it immediately. : (

No need to post this---I just wanted you to get this message.

Comment by Terry Wed Mar 1 09:56:34 2017

If the fuel tank of your truck is rusting through, it's probably time to go looking for another truck.

Or replace the tank and have the structural integrity of the truck checked.

Comment by Roland_Smith Tue Feb 28 12:56:55 2017
I am truly sorry for the loss of your goat. Grief will never go away. It becomes a part of it and we learn to live with it; and eventually find joy again through it. I am glad for your new goat and am looking forward to your third goat. You and your husband are two incredible human beings and I am so glad you are a part of my life.
Comment by hilary Tue Feb 28 08:39:53 2017
As the old saying goes: slowly but surely does the trick. He seems like a fine goat. At least he isn't attacking you like my neighbor's did when I was trying to get him untangled from the tether he was on. My knee hasn't been the same since he headbutted me violently in my left knee. The goat's gone now to whatever goat heaven (more likely hell where he belonged!).
Comment by Nayan Tue Feb 28 08:13:39 2017
Yay!! Great progress! Edgar is a cutie - can't wait for the new baby too!
Comment by Jayne Tue Feb 28 07:50:29 2017
You couldn't pay me enough to use old used tires as a garden bed!! Studies were done where one inch strips of cut tires were added to one ltr of water. Trout fry were added to the tanks and after 24hours, 100% of the fry were dead from contamination. That's enough evidence for me NOT to use these things anywhere near food production. During the manufacturing of tires a material called Carbon Black is added. This is a known carcinogen. There are a million other things to grow your vegetables in!
Comment by Gardentalk Tue Feb 28 01:30:37 2017

Jim --- "Minnow" is a general term often used for fish in the Cyprinidae family. There are so many of them that are so hard to tell apart when they're not breeding that I've never tried to track down specific species. Here's a list of the 67 minnows found in Virginia in case you're more ambitious than I am. I suspect mine are daces of some sort...but I could be wrong.

Kayla --- You always make me smile. :-) I think I was feeling a bit mischievous in this picture because Mark was cutting firewood and I was playing in the creek....

Comment by anna Mon Feb 27 17:01:12 2017

Dear Anna

I couldn't help getting some Peruvian Purple Potatoes recently. Now I am wondering are these purple potatoes blight resistant regarding late blight and tomatoes?

Comment by Maggie Mon Feb 27 14:45:23 2017
Your soil book is the best.I have sold my tiller.Have already started kill mulch and happy for this information.I just have one question in regards to your farm.Do you allow free roaming cats and if you do ,why?You have lots of very good knowledge and would hope that protecting native wildlife from cats would be part of your farming practice.Thanks Richard
Comment by richard Mon Feb 27 13:01:45 2017

Nice to see there are still some goat people here in Washington Co. There used to be a group called the Tennessee Goat Association back around 12 years ago, but they apparently fell apart years ago. Met them at the Appalachian Fair.

Good luck with goat hunting!

Comment by Nayan Mon Feb 27 11:52:50 2017
Any recommendations on application rates? Have collected a 2.5 g bucket at various stages of decomposition and wanted to spread in my vegetable raised beds now and allow to break down in there for my summer garden. Really more to keep the soil web going. My beds are 4x4x2'... Not worried about ecoli... Ecoli has a 4 month shelf life and will be gone by the time I plant and will take 80 or so days after that for tomatoes anyways...
Comment by Anonymous Mon Feb 27 11:40:08 2017
You look like you're up to something sneaky in this picture. It's good to see you smiling again! :)
Comment by Kayla Sun Feb 26 20:13:35 2017

Sounds better on many fronts.

I've always wondered (but never looked up), are minnows baby fish or full grown?

Comment by Jim Sun Feb 26 08:04:38 2017
Haha! We had a bantam Wyandotte that would stash eggs. Once she had a stash of 15 little bantam eggs she was actually trying to hatch! We had no roo, so was rather futile. Where do the rest of yours generally lay their eggs when they are free-ranging in the flood plane? In the nesting boxes?
Comment by Jennifer Sat Feb 25 21:06:52 2017
Mayby she'll hatch them.
Comment by Errol Hess Sat Feb 25 15:40:16 2017
Kind of surprised other critters didn't find this stash before you did.
Comment by Julie K Whitmore Sat Feb 25 15:26:06 2017

Well, since you seem determined to keep goats, so I applaud your decision to keep Edgar. As you mentioned, it does increase your options, and in the least intensive way. I have never had dairy goats, just my two wethers I use to keep the brush at bay. But they don't need expensive nutrients or hay (in my area at least), and their disposition... a bit... capricious... like eternal 5th graders.

If you must have goats, a companion wether is a good addition.

Comment by Eric in Japan Sat Feb 25 11:36:42 2017
Think you need a bigger "goat house".
Comment by Gerry Fri Feb 24 20:52:39 2017
I think that's a very sensible plan. Since my wether died a couple of months ago, I've greatly missed him for many reasons. But one of the main reasons is just what you were talking about, he was easy to mix with any of the other goats. If I have a buckling born this spring (and most likely will) I'll wether him and keep him.
Comment by Another Julie Fri Feb 24 19:00:58 2017
I'm glad he's staying, and I'm sure Aurora is too. :)
Comment by Chris Fri Feb 24 16:48:59 2017
How about calling him your "manny goat?" Good idea to have a companion for Aurora to give you time and flexibility of choice.
Comment by Rhonda from Baddeck Fri Feb 24 15:10:21 2017

Yes, you read all that right. We're adding a boy to our herd as a nanny goat. Of course that won't be confusing. Right?

Breaking traditional gender boundaries can be confusing; doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. :^)

Comment by irilyth Fri Feb 24 10:25:21 2017
Use a fair bit of the dead nettle, chickweed, and speedwell for extra salad greens? They are all edible...
Comment by Elizabeth Fri Feb 24 00:23:12 2017
For what its worth department: I find that black plastic used to 'solarize' my soil is much more effective than clear. Why? No clue. But I do know it is much more effective at killing the weeds/seeds. I, too, am trying to learn how to work smarter rather than harder with a hoe. Although, hoeing the weeds is certainly a good blood pressure reducer if I can keep thinking every weed is one more of my troubles and I just whack 'em down!
Comment by Tim Inman Thu Feb 23 17:35:28 2017
I know with that name she was brave and a fighter as well as beautiful. The blog is so vivid and so honest I feel like I know all of you and understand how much she will be missed no matter how many other goats are in your future. My sympathies!
Comment by Monique Bourque Wed Feb 22 22:34:18 2017
What a cutie! Maybe a whether isn't such a bad idea for the homestead? They won't encounter the short lifespan of a buck in rut, nor will you have to encounter the smell. Plus, a whether won't experience nutritional difficulties with pregnancies. They can be the surrogate companion, hedge clipper and compost making all-rounder. That's if you decide to keep him.
Comment by Chris Wed Feb 22 22:10:57 2017
I am sooo Jealous of you. I would be doing that too but I have to work until 6pm. So i gotta wait a little longer for some daylight. But soon I will be walking bare foot in my garden.
Comment by john Wed Feb 22 19:30:02 2017
I'm so glad you're getting the therapy that works best for you Anna. We lost our bottle calf in December and it was so hard. I cried for over an hour straight, and we had only had him for 3 months.
Comment by Becky Wed Feb 22 17:23:03 2017
Thanks for reminding me....will stay more on top of that.
Comment by mark Wed Feb 22 15:37:48 2017
Why don't you post these blogs on facebook?
Comment by Errol Hess Wed Feb 22 11:08:07 2017

One of the first things I do each morning is read this blog. Thank you for sharing your lives this way. It's been incredibly heartwarming, insightful, thoughtful.

I am truly sorry about your loss. Animals become family; and because of you, your animals have become my family.

I grieve with you. May God provide healing blessings.

Comment by hilary Wed Feb 22 08:16:53 2017
Crying...nothing else for it. :(
Comment by Chris Wed Feb 22 01:27:39 2017
I know sorry will never fill the hole in your heart but I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You lost a family member and it hurts and will for a long time. Hold Aurora tight and remember your Artemesia fondly.
Comment by Pam Kaufman Tue Feb 21 13:58:36 2017
I'm so sorry Anna. We lost our herd of 4 to loose dogs around Christmas, so I know how painful it is. Our goats were pets and friends too. Never forget the happy memories you have with Artemesia. Hugs!
Comment by Elaine Tue Feb 21 13:40:59 2017
So sorry, this part of homesteading is never easy. :(
Comment by Nita Tue Feb 21 13:09:57 2017

So sad to read this. I have been praying for a better outcome. I have been in your shoes and was feeling your struggles with every update. Sometimes we can do everything right and things still go sideways.

Glad to see you have a new addition even if he wasn’t what you expected. Look at him as a companion aka pet. Goats are social animals and three wouldn’t be a bad number if and when you get another doe.

Comment by Ned Tue Feb 21 11:02:23 2017
I'd like to chime in with the others and express my condolences. You have the peace of knowing your animal lived the best and happiest of lives a goat could live. As for the wether, I'd take him back before you or Aurora form an attachment. Any wethers I've kept from what in myself is probably an excess of sentimentality, I've later regretted. I have one now, in fact, that my young grandchildren named and are very fond of, and who is a tame and loving clown with humans but absolutely obnoxious to his herdmates.
Comment by j Tue Feb 21 10:48:43 2017
Condolences on your loss. Was hoping and praying she would recover fully.
Comment by Anonymous Tue Feb 21 10:15:45 2017
And we so loved hearing about her - she was a special gift for sure!
Comment by Jayne Tue Feb 21 09:07:55 2017

Maybe you need that little whether to be a neutralizer, so if you go ahead and do get your doeling, maybe you can just keep him.I was so touched by all your readers' comments, so heart-felt and healing. Very good to look up Juliette de Bairacli Levy, and maybe let the goats browse for their own nutrients? I don't think the point is really to examine what you did wrong, if you did, but how you can balance letting this herd forage independently, with your training them.

btw, I've just discovered a new Thoreau, who actually lived twice as long as Thoreau did, on his own, but in solitude, in the woods on a little farm in W NC, Thomas Crow Ransom, and wish you could put his book, from 2005, Zoro's Field, My life in the Appalachian Woods, on any list of mutual reads for us, the way you did with Thoreau?? Mainly because this writer's personality and honesty really is the main thread, which yours, in this blog is, too!!

Comment by adrianne Tue Feb 21 08:50:49 2017