The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Early August goat update

Goats eating corn

I'll be honest --- this post is really an excuse to share cute pictures of goats.

But there's always something to say about our darling herd of two. For example, I've learned that they adore sweet-corn stalks (after we've harvested the good ears), picking off the leaves and eating the ears that didn't develop properly. I can smell the sweetness as I cut the spent stalks, so it's no surprise that our grain-free herd adores the fodder. Our goats look for sugar wherever they can find it.

Goats at the fence

Artemesia is thirteen months old now, and she's starting to act a bit more like a teenager. That means she's darling one minute, then the next minute she wanders off on her own and doesn't obey my request to return to the pasture after we've finished our evening hour of grazing in the woods. Luckily, our doeling's sunny personality inevitably comes through in the end, and those teenage moments are still much rarer than Abigail's more frequent strong-headedness. (Our older doe is an independent woman.)

Reaching goats

In other goat news, I'm solarizing weedy areas and prepping as much fallow garden ground as I can this month to really boost our fall oat cover crop. Our goats adore grazing on oats after summer weeds are only a memory, and I suspect that with careful management we could cut our hay needs in half using the cover crop. We're still in the early days of goatkeeping, though, so I keep my goals simpler --- plant what I can, and don't worry too much if I have to buy feed to fill in the gaps.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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