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

Gardening with goats and herbs

Goat eating a tomato

Despite what the forecast called for, it's been in the mid twenties every morning for the last four days. Frosty weather means we work inside during the early hours and don't head to the garden until the afternoon.

The goats are a bit confused by the change of schedule since they're accustomed to being tethered at 9:30 am, not 1 pm. But Artemesia got over her angst long enough to help me clean up the frosted tomato vines. Gardening with goats is always more fun.

Transplanting herbs

ZinniasAfter putting the girls back in the pasture to chew their cuds, I changed gears and got the front herb bed in order. I'm transplanting thyme, lavender, echinacea and chives into this area in front of the trailer to join the existing sage, Greek oregano, fennel, and grapevines for a variety of reasons.

The most pressing is that my front garden renovations mean I'll soon dig up the beds where these herbs used to live. Plus, the ground ivy in those spots is getting out of control (actually swallowing the thyme), so they needed some TLC anyway.

This warm, sheltered spot in front of the trailer is good for overwintering sensitive plants like the thyme and sage, too, and it's also very close to the kitchen for easy plucking. All-told, I think it'll be a plus to have my herbs all in one spot in the future --- I hope. And, either way, I'll still have room to slip some summer flowers in there to fill in the gaps and brighten up our metal home.

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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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Would you like some true peppermint (not the usual common spearmint) makes wonderful peppermint extract or mint tea.... it doesnt seem to be quite as invasive as the common mint.
Comment by Deb Wed Oct 21 18:02:44 2015
Deb --- Can you tell me more about peppermint versus spearmint? I've grown spearmint, a wild water mint, and apple mint before. How would you compare peppermint to those three options?
Comment by anna Thu Oct 22 11:31:59 2015

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