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

Goat song

Goat SongThe best book I read while on our cruise was Brad Kessler's Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, a Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese.  The book traces the first year in the author's life with Nubian milk goats, and I warn you that after you finish it you will want milk goats too.  I had to remind myself repeatedly that I wouldn't have been able to leave the farm if I got milk goats and thus wouldn't have been on the cruise.

The book was almost blog-like in parts, a format that I obviously enjoy.  One chapter ran through the highlights of a season of milking, day by day, and another chapter was a blow by blow account of cheese-making.  He mixed in some monks, a visit to artisanal cheese-makers in France, and the effects that herding has had on our language and culture.  When I closed the cover, I could almost smell new hay, meadow flowers, and goat cheese lingering in our cabin.

If you're looking for easier livestock, stick to chickens and our homemade chicken waterer.

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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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