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


Goat bridge

So, you know how they tell you not to jump into a new relationship right away after a very important breakup? That's extremely good advice. The trouble is that Aurora started screaming the minute we carried her mother out of the barn. For her sake, we couldn't wait. So we went to check out John and Jeanne's farm in Lee County.

Dwarf nigerians

I'd already cried a couple of gallons at that point, but was doing my best to put on a good face. Still, I have to admit I wasn't 100% as I picked out our new doeling from a herd of twenty contenders.


How can I be so sure I was off the mark? Well, when we got our new doeling home, she peeed...without squatting...and I realized we'd accidentally purchased a wether. Oops. Now what're we gonna do?

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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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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
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
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

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