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

Seeking winter goat forage

Winter oats

"Have some oats," I coaxed my grumpy goat.

"Hmmph," replied Abigail. "That isn't worth eating."

"Okay, how about some honeysuckle?"

"What, you expect me to pick one leaf at a time in that briar thicket!" my doe answered. "Where's my winter forage?!"

Goats in the briars

Last winter, we had decades of banked honeysuckle to pull off trees and barns and fencelines. But, unfortunately, we're just about out already.

Which isn't the end of the world. There's scads of hay stored up in the barn and we've got homegrown treats like butternut squash when the girls need something fresh. Honestly, I think I miss the wild forage more than they do --- I count on those hours outside with munching goats to counter the lack of light during these short winter days.

So I'll have to put on my thinking cap and get smarter for next year. Maybe plant some willow trees in the gully?

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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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I stumbled across this and thought that you might enjoy it Anna =)

Comment by Rae Mon Dec 14 22:21:50 2015

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