Sunday, April 24, 2011

More Gardening with Goats

Research has taught me which foods are cancer-friendly so the family will be eating those foods more frequently. We're a busy family so everyone needs to eat the same thing as everyone else. Or else fix it yourself. :)  I"ll also be using Dr. Andrew Weil's cookbook The Healthy Kitchen. His philosophy fits within my thinking.

I might drink a bit of wine ever once in a while. But no more several glasses of wine a night. (Darn, I enjoy my wine.) I can live with out it. (This is no longer a pun). Although I do miss my wine; giving up coffee was easy. My stay in the hospital was long enough for me to lose my taste for it. Guess more good things came from that hospital visit. Husband Bob poked fun at my coffee by calling it 'Chester coffee.' It might have been strong but it had flavor. Sigh ... .

Our son, Don, and I put up the garden fence today. It's taken several, several months to get the garden going again. I'm pretty strong but some things require more muscle than I can muster. Don's being here is a gift. Thank you.

Next we need to remove all the weeds, finish building the raised beds, then fill them with quality soil. The basic layout of the raised garden beds was set up last year but summer came before I finished it. It just got too hot to work outside. I'm all for working outdoors but not in July, August, or September. You could easily call me a fair-weather gardener. With this trait in mind, it will be interesting to see how long the gardening lasts. I digress ... .But then again, I've never had cancer before nor needed/required the freshest and healthiest produce available. Not that I've considered grocery store produce unhealthy but this time I know which chemicals, or not, have been applied by our food.

With over a year's growth of weeds, this is a job for the professionals: our goats. Two of my boys were put in the garden area this afternoon but all they wanted to do was get back with their buddies. Tomorrow I'll put two ladies in there. The pregnant does will be hungrier than the boys. But who ever goes in the garden must be an easier catcher ... just in case the fence doesn't hold. It isn't electrified yet.

While the fence seems secure, one of us needs to observe them at all times. Goats have no defense against predictors so if a stray dog wonders on our property, we'd lose the goats. Not pretty. Not happy. And NO, they will not be sleeping in the garden area at night. They're be secure in their barn..

I took a few pictures of the garden area, complete with fence and goats. Be on the lookout for the pictures. I'm excited about gardening with my goats. This will be fun.

With all these goats and one horse, we'll have plenty of microbial material to fertilize the beds. I can hardly wait to get the beds finished.

More later ... .

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Goats Trimming Willow Tree

This willow tree was planted long before the fences were built. Naturally, it's in the wrong place but we really don't want to cut it down.

Unfortunately, it gets too willowy for us to use the gate so we need to trim it often. This year I decided to let our goats do the work for us. Why should I do all the work then toss the limbs over the fence to them.

My son, Don, and I made a temporary fence around the willow to the goats could come and go at their pleasure. This time we let the ladies do the work. Since we have about 25 of them, they made short work of the willow then napped for the rest of the afternoon.

Here are a few photos of their efforts:

They made the tree trimming so EZ for us. I'm thinking of how to get them in the new garden. It's full of weeds.

Goat Milk Bath and Beauty's photostream


Goats are terrific gardeners

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Getting back into the swing of things

I moved a few goats around yesterday. Two particular doelings are too thin so I put them in the back barn so I can watch them more closely. Besides (our horse), there are fewer goats back there so they'll not be pushed back from the hay stack.

The two transferees, Natalie and Ginger,  haven't met Bentley yet so they'll be uncomfortable around him for a couple of days. He's super gentle with the goats so I'm not concerned about him stepping on them.

The farrier comes tomorrow to care for his hooves. I haven't been able to pick up his feet to clean them out; guess they're full of mud because he's been stomping his feet. But then again, the flies have arrived and naturally they get on his legs. Poor baby.

I made the time to brush him today. I'm not sure which one of us enjoys it the most. Being solid black, he get's hot in the sun. I can see why he enjoys rolling in the mud so much. It probably cools him off. 

More later, pat