Monday, May 16, 2011

My Overambitious Food Experiment

 As promised Ole Miss Franny will blog about my not so brilliant idea about scavenging for wild edibles till my garden comes in. Upon waking this morning, supposedly day 1 of this experiment, Ole Miss Franny found her farm covered in yet more spring snow. This time of year I discovered slim pickin's indeed even before the few green shoots I could identify became obscured by white stuff.
 I still have one bag of blanched and frozen chard from last year in the freezer. I think I will need to portion this out like gold till I can see the ground again. Hollis is happy about this reprieve, as he lives in fear of the projectile vomiting my ONE LITTLE mistake caused us both a few years ago. And there were no ill effects afterward, it was just one purging puke for goodness sake!
 Anyway, the only thing I can locate for sure are the corms on the rootstock of the cattails. One does not live by cattail corms alone, and as I like my minimum daily requirement of leafy greens, forgive Ole Miss Franny if she cheats and delays this experiment until she can see the ground again!
Stay tuned!

Goats think they are dogs

I was direly warned against getting my goats last year by my good friend with far more Ag experience than I. "Get sheep instead! Damn goats are too smart for their own good. They will break out of any enclosure you build and escape constantly."
Well, I ignored her advice and got my yearling does anyway. Our backyard has a chainlink fence and a 3 room "goose house" from the previous owner, and I thought they would be secured.
NOT. But lets begin at the beginning.
I didn't know diddly about goats except that I love goat milk and goat cheese and goatmilk soap. These things are expensive and I wanted to produce my own, as we as new farmers can't afford squat. I read the requisite books and web articles, found a reputable breeder, and on my birthday last 4th of July Hollis gifted me with 2 dry yearling does of my choice. The breeder, Jo Rohrig of Fool on the Hill Farms, delivered my Nubian girls and gave me a quick demo of hoof trimming, plus added a free breeding in the fall.(cant get milk unless they breed and have kids.)
 I wanted to have the summer to get used to my girls, to "tame" them and have the girls get used to me before I embarked on kidding, hand milking, and all the other steep learning curves I was in for.
 Let me tell you right now. Spend 10 minutes a day with your goats and not only are they tame, they"MAAA" every time they see you, demand to go everywhere with you, and generally want to morph into your skin. I have raised, and have had here on the farm, 5 horses, 2 cats, a goose, a dog, and a parrot, and the only species that will ABANDON IT'S FOOD for your company is a damn goat! Oh, they found a way to break out of their lovely 3 room condo and quarter acre yard, all right. But where do they go? To find ME. To break into the house, if that is where I am. To climb onto the porch, bang on the windows, squeeze through the back door, I have found them on my couch one cold winter night. (apparently they like to watch TV.)
Goats do not know they are livestock. If you want to raise them for meat, it would seem to be a no brainer to teach them to jump up for throat slitting, but I am not sure I would have the ice in MY veins to do it.. I kid you not, (no pun intended). They think they own YOU. Be forewarned. Get a goat and a goat gets you.