Too Many Little Brown Goats, and Other Consquences of Spring

It has been kind of quiet here, because well, it is spring, and that means that all my primary focus has shifted outside the house. The period from May 1 to June 15 is the busiest, craziest, wildest period of the year, and the shoulder season, ie, the month of April, its biggest rival.

We have six baby goats on the ground right now, with two more does due this weekend and five more due in July. I'll be posting the "goats for sale" list very soon - we'll have a 1 year old buck (Goldenrod), at least one senior milking doe and at least one baby, and later in the season, we'll have two doelings and a first freshener, as well as probably some wethers, so if you are looking for goats, here's your place.

This is particularly true if you are looking for little brown goats. The LBGs are pretty thick on the ground this year - in previous years it hasn't been hard to tell the babies apart, but this year, everyone (except Calliope, Bast's daughter) is an LBG. They are different, and you can tell - if they stop bouncing long enough to differentiate. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen very often at this stage, and so you are often fruitlessly trying to count little heads as they move at high speed around you. So we spend a lot of time bewildered and counting fruitlessly.

We are also rapidly approaching delivery dates for the plant CSA, and our open farm day, in which we'll have garden plants galore for sale. That's at our farm on Sunday, May 22 - hoping to see those of you who live in this general area there. We've got lots of fun stuff planned for that day.

Besides the goat-related cuteness, we also have ducklings, chicks and one baby rabbit adding to the overall impression of acute cuteness. And green - finally, finally, finally green. The tulips are in bloom, the bloodroot and lungwort are flowering, the ramps, sorrel and asparagus are ready for harvest and life is GOOD. We missed a hard frost last night, so the peaches and apricots and cherries are blooming.

It is a busy, crazy season here - every plant has to go into the ground now, yesterday or at the latest, tomorrow. Everything needs shovelling, cutting, trimming, planting, transplanting or moving. Add to that the fact that we are expecting more kids in our family right soon, and, well, the blogs get a lick and a promise and my best wishes.

Eric will be picking up his bees on Sunday, and that's got a hold of his mind. He's fascinated by the beekeeping and still a little worried about driving in the car with 10,000 stinging insects. My comment that this would be a bad day to get in an accident didn't seem to help much . Lavish hive painting by my children is underway too - I'm assuming the hives will be quite the sight!

Still, there is some stuff going on. My 13 Ways of Looking at the Future book of essays will come out sometime in June, I'm told, and will be winging its way on to you soon. If you've emailed to enquire about postage outside the US, I promise to get back to you on Monday. If you haven't heard about this - I'll be publishing this directly both electronically and in paper form, and sending a copy to anyone who donates $10 or more for it. I'll put the button up ASAP.

Second, don't forget about the open farm day on May 22 at Gleanings Farm 43 Crow Hill Road Delanson, NY 12053. There will be animals for the kids to pet, scything, snacks, milking and goat care demos, a book signing, garden tours and other good stuff. And don't forget baby goats!

Third, our family is looking for a couple of summer farm interns - if you'd like to spend a *working* week on our farm, email me at and let me know what weeks you would be interested in. You get room, board and experience, we get extra hands and new friends - it is a win-win situation.

Finally, I'm going to be offering my Food Preservation and Storage Class starting May 24, and running until the end of June - this six week, online, asynchronous (ie, you don't have to be online at any particular time) will help you get ready for the preserving season, and also help with beginning or building up and organizing a food reserve so that you are secure in tough times. Cost of the class is $150 and there are scholarships available to low income folks as well. Please email me at to reserve a space or with any questions.

Ok, back to spring - the green is calling me! I hope it is calling you too! How is Spring at your place?


More like this

Our place? The average last frost date for us in Arkansas falls in early April -- older folks say not to plant tomatoes before tax day. But this year, we had a heavy snowfall and freeze in early February. . . and then no more freezing temperatures and no frosts at all. Weird. The lettuce is starting to bolt, the onions and garlic should be ready in a month, the last of the radishes has bolted, and I planted so many spring crops that I have no idea where I'm going to put most of my tomatoes, peppers, and squash. They'll probably end up going into the ground quite a bit later than usual.

Oh, and the weed crop is shaping up to be another bumper harvest. I can't keep sage happy, but I've got a really ridiculous amount of ground ivy. I know it's medicinal -- but I think I have enough to cure the 82nd Airborne.

Spring here has been freakily early and dry: I think I've lost a rose-bush, and I've had to irrigate sage, lavender, and Dianthus deltoides among others. I dug a test-pit yesterday, and got down two foot before giving up, without hitting damp soil (in rather heavy clay-based loam, overlying clay). The drought finally broke last night, with some heavy showers, but it's back to sunny today.

Also, this post needs blurry pictures of little brown bouncy blobs.

By stripey_cat (not verified) on 07 May 2011 #permalink

"if they stop bouncing long enough to differentiate"

Is that the goat version of "Don't drink and derive" ???

By Erling Jacobsen (not verified) on 09 May 2011 #permalink

Ben, most of my front yard and field aka orchard-in-progress is covered with what we call creeping charlie here. (Alehoof, ground ivy... same thing.) I encourage it. If it would just finish choking out the pesky bits of grass in front, I could stop mowing there. I'm still trying to convince the home brewer up the street to try it in place of hops -- he won't even use the hops he grows.

It's been strangely wet this year here. Not much wetter than normal, but it's the first year I've been in Alabama that hasn't been in awful drought. No late frosts but plenty of cool nights and days for the early spring crops, which are always hit or miss this time of year; they do better in the fall. I'm having a gangbuster gardening year and my baby trees are doing wonderfully. We're moving into the dry season, but my garden is irrigated and I have rainwater tubs full to the brim to help those baby trees get established.

It's about time we had a good weather year.

Hi i want to get more goats my dad used to have them when he was growing up how can i reach you for more information on what kind and how much they cost?

Kelly, I'd do some googling around and find out what breeds you might be interested in - it depends on what you want them for. Meat, dairy, fiber? Cost is a huge range, depending on what you are looking for and how common they are near you.