My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, ... thank you!

Grow to Feed Goats, and tonight's soup

Our Nigerian Dwarf goat-babies will be here at the beginning of May. Here's our plan to include in the garden their food:

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Hay available all of the time (hay-rack is best). Wormers, minerals, salt, etc. included in food dishes so we can track who gets what, and food dishes filled for milking/grooming times.

Morning Milking:
Pellet/grain feed + 1 cup total treats

All Day:
Amaranth or corn stalks, bean vines, tree branches, and other browse/pasture

Evening Milking:
2 cups total treats

-apple (1/4)
-bayberry (southern)
-beans (soy, lima)
-blackberry plant
-dandelion leaves
-herbs (dill, sage, mint)
-grape vine, grapes
-lemon grass
-morning glory
-peppers (bell)
-pine/spruce trees
-poplar/maple trees
-poison ivy
-raisins (2 at a time)
-squash (winter)
-sunflowers (incl stalks and seeds)
-tomato plants (minimal)
-tomatoes, cherry
-weeping willow branches

As soon as we can, we plan to eliminate processed grain/pellets. We have to keep in mind that goats survived for many many years without us providing pellets or special mixes. We will make sure they get a purchased mineral block with lots of hay and treats. And as for the treats, we can, and are planning to, grow quite a lot of them so we will be able to provide very well for our goaties.

Goats need copper, as opposed to sheep which don't. SOURCES OF COPPER: amaranth leaves, soybeans (limit), lima beans, potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash, oats, sunflower seeds, blackberries.

WATER: Clean and refresh with clean water daily.

NOTE: If it’s not on here… DON’T feed it to the goats until you check with a qualified professional as to whether or not it's poisonous. We're fencing in the rhubarb because Hubby likes it but it's dangerous to goats!

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Our breeder provides her goats store-bought grain and minerals, which is absolutely fine. We'll start out that way too. But the whole purpose of us moving out here to the boonies and getting animals is to be self-reliant/self-sufficient. We feel we can garden to provide our food and enough for our critters, including the goats. The goats will provide enough milk for our butter, cheese, ice cream, etc. Yum!

Note: we won't feed our goats garlic and onion as well as other strong vegetables because it (supposedly) changes the taste of the milk.

The above information was compiled based on a LOT of information and research. At any time we feel the goats aren't healthy enough, we'll revise our plan.

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Made an appointment with the dentist who did my crown originally in 2008. Unfortunately, he can't see me until Saturday. Guess I'll keep eating soft foods until then.

Tonight's dinner: Bean and Dumpling Soup

I soaked 1 1/2 cups white beans in water overnight. This morning, I placed them in the crockpot with 4 cups of water and a bay leaf, and set to low. About 2 hours before Hubby is due home (5/5:30), I'll add a cup of various dehydrated veggies to the pot (potatoes, carrots, green beans, onions, peas, red bell pepper, etc.). The dried veggies will rehydate to more than double their size. I think I'll slice up a few mushrooms too. I might add a bit of Mrs. Dash too. An hour before he comes home, I'll add some dumpling mix (bisquick-type mix prepared with almond milk with about a teaspoon of dried parsley added) in little (big) dollops in the pot. Will be ready by the time HE's ready.

Should be quite filling, healthy, and easy on my tooth problem.

I'll bake a couple of potatoes for the Kid. He'll eat with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and hopefully some carrots and some squash on the side.

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