A Place For The Future Past


Fast Goats
April 13, 2007, 2:03 pm
Filed under: Community On The Earth

It started as a way to get the goats to begin outward foraging on their own — they are capable of path cleansing I am unable — (I just cut. They consume) , besides, it would be very good for them AND save on the hay bill and..

THE WOODS ARE SPROUTING OUT THERE I CAN FEEL IT

They have many, many acres of blackberry and wildrose and salal and sedgegrass (the sweetgrass I will rescue and cultivate for drying and incense burning, cash crop!) to work through. Anyway, I would lead them out then disappear down one of my trails, coming back around and to the house, leaving them out there to munch away for hours at a time.
This time Calico would not hear of it. Earlier, she and Penny had found a way to squeeze their fat bodies under the cyclone fence where I found them happily munching on alfalpha (they could never break into the oats, that is kept safely in the house for that very reason — a goat will bloat very quickly on a bag of oats and die, horribly). As soon as they were ushered back they went straight to the hole to escape again but I got there first and fixed the hole.
So when I was leading them out later, Calico figured that if she followed me home, she could get through the gate with me and thusly get back to the barn (and that tasty alphalfa). I went a bit down the trail and turned to the left as usual, but Cali was hot behind me. I plunged into the woods, running now — wearing rubber boots that happen to be about two sizes too big. Across the open ground sections I was able to put out good bursts of speed but once I hit thick brush I was hampered by my boots and had to slow to a fast walk.

It’s amazing how fast a very fat goat can move. When I got to the gate she was right behind me, with half the herd behind her. The other half had gone back to the barn. I had to pause befor slipping through, breathing hard and laughing hysterically is hard to do. What a workout!

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Speaking of cash crops, I am hoping we will be a good site for growing morel mushrooms — those tasy treats so prized by local chefs and easy to identify. The topography feels right and so does the soil conditions in many places. And if they do not already grow I will experiment and try to grow my own — go shopping up the penninsula during morel season — A memory I have with my late husband Lauren — We went for a drive up and around Hwy 101. And near the Sequim area, folks will line up in their pickups and vans and sell out of their vehicles for a few brief weeks — I plan to buy a bagful and shake their spores where I think they might thrive.

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Now that things are strouting and blooming in the woods, identification of plants is an ongoing quest. The computer is a good ally there but sometimes I like to stop at a garden shop to actually look at a specimen. Yesterday we stopped in a smaller, older place (full of hard to get stuff, odd name, I’ll post it later) and found flowering currant — and it was like an electric charge — we have some! So now I will seek those out and decide if they need to be rescued — as well as move a few for cultivation.

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