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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eggs, Greens, Milk - Winter Harvest

Every day, just at dusk, we milk one of our two dairy goats that is still able to produce milk in this cold weather. She does not give much, just about 1/2 gallon (2 liters) per day - enough for us.


Chickens, year after year, surprise me with increased egg production after taking a break during September - December period. Three to six eggs daily is enough for all our cooking and baking. Greens are on the roll in the greenhouse (old abandoned swimming pool covered with a roof + stairs to get down = greenhouse). Cold weather edibles: salads, oriental greens, kale and beet greens, chives and chard with more seed cast for potential May harvest of carrots, daikon, artichoke and turnips, all of which I am learning to grow.

I realize now that "start small" adage is very true. Small trials of all kinds help us to get a little bit further, with smaller losses and smaller errors along the way. Since most of us don't have any ancestral knowledge on how to live green, grow food, or do many other things, the only option left is to learn. That mean accumulating a lot of knowledge without previous experience or wisdom; which translates into a multitude of small trials. So I am planting carrot seed in cold soil every two weeks now; and putting potato eyes into soil-filled tubs for some future abundance... will they grow? Who knows now. By May I will know though. And then I can repeat the miniature learning surveys elsewhere.

5 comments:

Kris said...

How does the swimming pool with a roof stay warm enough? It seems like it wouldn't get as much sun as an above-ground greenhouse, although it is definitely better insulated. Want to learn more! Thanks.

Arina said...

Kris, I will post more photos and information on the swimming pool greenhouse - for starters, only half of the pool has a roof on it - the rest is left uncovered. Plenty of sun; good mass to keep it warm though the sunken portion of the pool definitely doubles up as cold air sink! Give me a few days and I will post photos -

Arina said...

ok, here is the promised greenhouse story: http://lotsoflifeinoneplace.blogspot.com/2011/01/greenhouse-in-swimming-pool-winter.html

dragonitaTierra said...

what do you feed your goats? and do you grow much of the food?
thanks
luke

Arina said...

I feed them brush cuttings (mostly elm and willow, some black locust, some fruit tree cuttings) plus hay and alfalfa. They graze grass and fresh alfalfa though they are not really grazers and putting them on pasture is not an ideal solution. They prefer to be on a woody/shrubby landscape, as goats are really more like deer in their eating habits, and not like sheep. http://www.permaculture.org/nm/index.php/site/permaculture_dairy_goats
visit the link above to read more about our goats and pastures