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Showing posts from December, 2015

Book Review (The Year of the Goat:40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect Cheese by Margaret Hathaway)

Over dinner with friends last month it came up in conversation that I have been considering dwarf goats for our urban homestead. The next day my friend Loretta dropped off the book The Year of the Goat: 40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect Cheese by Margaret Hathaway/Karl Schatz for me to read.

This 204 page book by Lyons Press seemed to gain momentum as I read it. It was difficult not to applaud Hathaway and her eventual husband/photographer Karl Schatz for their life altering dedication to researching goat farming across the continental U.S.. As someone who honestly knows very little about goats I learned a lot. Though it is difficult after reading this book to imagine goats in my immediate future I would like to eventually get to the point where I have enough property to add them to my homestead. It made me hesitant but it did little to scare me away.

In regards to the book the aspect that I found most fascinating was the authors willingness to expose and share her own weakn…

Urban Livestock: Backyard Chickens

Our family homesteads on 1/16th of an acre in a sleepy village in southern New York State. We are nestled between Oneonta and Binghamton N.Y. Chickens play an important role on our micro-farm in regards to our effort for self-sufficiency.
Initially, because space was limited, our main focus was on egg production. So our first hens were leghorns. Though a Mediterranean breed they fared surprisingly well in our harsh New York winters. During peak production each of our four leghorns were easily laying 300 eggs a year. Certainly can’t complain about 100 dozen eggs! 
As time wore on I found that raising chickens was far more valuable to me than simply how many eggs were produced. Simply put, I enjoy being around them. It may sound kind of funny but at times it reminds me of watching a fish tank. The hens, even the flighty leghorns, tend to lull you into a state of calm while watching them peck and scratch at the dirt. Before I knew it I was hooked and on the lookout for other breeds.
I…