Grit Blogs > Back to the Land

The Great Goat Chase

A photo of MalisaHaving a goat chase was not the way I wanted to spend my Sunday morning, especially before I had had my coffee. It all started Saturday night with a 2 hour trip to Leola, SD to look at doelings (baby girl goats.) I had been wanting to increase my goat herd to 6 milking does (next season) and 1 buck. I had found a promising herd through our area agricultural newspaper affectionately called the Green Sheet. We came home with 2 cuties; a Nubian and a Saanen/Boer cross. It was really late when we got home so we tucked the girls into the horse trailer for the night waiting until after church to introduce the new goats to our herd. In the morning, I was in the shower and Bethany (my 6 yr old) came in crying and saying one of the new goats were gone. Seems my youngest daughter, Emma, went out to say hi to the new goats and let one out. My husband and I spent the next 2 hours searching for and chasing the little goat for over a mile. I thought I had her once. I was calling in goat language andshe stopped and called back. We “talked” for several minutes, but I must have said something wrong because she was off and running again. We were very fortunate to trap her in a neighbor’s shed, but not so fortunate to make it to church. 

I took my daughters camping in the Black Hills for 4 days leaving my husband behind to work and handle chores. It was a nice break for us and he did a great job handing both responsibilities. He even made a new goat house.  I guess it shows I can leave the farm once and a while.

I live in the melon growing area of the state. It seems you just have to say Woonsocket or Forestburg and people’s mouths water. Currently they are picking muskmelons, then they will move into watermelons and finally pumpkins. Muskmelons and cantalop are not the same thing. Muskmelons tend to be bigger, and are segmented rinds.  I worked out a deal with a local grower. I come and collect all of the cutters (overripe or cracked melons) for exchange of an occasional meal or food item. Such deals benefit all and bartering is the way of rural life.  Its also fun.

My garden has started showing me the fruits of my labor. We have been enjoying albino beets, and sweet corn for a couple weeks.  Yep, albino beets.  They are very good and sweet. I just peel them and cook them in a bit of water in the microwave until they are soft. They are so good I sometimes just I eat them as a snack. My tomatoes are in a holding pattern; nice, big and full of green tomatoes that don’t turn red. I am going to give them a shot of fertilizer to see if they can give them a kick. South Dakota State University Extension is putting on a webinar for Master Gardeners on tomatoes August 14 that I plan on attending. I am a firm believer in education and learning new things. There is always something to learn.

There have been several peach stands lately. Peaches as well as blueberries do not do well in South Dakota. I bought a lug (17lb) box of canning peaches. I have never tried canning peaches so it will also be a learning experience. I am going to do raw packed peaches and some peach preserves. If the recipes work out, I will post them. 

nebraska dave
8/9/2012 3:17:48 PM

Malisa, how does one learn goat language? Is it a course at the webinar? :0) Just kidding. I learned a lot of different languages when growing up on the farm. "Come boss" was how you called the cows in for milking and "Suuuuuiiee" was the language of the pigs to call them to eat. So I do understand about animal language. Animals do have a way of making life exciting at the most inconvenient times, don't they. I'm glad that everything worked out for you and all is as it should be once again. Have a great day in the country.